Word of the Day: Pretense

“What will people think??”

I’ll tell you one thing.. I don’t have a clue and am tired of trying to figure it out!

I can’t keep up with what others might think, nor can I pretend to know what they might think.

I personally find it exhausting to try to determine another’s thoughts, opinions, perspective, and try to mold oneself to that ideal.

What this requires is that I take another person’s view of the world, mix it with their experiences, and then pretend to try to understand what they want, see, or expect.  No, thank you! 😊

I have a hard enough time trying to figure out my own views, thoughts, and opinions.

Reading that, one may think.. “Well.. who would do that??”  “Must be someone very insecure.”  Nope.. we all do it to some degree, if we are honest.  And to some degree it is not only acceptable, but necessary.  There are social norms and there is simply behavior that is inappropriate.

When do we cross over the line?  When does it become pretending to be something we aren’t?


Is it when we don’t send the steak back because it isn’t cooked as we prefer?  Is that being polite or not wanting to appear to be high maintenance?  Some people may say.. “Why pay for something if it isn’t what you wanted?”  Others may say, “What a pain in the ass.”

Is it not expressing oneself so that we don’t appear to be “emotional”?  Is this being considerate?  Is that possibly regrouping and evaluating that emotion?  Or is it under-valuing ones own thoughts or emotions?  Some people may be uncomfortable with open expression.  Others may think by not expressing yourself, you are cold and distant.

I think all of this could potentially be a no-win situation.

So why is it so important to fit in?  To gain approval?  And from whom are we seeking approval?  Who gets to determine what is the “desired” behavior or look?  Rollo May says the opposite of courage is conformity.

Here is the deal.. We have but one life.. Every person here has but one life.  Opinions will always exist.. I have them, you have them, everyone has them!

“Your point of view is no one’s truth but your own.” -don Miguel Ruiz

“No human touches 100% truth.”  -Dr Steve Maraboli

You think this about me.. or I think that about you..  Great!  What does that mean?  Nothing.. except that we are human and we can think.  It is not for me to determine what is right for you or how you should comply with my version of reality.  Therefore, I argue that it is a waste of energy and purpose.

I am guilty.. I have done this on both ends of the spectrum.  Now, however, I decided to stop critiquing others.. how they live, wear, and say.  I am, instead, choosing to just live my own life.

If you simply fit in.. if you simply go along with the crowd.. you are simply only as good as the crowd.

As I have been working with Dr. Steve Maraboli, he has addressed the concept of being “weird” and not fitting in.  Here is the deal.. the fact is that I am even being coached by Dr. Steve himself is because I was/am different.. “weird”.  Finally my quirkiness worked in my favor!  Yay!!  😄

With his coaching, I am able to apply his principles, think through things more clearly, and gain a different perspective on myself.

Slowly but surely I am finding my own way and allowing myself to freely be who I am.  In many ways, if everyone agrees with everything I do and say… then I am living too safely.

A small success story:

Last night I was asked to go uptown for sushi.  I love sushi but anyone who really knows me, knows uptown is not really my thing.  In uptown Charlotte, women are dressed to the 9’s.. killer heels and dresses.  They all look beautiful and perfectly put together.  I knew the restaurant and I knew it was probably inappropriate to wear what I feel absolutely most comfortable wearing.  I seriously was really concerned with what to wear!  I didn’t want to stand out as bum.  I thought.. “Oh my gosh.. do I need to go get something dry-cleaned quickly?  Do I need to go buy something?  And then I thought.. “Wait!  Who are you really and why would you not just be you?”  So I threw on jeans, boots, and a t-shirt.  The concessions I made were jeans without holes and a t-shirt instead of a tank.  I felt beautiful though and I carried myself with confidence instead of being self-conscious trying to walk in heels.  When I was there a woman came into the restaurant and she looked stunning!  Her hair, nails and make-up were perfect.  She had on a dress and some beautiful strappy heels.  For a second, I thought, “Maybe I should have..”.  Then I stopped and instead thought, “She dressed how she feels beautiful and I dressed how I feel beautiful.   Both are right and neither negates the other.

I know that I am not for everyone and guess what?  That is becoming more and more ok with me.



As I continue to try to shed that approval-seeking / have-to-fit-in mentality and live more freely, I have fallen in love with Like a Storm’s, “Love the Way You Hate Me”.  The lyrics are below.. I marked the ones that resonate so loudly to me.  🙂

Love The Way You Hate Me
-Like A Storm

Take another shot at me
I love the way you hate me

I don’t care if I’m not good enough for you
I don’t care if I don’t live the lie you want me to
I don’t care what you wanna think of me

‘Cause all you are is everything that I don’t wanna be

You say I’m a freak
I say I am free
Come take a shot at me
I love the way you hate me

You say I’m insane
I say you’re afraid
I get stronger from the pain
I love the way you hate me

Take another shot at me
I love the way you hate me

You think I’m nothing
‘Cause I’m nothing like you

You think you know me
You have no idea what I’ve been through
So take your shot
Say what you want about me
All you are is everything that I will never be

You say I’m a freak
I say I am free
Come take a shot at me
I love the way you hate me

You say I’m insane
I say you’re afraid
I get stronger from the pain
I love the way you hate me

I’d rather be a sinner than a slave
I’d rather be an outcast than just bow down and obey
When it’s all done there’s only one name upon my grave
I’d rather be a freak than be a fake

Tell me I’m a freak
Tell me I’m a creep
Tell me I’m obscene
Hate me

You say I’m insane
I say you’re afraid
I get stronger from the pain
I love the way you hate me
I love the way you hate me
(I don’t care)
I love the way you
Hate me

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