First Dates: Just Be Yourself? | The Soulmates Blog
One of the biggest dating mistakes that I constantly see people falling into has me amazed. No, not because it's not an easy mistake to make. That all having been said, I think far better advice than "be yourself" is "share yourself." People who struggle at dating tend not to put themselves out there much. To be fair, "just being yourself" is actually something that works really well -- but for someone who's struggling with it, just telling them to do it wo.
What you find is no matter where you turn everyone keeps saying the same damn thing. Those three words that every well-meaning but semi-clueless person tells you: Besides, what does that even mean? Now watch your Ideal Self go through the date. Observe your body language.
The way you sit, the way you talk, your eye contact, the way you interact with your date, with strangers, with everybody. Remember, your Ideal Self is somebody who already has everything you could want.
5 Reasons 'Just Be Yourself' Is Terrible Dating Advice
When you already have everything you want, what sort of thoughts do you have? What are you looking to get from this date?
Is this Ideal Self worried about saying the wrong thing? Is he bombarding her with questions trying to learn every detail of her life? Is he talking about himself, hoping he sounds cool and impressive? Or are his thoughts and actions a bit more relaxed, a bit more playful? In fact, the more OK you are with being nervous, the less nervous you will feel.
But if you try to fight it, it will get worse. It keeps you stuck. When a friend tells you to "just be yourself," they probably don't know what you are like on a date. Even if you are the most awesome, relaxed, charming, smart and funny version of yourself with your friends, maybe that's not how you are on a date!
When we get nervous, self-conscious or afraid of being hurt dating is a vulnerable thing! This includes self-sabotaging patterns like becoming uncharmingly cocky, holding ourselves back in a way we never would with friends or putting on a mask and trying to be liked instead of focusing on finding out if we like the other person.
This is not our authentic self; it's based on fear-based strategies to protect the heart. If "being yourself" includes self-sabotaging strategies like these, the advice to "just be yourself" will keep these patterns in place instead of helping you to break free from them.
Become aware of the strategies you use to "protect" yourself when you get nervous or fearful -- and the consequences that they have hint: Find one small thing that you can do on your next date to start the process of slowly breaking the pattern. Choose something that makes you feel challenged but not scared, practice it and see the difference. It's a lot to ask!
Find Dating Success: Avoid The ‘Identity Trap’ And Be Yourself
But let's assume that you do -- it's still a vulnerable thing to show yourself to the world. Especially to someone you just met, who you like and who has the power to hurt or reject you.How To Be Yourself (In Dating) - Part 1
To be fair, "just being yourself" is actually something that works really well -- but for someone who's struggling with it, just telling them to do it won't help. It's like telling someone at the gym to "just be strong" instead of giving them a workout plan. It won't help them.
5 Reasons 'Just Be Yourself' Is Terrible Dating Advice | HuffPost
Give yourself time and space to figure out who you are, and then, step by step, start to share it with others. Maybe for you it's about expressing your opinions more clearly, or your emotions. I am sure there is more to you than what you are currently showing to the world.
Don't hide it, because the world needs it and you deserve to be free to express yourself fully! Remember to be kind to yourself, aware of how your brain works and proud of your progress. Linnea Molander is a dating coach, freelance journalist and blogger for Match.