This was me. 1984. Social on the phone, but not so social in person (gotta love the hair!).
As thankful as I am that I’m not a teenager anymore, I laugh now at how uncomfortable I was in my own skin.
That lasted through much of my 20’s and into my 30’s. Going to a party was like being put into the dragon’s mouth of fire (not an uncommon feeling for an introvert).
“Oh, God – who’s going to be there? What should I wear? Will people like this outfit? What if people don’t want to talk to me? What am I going to say?”
It was like a million little flies of discomfort swarming through my body. So most of the time I wouldn’t go.
It so translated to how I related in the rest of my life. At school, at work, with “being seen” in different ways.
Until I got clear that I didn’t want to feel like a million little flies were swarming through my body anymore. That I wanted to be ME when I showed up at a party and in my life. I was done not feeling comfortable in my own skin. It was time for a change.
But before we go into that change, let’s look at how I and you might show up at a party when we’re not being our authentic or true selves. I’ve broken it down into 10 personality “presenters” – it’s the face we put on when we’re with other people so we’re liked or accepted (at least we believe this will get us liked and accepted):
- The agree-er – Whomever you’re talking to, you agree and comply with whatever they’re saying. No opinion or discernment with what you’re really thinking.
- The competitor – You bring the best dish you can to the potluck, or the best beer, or the best clothing so you can outshine the rest. My story is better than your story!
- The prover – I can show you how it’s done!
- The corner sitter – You tend to spend most of the time at the party in the corner not engaging or hovering around the food table to not engage with people. The fear of being judged is too strong to want to talk to people.
- The loudest – You are the center of the party. There’s nothing more powerful than having the attention on you as you tell your story or make a joke.
- The martyr – You share how much you’ve been doing to help other people or support your children. “Look at me and all that I’m doing to help the world” is behind your words.
- The gossiper – You think you’re connecting with people at the party when you talk about other people that aren’t in the room as if what they are doing or not doing is wrong or unbelievable.
- The complainer – There’s so much to complain about! You can have joint complaints and group complaining conversations about the government, the next door neighbor, or the maid. This can easily slide into anger and how pissed off you are about or at someone or something. Belief to be a great connecting conversation that will make you a part of the group.
- The self-deprecating jokester – You love to say funny things about yourself that funnily put yourself down to make others laugh.
- The perfectionist – You don’t go unless you have the perfect outfit, your hair is perfect or your dish is perfect.
These may have made you laugh, or gotten you really pissed off and want to punch me. Either way, take a close look at who you’re being – take a look at the truth.
I was many of these. Can you guess which ones? I laugh when I think about it, and see the humanness that I and you have in presenting with these.
What got me thinking about these party personalities this week is that I spent last weekend with 5 women in a house for a tango festival. It brought up memories of how I use to be and how I am now.
I feel so comfortable and happy in my own skin, and who I am as a person.
I feel joyful to engage with people and love to connect from my true self instead of this facade I use to put on so people didn’t see the fear and insecurity I had in myself.
Make a deal with yourself today: that you’re going to commit to being your true self. Even if you don’t know what it is yet. I promise having the million little flies gone is worth it.
Categories: Health & Happiness, Heart Centered Living