Do you ever wonder if we’re just who we’re around in the moment? – Mae Morton, The Photograph, February 2020.
Many years ago I had a friend who was dating a gentleman who was much older than she was. She would never bring him around the family gatherings. When one day she announces “he’s coming to the July 4th event. No one made a big deal about it, she could change her mind at any moment so there was no need to get all excited, she did that a lot. While we are setting up and getting every thing in place, she tells us “behave yourselves” or “don’t talk about the other me.” It was something like that, can’t remember the exact wording. What I can remember is we made fun of her for a good while saying things like “oh you can’t be your real self around this old man.” We were younger than we are now of course so to us he was old, but not really he was just older.
We’ve all done it, don’t act like you haven’t. Changed your behavior when you are around people you don’t know or even those you do. How many of you heard your parents on the phone when they put that handle business voice on? With my own eyes I saw my mother change her entire demeanor when talking to a teacher, but when we stepped in the car all hell broke loose.
As much as we like to believe we are the same person around everyone we come in contact with, we are not. It’s my belief we all have more than side. Just because you have more than one side or know how and when to behave in a certain manner does not make you a “sellout” it makes you a person who understands everyone is not entitled to every piece of you. Think about it, when you’re at work you don’t give your coworkers the family you and I am pretty certain they don’t get the party you. Even on those team building events, you still carry yourself in a way that doesn’t give them the full you, and that’s ok because you can be pretty sure they are not giving you all of them.
The authentic you does not mean you have to give everybody access to all of you. It just means being true to yourself and what you believe. They have the option to accept it or not.