To be able to comprehend what you will read here today, you have to first answer these questions. Who are you?
I am asking about the real you, the genuine you. Do you still remember who you truly are? Or are you hiding behind a mask?
This article is about staying true to who you are especially in your relationships. Many have caved under the pressures of life and society to pose as who they are not, putting on masks to hide themselves.
This is a big problem in relationships. Because it creates 2 versions of you, the ‘You’ your partner fell in love with and the real ‘You’ dying to come out.
Can you imagine being married to someone, only for their mask to fall off and you can’t recognize the face behind the mask. It sounds horrible but it happens much more than we care to admit.
The only way to avoid this chaotic mess is only by staying true to yourself.
How to stay true to yourself
1. Love yourself first
You can’t give what you don’t have, how do you want to try to love someone when you can’t even love yourself.
When you don’t love who you are, it’s easy for you to create a mask of who you desire to be to cover the unloved. But just like a girl’s facial makeup, you will have to take it off someday.
Learn to love yourself. You are a masterpiece, God’s grand creation, the light of the world, you are in the image of God.
To stay true to yourself, you have to first love yourself. Be happy with who you are and strive to better yourself and not mask yourself.
2. Do not lie about yourself to others
One medium people deviate from their true self is by the lies they spread to others about themselves.
During the getting-to-know-you stage in a relationship, questions are being asked and opinions are being made. Any lie told in this stage affects the picture the person creates of you.
It’s just like a sculptor who is blind and only craves what he hears. One or more misleading information can distort the final image.
One should not lie to a potential spouse about him/herself, because when the truth comes out, it might cause greater damage.
3. Don’t change your rules to impress someone
Your spouse or a person you like takes you to a friend’s place, the moment you walk in you realize they are smoking pot. Your partner rushes and takes the first strong draw of pot, then asks you in front of everyone if you can smoke pot. Immediately you were asked, everyone’s attention was on you to hear your reply.
The pressure mounts rapidly, you don’t smoke pot but you don’t want them to look at you like a chicken or a child.
At such points in life, you should always remember to stay true to yourself. Never let peer pressure or your eagerness to impress others derail you from who you truly are.
It is easy to say Yes and look tough, but to be truly tough you have to say no to unruly peer pressure with your head held high. And that brings us to our next point
4. By increasing your will-power
Will power is simply the sheer determination to control your mind and body to do something difficult.
Just like in that example above, it only takes a person with a strong will power to say No to everyone because it isn’t who you are, instead of playing along by saying Yes to feel among.
Work on your will-power and increase it greatly. The weak in mind are those who are easily bullied into doing things that they never wanted to do.
5. By reinforcing your boundaries
Every once in a while, it is important we reflect on ourselves to see if our current boundaries still reflect who we are. Just like the boundaries of a country draw the shape of that country, so also does our boundaries show our family, friends, and the whole world who we are.
Change is constant, over time our likes and dislikes change, our opinions and beliefs may change as well. It is important we also make changes to our boundaries to fit those changes.
Read: Necessary Relationship Boundaries Needed For The Success Of Any Relationship
6. Do what makes you happy
A relationship isn’t just about making your partner happy, it is also about making you happy. Cut the pretense about you being happy (after sacrificing your life and career) because the person is happy. Yes, that does bring happiness, but it is not a long term thing. At some point, sadness and loss of one’s self begin the crip in. You become a shadow of yourself by completely giving up your happiness so your spouse can stay happy at all times.
You deserve to also be happy, if your spouse loves you as much as you love him/her, the person should equally be willing to pay the necessary sacrifice for you to be happy.
But if he/she isn’t willing, you have to dust up yourself and do whatever makes you happy. It’s no one’s job to make you happy but you.
7. Find your purpose in life
It is a lot easier to stay true to yourself if you have a clear purpose in life and are working to achieve it.
A little moral story comes to mind
A little prince grew up in the slums full of drunks and all kinds of unpleasant acts, but the young prince never indulged in any. One day a young man walked up to him and asked why he never got entangled in any of this. He replied “A prince is a prince, it doesn’t matter if he is in the slum or not, so he can not stoop so low”
Here is another matching Quote
“No matter the economy of the jungle, a lion will never eat grass”.
This shows the power of knowing who you are and your purpose in life. When you truly understand these things, staying true to who you are, becomes easier.
8. Keep the right company
“For bad communication corrupts good manners”
The type of friends you keep around you has a direct or indirect influence on who you are today. So keeping the right set of friends is key.
Are your friends doing things that are against who you are or what you hold dear in relationships? Let’s break it down a little. Are your friends cheaters in their relationships, or abusers? Do they try to justify their bad deeds to you?
The more you stay with such friends, the higher your chances of deviating from yourself. Keep friends who share your dreams, morals, and goals.
Your spouse isn’t left out, if your spouse keeps pushing you to do things that are against your core belief, or enticing you to fake who you are, then such spouse will never let you stay true to yourself.
9. Make your opinion clear
The best way to stay true to yourself is by not allowing others to dictate who you are, you have to be the one to feed them with information about who you are.
When matter rises and your opinion is needed, do not shy away from saying your mind. The human mind is designed to fill in the missing gap. If you decide not to make your opinion clear on matters, your spouse will most likely come up with the most suitable assumption of who you are / what you think, which might be far from the truth.
Don’t be scared to tell your partner how you truly feel or your viewpoints on issues, because it is only by doing such things will he/she be able to see the real you.
10. Don’t pay attention to your haters
Most people still fail to understand the power in their tongue. When someone makes an error or is different, they use their weaponized tongues to rip the flesh off the person’s bones.
Now, the fear of getting attacked has made so many people hide their real selves behind a mask that is a more acceptable version.
This also plays out in relationships. In the process of trying to follow the popular ideology of how a relationship should be, we lose ourselves. There is no blueprint of how to make a relationship work. Every human is different, when 2 different persons come together to start a relationship, you ought to find ways to make your relationship work, not the world finding it for you. So shun all those trying to tell you how your relationship should work and find it out yourself with the help of your partner, this way you get to stay true to yourself every step of the way.
11. Improve on your strength and weakness
God and change are the only constant things in this life, every other thing, including you and I, are prone to changes.
To stay true to yourself, you have to know your changes and even control them. Today you may prefer red wine to white wine, but the next day your preferences might change. You need to be aware of such changes in order to be able to stay true to yourself.
To be fair, not everyone is good, if some people reveal their true nature, we may all be horrified. In such a situation, you have to work on yourself to change who you are and not “mask” it.
There is a difference between them both. Changing who you are is just like a cheater working on him/herself to stop cheating for good, doing all that is necessary to stop it. While masking is just lying to your spouse you have changed when you haven’t done any work to change that urge, you will be saying one thing but your lips would be saying another.
12. Take responsibility for your mistakes
Staying true to yourself isn’t just about staying true when all is rosy, it is also about staying true when things go south. If you made a mistake or did something the is wrong, you need to own up to it because that is you and no one is perfect.
If you are ashamed or afraid of what you did, you need to own up to it and make the necessary changes to ensure you never do it again.
By pushing the blame to another, you are denying your true nature and you can not change for the better if you can’t accept who you currently are.
When your actions hurt your partner, stay true to yourself and take responsibility for it, then work on yourself to ensure you never hurt the one you claim to love again.
When you take the easy way out of pushing the blame, you will be unwilling to work on yourself as you will always go for the easy way out at all times.