Being The Real You

One of the quotes I have taken quite literally is this popular one by André Gide -- It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

Some not too many months ago, I decided to stop trying to let everyone like me. I decided to be true to myself, to let my real self shine through. I thought I was going to lose friends, especially the ones I cared about.

I wouldn't pick phone calls. I wouldn't chat on Facebook. I kept letting unanswered Whatsapp messages pile up. I wouldn't look at my BBM chat messages for an entire week or two. I did the things I enjoyed -- reading like my life depended on it and writing as often as I could. I stopped smiling when what my face wanted to portray was a frown. I stopped saying a lot of the things I didn't mean. I stopped worrying about the things I didn't care about. And I stopped being the person I thought people wanted me to be.

Then a strange thing happened. I didn't lose friends, even the ones I cared about. Though my actions made me withdraw from almost everyone, yet all my friends tried to hold me closer. No one left me because I stopped picking calls. No one shunned me for not responding to their messages on BBM and Whatsapp. They did ask why my sudden disappearance but none felt permanently offended. And it proved to me than you can never completely fool your friends. They will always see through your pretense. They will always know that side of you that you try to hide from them, and the day you expect them to be surprised to find it out you will be the one surprised.

It made it look like I had wasted my time and happiness trying to be who I am not so as to please people who would have been equally pleased if I had been my real self. People who always sensed that part of me I was hiding from them and were not disappointed when it came all out.

I strongly believe that it is better to be the real you not because it is okay to have people hate you for it, but because the people who matter to you won't be surprised or hate you for it. You can never really hide from those who care about you. You only make life harder for yourself by trying to.


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