Staying true to yourself is the most important and loving thing you can do. It isn’t easy because we can forget ourselves in the activities that we do. I know that I am one to forget myself. Over the past few years I am staying true to myself more and more. It can take many forms, some harder than others. The harder the task the more deeply I grow within myself. It is a beautiful, peaceful, and rewarding event to do.
Someone close to me has been having a hard time staying true to himself (or listening to himself). He has become sad and angry because he was scared to do what he needed to do for fear of losing me. I wanted to share with you the ways I have learned to listen to myself.
1. Say NO!
Saying no is a huge deal. When someone says “no” it can upset other people. If I don’t want to kiss on the first date, I will say no. Saying “no” gives you POWER. It also can show you about the other person. When someone hears “no”, they can either respect that or push you. If a person can’t handle hearing no isn’t your place to give in and do what they want. You lose respect for yourself.
DON’T GO AGAINST YOURSELF TO PLEASE SOMEONE ELSE! Say NO and MEAN IT
2. Set Boundaries and Stick to them
Know what your limits are and don’t break them. If I don’t like sleeping in the same bed with someone, I need to set that boundary with my partner and keep the wall up. This does two things. It lets me know that I AM IMPORTANT and WORTHY of my personal space and needs. Second, it let’s the other person know how they need to RESPECT ME. If I am constantly breaking my own boundaries, it will shows others that I am weak and will cater to them. PEOPLE WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE!
3. Know what you want and why
One of the only ways to stick to NO and your boundaries is to know what you want and why. I know that I can’t sleep in the same bed with someone for more than 4 days because it causes me to lose my energy and strength. I become irritable and lazy. Since I do not want to feel that way I set these limits and I say NO. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND WHY YOU (truly) WANT IT! This is such an important factor in being able to do the first two points. You LOSE YOURSELF every time you don’t know what you want and why.
The why is just as important as the want. Knowing why gives you strength during those times you need to say no. Knowing why creates a strong bond within yourself because there is complete clarity.
4. Never lose yourself for someone else
This is probably one of the hardest to do. It creeps up slowly. You do this by giving in to tiny things over and over again through time. If you love to volunteer and your partner doesn’t, you may find yourself slowly finding excuses to not do the charity work you always did. Going to see his parents one Tuesday night instead of volunteering at the local soup kitchen, turns in to canceling three or four times to never going again. THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! If you love dancing around the house when you feel an energy flow, but are too afraid of what your partner will think (if they live with you), DON’T STOP! You want to keep this part of you because it is the part of you that loves and breathes. It is who you are at the core. Yes, it is true people can help you find yourself. If you are doing it because you know deep inside it’s better than who you were before.
5. You don’t need to care about the same things are your partner or friends
It is okay to have different interests. Why would you want to spend all your time doing stuff together? I used to do EVERYTHING with my ex’s and friends. I never did things I liked to do because it was easier to go along with the ride. I learned over time that having different interests kept distance in the relationship. Distance isn’t a bad thing. It can create desire and a chance to miss the person you love. Jonathan rarely does things without me. This caused a great deal of tension in the relationship because he wouldn’t put his needs first. Instead of going to basketball every Wednesday, he would watch movies with me all night. I know he wants to get the exercise and hang out with friends, but he was afriad to leave my side. (I never wanted to go because I am not a big fan of basketball.)
It is PERFECTLY FINE to not like or care about everything your partner does.
6. Walk Away when needed
If something doesn’t suit you any more for whatever reason, WALK AWAY! Do not stay in a relationship because you are afraid to lose love, money or attention. Only be in a relationship if you feel it is what you need to do for you. If someone is disrepecting you constantly, leave them. If you know you need to move out the house because you need space to think. DO IT! Staying in a relationship that doesn’t serve you on a deeper level is more damaging to your soul than leaving. Leaving when you feel trapped is freeing and can open your mind to something bigger.
Take it from someone who spent 5 years with someone not following every bullet mentioned in this article. When the marriage ended, I HAD NO IDEA WHO I WAS! I cried. I felt lost and confused. It took me years to build myself up again. It was the best thing that happened to me. I wouldn’t let it happen again. It’s terrifying not knowing who you are because everything you thought you knew about you was gone. Gone because the one you gave it too was no longer around. STAY TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE! It is not worth losing.
(These can be used in intiment realtionships, friendships, or even the jobs we have)