What are you like when you’re with your family and friends? What are you like when talking to randos at a concert? What are you like with your Uber driver? What are you like sitting next to a chatty, and questionably tipsy stranger on a plane? Which reminds me: Anna Kendrick once tweeted “Tipsy on a plane is my best self.” I was like yeah, me too shawty, you’re onto something. What are you like when drunk Steve approaches you at the bar and inaugurates a conversation premised on Kim Jung Un, Stranger Things, and the dangers of global warming? Go away drunk Steve.
Given the situation, we’re not always the same version of ourselves.
At times I’m more or less of each depending on behavioral triggers (who, what, when, where, and why) : trusting, agreeable, argumentative, creative, circuitous, direct, approachable, out-going, declamatory, empathetic, formal or informal, relaxed, rhetorical, pragmatic, etc.
Who are you and what are you like?
The answer(s) to that is more than subjective when the layers are peeled back. It’s not as simple as your tinder bio, and it certainly is not as simple as a few describing adjectives.
It sometimes takes the perspective of another person to make you aware of an attribute you have, but didn’t necessarily see or use in the past to describe your persona. People see things in us that we’re subconsciously unaware of; good things, bad things, and all things between.
If it’s bad, you’ll either react to it, roll with it, or use it as constructive criticism.
If it’s good, you should dabble in it, try to be aware of it the next time you act in a smiliar manner.
Whether it’s good, whether it’s bad, be introspective and figure out what your triggers are for each of them.
I mean think about it, our perception of others plays on the perception of us and whether we feel the need to hold back, be open and talk freely, act playful and engaged, or censored and polite.
For example, your family ‘s familiar with the sides of you that they’ve seen probably all your life, traits that stood out even as a toddler. For me, it was wanting to talk and always having something to say. I had no chill. I was sassy, I had attitude, unlike my siblings I never let my parents help me with school work (is it too late to start asking them for help on assignments now?), I was far from shy and wanting to march to the beat of my own drum. Rules, I don’t know about those.. Speaking without arguing back, teach me how… BUT, now, as a young adult, I’m a little more tame, polite, not as sassy or bossy (I think), and well aware of rules and guidelines.
Conversations come in all shapes and sizes. You have small talk; out of touch, standard “How are you? How’s school? The weather has been crazy.” etc. Eh, don’t hate it, don’t love it, want to move past it.
Then you have engaging conversations that have you walking away feeling inspired and energized.
I think of it as a mental aid in expanding your perspective; seeing things in a new light, pondering what you’ve pondered in the past but with a new approach, observing and analyzing new approaches, promoting new ideas and asking new questions. Give me alllllll of that. Elaborate conversations that effortlessly flow and are delightfully organic.
You know what really does it for me aside from real life conversations? Podcasts. Oh, bless ’em.
It makes me feel like a dog who’s been stuck inside all day, and then finally has the chance to hop in the car for a ride and is downright jovial from sticking his/or her head out the window, letting their ears flip, flap, and flop, their tongues fighting and waving with the wind, feeling that fresh air and feeling excited, at ease, and relieved. My dog once told me word for word that’s how she feels when she hops in the car with me as I append my conquest through the Chick-fil-a drive thru. We get each other.
Do you ever catch yourself speaking with someone and actually being impressed at the version of you you’re being? It’s not that you’re “not being you”, it’s unleashing what you’re already equipped with, and sometimes it takes another person’s perspective and mannerisms for that version of you to surface, come out of hiding and out to play.
Roll with it, expand on it, dabble in it, and see what you have hiding up your proverbial sleeve. You’re a character and you’re malleable, you’re able to adapt and facilitate attributes. Transpire. Acclimate— And be mindfully aware of it.
We don’t have to be concrete beings. We don’t have to abide to what we believed to be true yesterday. It’s okay to contradict ourselves; to think a little differently than we’re accustomed to. It’s the gateway to growth, a path to something new, to thinking outside of the binary box that doubles as our premeditated selves.