I have often been told in conversations, “You are so open and honest!” This behavior seems to shock people greatly, and so I decided to write about this seeming phenomenon.
Why do people look at me in shock and awe while conversing with me? What is it that they see as odd and unusual?
I Made the Decision Not to Be a Chameleon
I decided long ago, not to be a chameleon.
I had spent a great part of my life trying desperately to make myself into the image that other people held for me. In the process, I lost who I truly was and what I valued. When in a group of religious folks, I spoke and behaved the way that was expected of me. Then, when in a group of people who like to party, I’d fall into the role of someone who also like to do the same.
One Day I had An Awakening
Thanks to a fantastic therapist, I began to question who I was and what it was that I valued. After this, it was only a small leap to think about why I tried so hard to fit in, even at the cost of being who I was not.
Changing My Old Behavior Took Time
This wasn’t an overnight process. It has taken me many years to gain a vision of who I am and who I wish to be seen by others. Who I found that I have many values and thoughts that may go against the grain of our negative culture which is full of hopelessness and helplessness. I decided to explore and express these notions, even at the cost of seeming strange to others.
The Results of This Change in Behavior Have Been Amazing
Firstly, people find me refreshing, even if they don’t agree with my views. I am highly aware that others do not always agree with my point of view, and I respect this. I listen to others, and weight what they say against my own values. Then I express this interest with questions and opinions of my own, careful to always respect the other person’s dignity.
I get all kinds of comments such as, “You are so open and honest!”. I’m always humbled by these comments. While I understand how rare it is to find someone who doesn’t hide behind mannerisms or words, It makes me feel good to hear others respecting me for my unique point of view.
My Experience With a Youth Group
While speaking to a youth group one evening, I made the statement to them that, “I don’t take this face off when I go home. What you see, is what you get.” I had no idea of the impact of those words on those young people. They had never met an adult who wasn’t playing games, who wasn’t just trying to play the part of adult.
I had discovered a secret. If you wish to disarm people, and help them to hear what you wish them to, then try being open and honest with them.
I’m Issuing a Challenge
My challenge to all who are reading this blog is this.
Try to be honest always in your dealings with others. Of course, one needs to temper their words and what they share, but make your words mean something. Don’t idly speak to others, show who you are and your values with openness and with transparency.
You will be extremely surprised by the results, and you will find as I have, that you feel the same things that I feel.
I feel comfortable in my own skin, comfortable in my relationships, and knowledgeable of who I am today, because I am open and honest with others. It feels good, and the world desperately needs others like myself who do not hide, or who lie without meaning to.
Humans are Humans, Not Chameleons
Humans are not chameleons, so we need to face who we are, find who we wish to be, and then show this to the world. You won’t regret that you did.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson