Vulnerability and trust - that's what it's all about. An openness to being your authentic self, and trust in yourself first and in others second. If you choose to be open with someone, I think the best tactic is to trust that you can handle whatever happens - and that you are worthy of self-respect. Be bold and unapologetic about who you are. Because I promise you, you can handle whatever life throws at you. Only then can you begin to truly trust others.
Slowly but surely, see if you can shed the idea that everyone has to like you. That’s kind of a scary thought – but this is your life – and no one else’s. You might find that some people don’t necessarily align with who you are, what you want, etc. – and that’s a good thing! That helps weed out the people who aren’t meant to be in your life. See if you can dig up a little self-confidence. This doesn’t have to be a huge step – just keep small goals toward learning to acknowledge the beauty of who you are. Because ultimately, if you respect yourself – even just a little – you will find it increasingly easier to present who you are to the world, and you will attract people who are on your same wavelength. The more you respect yourself, the easier it will become to be open with others.
If you remain closed off to receiving love, friendship, or even just a mutual understanding with a stranger, you won’t be able to share in that human experience and ultimately that can lead to feeling especially alone. And in loneliness our minds can get the absolute best of us, as many of us know too well.
The best thing you can do around people is to be yourself. If you pretend to be someone you aren’t, or don’t present yourself at all, you are confirming the vastly incorrect idea that you need to hide who you are in order to be liked. I know this can seem impossibly hard – so take baby steps. See if you can do one thing that scares you when you’re being social, every time. It can be something tiny. Just let out one little bit of yourself that you’ve kept hidden. Vulnerability can be a tremendously rewarding thing!
Being your authentic self is so much more than good enough. It’s absolutely amazing – and you are just that. Letting someone in doesn’t have to be scary – but not letting someone in can be. And I use “scary” in the sense by hiding yourself, you are reinforcing the idea that who you are isn’t good enough. That is just so immensely far off from the truth. I just read a quote - "It is better to lose others than to lose yourself" – and that is absolutely spot on. You are a shining star. Show that to the world, if you can. Trust that what you need will come to you – because when you are your full self, unapologetically, that’s when your world can start to feel right.
This is something I myself am working on now. I’m trying to be unafraid of being myself – even down to things as simple as sharing my true opinion about a movie I’ve seen or speaking up when eating with other people and cheese is involved (I don’t like cheese. Yes, you read right!). Tiny things that used to bother me but that I’m working on – that almost always are things that people are entirely open to or are ultimately don't care (in a good way). Get to work on those small goals – don’t tackle this all at once. It will take time, and there may be setbacks, but don't give up; slowly you will begin to see how liberating it is to be yourself – and how you will attract so much in your life that can reflect who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to represent yourself in this world. You will attract people who fit well into your life and it will be so rewarding. Letting yourself be a little vulnerable with someone new doesn’t have to be scary; it can be so beautiful and lead to so many great things!
I think we all have an innate fear of being our "true" selves around others. Let's do our best to work on that fear, and eventually, let's wave goodbye and leave that fear behind.