How to be yourself around others

How Can You Be Yourself Around Others?

By: tup wanders

by Andrea M. Darcy

Do you wish you could be yourself around others but can’t seem to stop acting? Do you laugh at jokes you don’t find funny, agree to things you don’t want to do, say things you regret and don’t even mean? 

Why am I not myself around others?

It can come from the way we were parented. Sometimes our parents, for various reasons, were unable to provide us with the consistent love, acceptance and trust we needed. Instead we were left to try to win their love by being ‘good’, ‘quiet’, ‘smart’, etcetera.

This means we grow up into an adult who continues this pattern. We change ourselves to match those around us.

It can also be that our parents themselves modelled this way of being to us. They had one personality at home, and another depending on the company they were in. 

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How Can I Be Myself Around Others? 

1.Work to learn how you think and feel.

Half the reason most of us can’t be ourselves around others is that deep down we are not really sure who we really are. We’ve spent too much of our life shifting ourselves to match what others want. 

Commit to getting to know yourself.  Journalling is a great place to start. It can help you identify your personal values, the things you deeply care about.

Asking good questions is another great tool. Make a list of all the things you spend your time time doing. Do you really like these things? Or are you just doing them as you learned you ‘should’ like them? What new things would you like to try instead?

2. Learn mindfulness.

By: Eddy Pula

Now used by many therapists in client work, mindfulness is one of the best modern tools for getting to know how you think and feel.

Mindfulness is a technique that brings you out of your head, away from your spinning thoughts, and into the present moment.

Read our free, easy-to-read “Guide to Mindfulness“.

3. Drop assumptions.

Most of the time, when we are acting in ways that are not who we really are, it’s because we’ve made assumptions about the other person.

We assume they are smarter than us, more interesting, better. We assume we must change ourselves to gain their approval.

What if they are as insecure as you? Have their own problems, beneath their seeming confidence? Would you try so hard to be interesting then?

And what if by being yourself it would be a huge relief for him or her, as they would then feel more free to be themselves, too?

4. Recognise that you are enough.

At the root of the low self-esteem that sees us unable to relax and be ourselves is the idea that somehow we are not enough. We are not smart enough, interesting enough, pretty enough, or fun enough to be liked as we are.

What if you were? Keep asking yourself that question. What if you are enough just as you are?

Self-compassion is another way to raise your self-esteem. Each time you hear your thoughts criticising or putting you down, ask yourself, would I speak to a friend like that? What if I treated myself the way I would treat a best friend?

5. Consider who you are spending time with.

By: m01229

Here’s another angle to the entire ‘never myself’ conundrum.

Are you hanging around people who know how to accept and encourage others, or are you choosing to be around critical, demanding types?

The trap here is that when we have low self-esteem, we tend to have a core belief that we don’t deserve to be treated well.

The result?

We unconsciously choose to hang around with people who are not even that nice to us, thereby reinforcing our belief.

Learn what healthy relationships are like, and read our article, “How to Find Friends You Actually Like”.

6. Keep your eye on the prize.

When we make our first efforts to fully be ourselves around other people it can feel scary. They might not always react they way we hope for. Perhaps they are used to us being pleasing and doing what they want. We might lose some friends, even.

Just keep reminding yourself what you are gaining by being yourself.

They more you are your real self, the more you are making yourself attractive to people you actually have real things in common with, who will actually enjoy your company. The more you hang around with people who actually like the real you, the less energy you waste ‘acting’ or panicking. You will feel less stressed, and your self-worth will ratchet.

7. Seek support. 

If you really struggle to be yourself, and want to solve this problem faster, then it’s a very good idea to seek some support. A counsellor or psychotherapist can provide a safe, confidential environment to identify why you can’t relax around other people. Together you can try out new ways of relating, and you will be supported in then taking these new ways of being and behaving into your relationships and social life.

Harley Therapy connects you with some of London’s top therapists in central London locations. Not in London or even the UK? Our new sister site provides affordable therapy across the UK and Skype sessions no matter where you live in the world. Book now and be talking to someone as soon as tomorrow.

Have a question about how to be yourself around others? Want to share your experience or have a tip? Use the comment box below.

Andrea M. Darcy grew up in a home where you were not allowed to be yourself, so she understands deeply what it’s like to have this issue. She left a career as a screenwriter to devote herself to personal development, and is now an established psychology writer.  Find her @am_darcy

17 Ways To Be Yourself Around Others

If you can be yourself around others, socializing will become more natural for you. After all, it’s exhausting keeping up with false appearances and wearing the face of another all the time. On top of that, if you’re able to be yourself around others, you’ll never have to think about other personalities when interacting with people. You can be confident in your own skin and portray to them your real personality.

A lot of people find being themselves a difficult task, unfortunately. If you happen to be one of those people, this article will greatly help you out.

Before you can learn how to be yourself, it can help you to fully understand what it means to be yourself. We’ll start with that.

What Does It Mean To Be Yourself?

First of all, to be yourself means just that. Be yourself. Use your own personality when interacting with others. Let them see you for who you truly are.

However, if your goal is to socialize and become a more socially adept person, being yourself also means improving yourself.

It’s a given that a lot of us have misgivings and flaws. This is perfectly normal. However, if you have character traits which make you terrible, hurtful, offensive, and the like, you’ll need to give yourself a personality overhaul.

This doesn’t mean you’re attempting to be someone else, this simply means you’re attempting to better who you already are. You’re still being yourself, but you’re just removing some of your worst traits.

Pretending to be someone means that’s not who you really are. At the end of the day, you’ll still revert to your real self. However, if you can change who you are for the better, then that’s you through and through. Pretending won’t be necessary, you’ll just act as you are with your newly acquired traits.

It’s good for us to say and believe that we should be ourselves, and if others can’t accept us for who we are, we probably shouldn’t be friends with them. However, it’s also good to acknowledge that we may have traits we can consider terrible. You’ll need to let go of those terrible traits. It will make being yourself infinitely easier. Plus, others will find it easier being around you!

How Can You Improve Yourself?

The first thing you’ll need to do to improve yourself is to acknowledge what your flaws are. If you have traits you know others won’t like at all, acknowledge that and change it.

For example, if you tend to make inappropriate jokes, especially during the most inappropriate moments, change that immediately. If you’re someone who finds it hard to focus on another person during conversations, make the effort to change that.

In the most extreme cases, if you believe your personality is outright terrible and people find you a bad person, start from there and improve yourself. This is a very difficult thing to admit, but as long as you’re able to acknowledge that and take this first step, you’re already on the right track.

Another thing you should keep in mind throughout this process is to make sure you don’t end up hating yourself. This is a trap you can fall easily into, the more you look deeper into your flaws and imperfections. If you’ve done terrible things, learn to forgive yourself. Then, make the effort to become a better version of yourself.

Knowing which aspects to change

One last thing, you should also know how to differentiate which of the things about yourself you should change and which you shouldn’t. There are a lot of aspects about us we may think are flaws, but really, they’re harmless parts that make us who we are.

For example, a lot of introverts believe their introversion is something to be frowned upon. This shouldn’t be the case at all. Being an introvert is not a problem. What is a problem, however, is if you make this an excuse to avoid socializing. A lot of socially adept people are actually introverts. They just know how to balance spending time alone and spending time with others.

Another example of something people mistakenly perceives as a flaw is being nervous in public. This isn’t a flaw at all. This is a perfectly normal human response to an intimidating situation. What matters here is how you rise about that nervousness and how you correctly pinpoint which situations it’s okay to be nervous and which you shouldn’t be at all.

The point here is that you should know which parts of yourself you should change for the better, and which you should learn how to accept.

Once you’re able to do all these, you should be able to be yourself around others more comfortably. You’ll be happy with who you are. You’ll know others will be happy to get to know the real you. However, there’s still work to be done. You’ll still need to fight things including social anxieties, doubts, and more.

How To Be Yourself Around Others

Once you’ve learned to better yourself, the next step follows. Read on and we’ll get to how you can be yourself around others and do it very naturally.

Stop thinking too much about it

One of the worst things you can do if your goal is to be yourself around others is to think too much about it. If you’re constantly worrying about being yourself, the part of you that’s worrying will show. Other people will easily see this because you’ll start acting aloof and weird. You won’t be yourself around others, you’ll simply be a stranger version of yourself.

That said, stop worrying about how you’re going to act. After all, if you’re simply being yourself, you won’t even need to think about it at all. That’s what you’ll need to keep in mind before you go out there to meet new people.

You’ll learn more ways to be yourself around others as you read along this article. For now, though, remember this very first one. Stop worrying too much about it. This will give your mind more space to think about the more important things.

Work on your insecurities

One of your worst enemies that will interfere with you being yourself around others is your insecurities, if you have any. If this case is true for you, that’s what you’ll need to fix first.

An insecure mind is a dangerous one. No matter how much you better yourself, no matter how many negative traits you remove, if your mind remains insecure, it will always find something wrong to focus on.

That said, actively work on fixing your insecurities. Combat your negative thoughts with positive ones. Tell yourself you’re not bad as your insecurities are making you out to be. An insecure mind will paint a picture of you that’s more horrible than the truth. Focus on the truth. Paint a better picture.

Practice being yourself around acquaintances

If this is something you’re not used to yet, it can be difficult to be yourself around others if you don’t know them yet. To make matters easier for yourself, practice around acquaintances. Practice around people who you can’t really consider friends yet, but you know them well enough that it’s not too uncomfortable to be yourself around them.

Whenever you have the opportunity to interact with acquaintances, do so. Then, be yourself around them. Who knows, just by performing this practice, you might even turn a few acquaintances into actual friends. You’ll be reaching your goal just by practicing.

Love your strengths

Now that you’ve worked on fixing your flaws and misgivings, now it’s time for you to acknowledge your strengths. Know what they are and love yourself for them. Then, use them to your advantage as you interact with other people.

For example, if you’ve always heard that you’re a good listener, then appreciate yourself for that. Not everyone is naturally good at this. If you’re someone who’s naturally funny, use that to your advantage.

Whatever it is for you, be sure to acknowledge it. Your self-esteem will thank you for it. As long as you can keep your self-esteem high and healthy, being yourself around others becomes easier.

Forget all of your past personas

If there were personas in the past you’ve always turned to, now is the time to forget about them. After all, there’s no need for them anymore.

If you hold on to the facades and fake personalities you used to employ around other people, you might simply revert to them if you find being yourself isn’t working while you’re socializing. Let go of this need completely. The best thing for you to do while socializing is to be yourself.

Sometimes, socializing this way can take a while. Sometimes, it can happen right away. What is constant is that it’s much better to socialize with others if you remain yourself rather than attempting to be someone else.

Focus on every interaction

Here’s one trick you can do so you can always be yourself around others and avoid overthinking other menial things. Whenever you’re conversing with someone, or interacting with them in any way, focus on them. Focus on their words and their actions. Negative thoughts and the like will never be able to penetrate your mind if you keep your focus on others.

Doing this will also help you have more nuanced interactions. If you can keep your focus on the other person, you can respond and react to them properly.

Learn how to speak up

Another thing you can do to help you be yourself around others better is to learn how to speak up. A combination of showing through actions and words is key here. It will also make you feel more comfortable around other people if you can share them your thoughts and opinions.

This process is a whole other thing if you find it hard to speak your mind. However, with practice, repetition, and willingness.

That said, take advantage of any opportunity you have to speak up. Be sure to participate whenever there are discussions. If someone asks you questions about yourself, feel free to give them straight answers.

Get used to the idea of speaking up. You’ll need it moving forward. In addition, it will help you become more active socially.

Have a confident body language

Stand like a confident person and you’ll eventually become one. One of the best ways to be yourself is to be confident. Confidence is a trait not a lot of people naturally have, however. If you’re not naturally confident, the good thing is that you can learn this trait.

First things first, though, make sure your body language is portraying confidence. It will also help others feel more comfortable with you. They’ll see you as someone who’s comfortable being around them.

Stand up straight, but avoid stiffing up. Avoid exhibiting closed-off body language such as crossing your arms, crouching, and staring at the ground. From now on, maintain eye contact when speaking to someone.

Do your best so that your body is evoking the body language of a confident person. The more you do this, the more confident you will actually be when socializing with others. Then, you can be yourself with ease.

Be more honest

Honesty is a good policy to have if you want to be yourself. Similar to how you’ll never have to worry about which persona to take if you can be yourself, you’ll never have to worry about your words if you’re honest.

Be more honest from here on out. People appreciate an honest person who tells them unseemly things than a liar who says flowery words. Granted, you should still avoid being needlessly hurtful and offensive. Be honest but be careful and thoughtful of your words.

Manage your expectations

It is also very important that you keep your expectations straight as you interact with other people. You’ll need to keep in mind that despite being yourself around others, there are those who won’t pay you the same respect.

This isn’t to turn you cynical, this is simply to let you know that there are those who won’t agree with your real self. Of course, there are still those who will. That’s where you’ll need to focus on.

Focus on the good side of socializing. Focus on the idea of making friends and building bonds. While keeping all of these in mind, you should also remember that you might also meet people you can’t agree with. Don’t be disappointed when this happens. Simply move on and socialize with the next person.

Be better at your interests and hobbies

If you have hobbies and interests, be sure to hone them. Be better at the things you enjoy doing.

Making this happen will make you appreciate yourself more. It will make you love the things you do more, and it will make you love yourself for having these things in your life.

This will also help you with another tip that will come later on.

Be more focused on your life and career

Aside from your hobbies and interests, you should also pay mind to your career. If you’re a student, do well in your classes. Be good personally, and also professionally. Excel at your craft and do your best to achieve your goals.

Being professionally successful is another thing that will greatly increase your self-esteem. Thus, it will make you become more confident in your own skin.

Aside from the clear benefits this will bring to your social life, your professional and personal lives will also thank you.

Take up physical activities

Taking up any form of physical activity will help you become even more confident in yourself. Any physical activity will do, as long as it makes you exert energy and become physically healthier.

You can go to the gym. You can take up running. If those things aren’t cutting it out for you, you can take up yoga. Do whatever you need to do to become physically healthier. You’ll look better, and more importantly, you’ll feel better. Once this happens, being yourself around others becomes a natural matter.

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you want to be yourself around others is to find like-minded individuals. If you surround yourself with people who share your interests, beliefs, and the like, you’ll never feel the need to pretend to be someone else. You’ll feel right at home.

If you’re good, skilled, and knowledgeable at your interests and hobbies, as mentioned earlier, this process becomes easier. You’ll also draw like-minded people to you. You’ll be seen as a figure they can learn from.

To find more like-minded people, join clubs and classes. Start talking about your interests even more. Introduce others to your interests. There are a lot of things you can do to find like-minded people, do as many of them as you can.

Wear clothes that make you feel better

This is a minor thing that you can remember moving forward, but it will affect you in a great way. Similar to how being physically healthier makes you feel better, your choice of outfits will do the same thing. Wear clothes that make you feel better. It will help you become more comfortable around others. Thus, it will help you be yourself around others better.

If fashion is not your area of expertise, try seeking out the help of your friends or relatives. Ask for professional advice. You might just enjoy this whole process.

Avoid going to places you’re uncomfortable with

You’ll do much better at socializing if you remain in places you actually feel comfortable. If you keep going to places that just aren’t for you, you’ll always feel guarded. You’ll be intimidated. Worse, you won’t be able to socialize properly at all.

Since you’ll be feeling all these negative feelings, you also won’t be able to be yourself. You’ll be too worried and afraid that you might resort to pretending once more. Make things better for yourself by only going to places you feel comfortable with. There’s no need to put yourself in this terrible position.

Ask for help

If things become too tough for you, remember that you don’t need to go through this trouble alone. Ask help from those you trust. Ask for help from your friends and family. Tell them that you’re trying to be better at socializing.

If the situation is much worse for you, you can also seek out professional help. If the problem lingers in your mind and there’s nothing you can do that will help, see a professional instead. There are things only they can tell you, things that are best suited for your current predicaments and situation. Be sure to waste no time in doing so.

Improve Your Social Skills To Be Yourself Around Others

The best thing you can do to be yourself around others is to improve your social skills. Be more socially adept. Make that your ultimate goal and everything else will follow.

There are a lot of factors that come with being yourself. You might have already surmised that for you to be yourself properly, you’ll need traits such as confidence. You’ll need to be good at interactions. On top of these, you’ll also need to be good at conversations. You’ll need to master the art of conversation as a whole. This covers a lot of ground such as listening, telling stories, making small talk, and making meaningful discussions.

You’ll also need to deal with any form of social anxiety. This topic is a whole other area you’ll need to deal with.

If you’re an introvert, you’ll need to learn how to socialize while being an introvert.

Thankfully, you can find everything you need on this site. As soon as you’re done reading this article, take the time to read the other articles on this site. From conversation skills to the art of making friends, you’ll find a resource you can study. In time, you’ll finally be able to be yourself around others. Good luck!

Be yourself next to others (psychotherapeutic group) in Moscow

We invite you to a short-term classic psychodramatic therapeutic group Modern Psychodrama Workshop "Be yourself next to others." The group will go to Moscow starting from No workshop dates.

In many cases, a psychotherapy group is the best first step towards good changes in yourself and your life. Working in a group allows you to quickly orient yourself in your inner world, outline a movement plan and immediately feel the first changes.

In psychodrama groups, part of the time is devoted to the individual work of the participants who want to resolve some of their personal difficulties. The groups always have topics about current relationships, about work / study and experience from the past that we carry with us. Psychodrama is arranged in such a way that the work of one participant with his theme enriches everyone. At the same time, you can come to the group with your own topics, or you can not do this, but observe and look for answers to your questions, only being present at the work of other people.

A psychotherapy group is also one of the most effective investments in one's own ability to create and develop relationships with other people. It directly depends on whether we will be happy, and our fate until old age. If someone doubts that they can be loved, feels inferior in some way, experiences discomfort in interacting with people, a therapy group is likely to be their best first choice.

If something attracted you, but you still have a lot of questions - apply or write to us, and the group leader will help you find your way. We are sincerely interested in the fact that those who will get the maximum benefit from it come to the group. Feel free to write to us to get our bearings and our recommendation as to whether the group will bring good effects. By the way, we strive to match each participant with the most appropriate group for them, in order to maximize the chances that the group will provide a good and supportive experience.

Program format: 16 weekly meetings (Thu; 19:00-22:30)

Main trainer of the program:

Alena Olegovna Nikolaeva - psychologist-psychotherapist; certified psychodramatherapist; Trainee Supervisor, Group Therapist, Trauma Specialist, Child Psychologist, Adolescent Psychologist, Educational and Therapy Group Leader; trainer at the Workshop of Modern Psychodrama.

The cost of one meeting is 2200 rubles. For students under 27 years old studying full-time - 1700 rubles.

Send a preliminary application for participation in the event

You can ask any questions in the preliminary application form or by phone in Moscow: 8 (916) 976-27-43 (Anastasia Kot; write to Telegram)

Dear colleagues , Pre-registration is required to participate in the event. Limited number of seats. To avoid misunderstandings, please let us know your interest as soon as you decide to participate. Please don't wait until the last week. It so happened that by the time the group started, there were no empty seats left. [Apply]

How to be yourself: 13 effective methods

Just be yourself… That “just” is long overdue to be removed from this sentence. There is nothing easy in being yourself, but it must be done, because You can't find your happiness by trying to be someone else . ( Here are 13 effective ways to become yourself:

1. What are you trying to hide?

Find what you are ashamed of. You cannot be yourself when you are trying to hide a part of yourself from prying eyes. Be clear about what you are embarrassed about and be prepared to be open about it. Being yourself means being willing to show yourself as you are, and not as you think others will accept you. Larry King immediately spoke about his shortcomings and this made it easier for him to communicate with any interlocutor. Often he didn't even have to, but his willingness to talk about his shortcomings made him a better conversationalist and made his life a lot easier.

2. Three basic things to be proud of

Be sure to be proud of the basic things: your first name, last name and work. If your name is Diarrhea Gavnov, change your name. If you work as an incoming proctologist in a receiver of homeless people, change jobs. In cases far removed from these, be proud of yourself. Having flaws is normal, constantly thinking about them is not .

3. One day you are on horseback, another day you are under horseback and vice versa

During the rise, we want to think that this will always be the case, but then there is always a decline. When we are down, we lower our self-esteem and cannot be ourselves. We are ashamed. There is no need to be ashamed of recessions, they are part of progress, you need to be prepared for them. The position should be something like this: “Yes, today I am without a job and I have nowhere to live, but in general I am awesome and it will soon be seen.”

4. Hurry

If you are in a constant hurry, you yourself may forget who you really are. To hurry means to place one's habits and thoughts in the grip of time. You can't be yourself when you're in a hurry. Stop while running, turn back and say to yourself running after you “gotcha ?!” Make stops while talking to people. Slow down the pace. The rule here is: the more you hurry, the further you run away from yourself . If you are asked a point-blank question: “You have to make a decision right now. So yes or no"? The answer should always be “no”. Without regret. This is the price of happiness.

5. Life situations

Notice in what situations you are not yourself. A clear pattern will be visible very soon. The same people, places and circumstances cause you tension and out of character behavior. Next time, give yourself permission to relax in these situations. Relaxation means a return to oneself . Learn not to tense up when you are tense.

6. Your language

Don't speak formally. Express yourself simply. Genius is not to complicate a thought, but to express it as simply as possible. To be yourself means to stop dressing your thoughts in triple layers of thick words.

7. Listen instead of talking

Change the purpose of your conversations with people from “speak up and impress” to “listen and understand.” In order not to create additional tension in yourself with the obligation to “understand”, always keep in mind the rule: To understand does not mean to agree .

8. Be curious

Ask questions, be interested in what you are talking about with a person. If you do not understand, be sure to ask what your interlocutor meant. Ask difficult questions. Don't feel sorry for people, you think too much about them. Difficult questions, by the way, develop your environment. They will be grateful to you for them later. Being yourself means being interested in the world .

9. Love yourself

Not in words, but in deeds. Make yourself courtesies that no one sees . Self-love should not be shown, but secret. Flowers are for show. Expensive underwear (it also applies to men, especially men) is a secret. Later, the secret will be revealed, and you will decide to always be yourself, because that is how you adore yourself.

10. Exercises to be yourself

Answer honestly - why is it difficult for you to be yourself? Because you are trying to please others! You are a prisoner of someone else's opinion. There are exercises on how to become yourself and not depend on the opinions of others. One of the most effective is sometimes deliberately taking other people out of their comfort zone. They probably won't like it. This is "weight training". Deliberately inducing negative feelings towards yourself is as far from trying to please as it can be, which means it is a powerful exercise on the path to yourself.

11. Look into the eyes

Learn to look people in the eye when you talk to them. Dogs cannot do this. On an animal level, we are programmed to obey whoever holds the gaze the longest. However, don't turn your conversations with people into a meeting between two boxers before a match. Don't avoid looking, be prepared to "watch" to the end until you've finished your thought. The escalator in the subway is a good place to practice initially.

12. Start writing your blog

The more frank, the better. The first candid posts will be painful for you. You will be worried about what people think of you and you will want to fit in. There will be a temptation to hide in the middle of humanity and not stick out from there. But with each new article and with each critical comment addressed to you, the opinion of other people about yourself will worry you less and less, and louder and louder, you will hear your own voice from within. You will begin to become yourself also because you will gain tremendous knowledge of yourself while writing articles.

13. Speak regularly in public

Terrible point, 13th. And yet it is the most effective way to be yourself. I'm not saying this because I run a speaking club, the Speakerclub, every Saturday. I started the Speakerclub because I believe in it. By speaking in front of an audience constantly, you will not only improve yourself through the feedback of the audience from the audience, but also accept yourself for who you are. The next step is to teach other people to accept you for who you are. Fuss, haste, panic, all this will pass.

Learn more