The other day I had a coaching session with someone who wanted to improve his social life.
It wasn’t that he never met new people, but rather that it never lead to anything when he did.
“I try my best not to be too polarizing and scare people off,” he told me, “so I try to stick to polite conversation and maybe some nice flirting, but it doesn’t help, it usually just ends after that first conversation.”
“Let me make sure I understand you correctly,” I replied, “when someone is polarizing, that means that some people will like them and some people won’t, right?”
“Yes,” he agreed, “I try to make sure to not do that so that as many as possible will like me.”
“Well, it sounds to me like that’s not really working for you, is it? So what do you think would happen if you started doing and saying exactly what you were thinking?”
“Oh,” he said almost nervously, “I think a lot of people wouldn’t want to be with me.”
“Right,” I said, “but some would?”
“I suppose..” He agreed.
“Isn’t some better than the none that you’re currently getting? And isn’t it better that the people who like you like you for who you actually are, rather than for who you’re pretending to be?”
A lot of people fall into the trap of wanting everyone to like them. Or even worse – to love them. So they try to “play it safe”. They hold back their true thoughts, their real personalities, and avoid the things they really want to do – thinking that it will make more people comfortable.
Which it might. But comfort doesn’t automatically equal attraction.
When we try to be a good fit for everyone, whether it’s in romantic, platonic or professional relationships, we usually end up being the average of all the things we think everyone else wants.
But in truth, what most people react better to than anything else is someone who is unapologetically themselves.
Of course, being unapologetically and unashamedly ourselves also means that some people won’t like or accept us. And that’s ok. Because those who DO like the kind of person we are will LOVE us for showing ourselves to them.
How do I know this? From 15 years of personal and over 10 years of professional experience demonstrating this over and over again to both myself and my clients.
If we try to make everyone love us we’ll have a lot of people who think we’re just fine, nice, polite, safe – and with little to no interesting or attractive personality.
When we show people who we are, what our opinions, our values, our desires, our motivations, our passions are – we will connect deeply with those who are looking for someone like us.
Now, of course, showing our True Self to others can be a little scary at times when we’re not used to it. But by continuously challenging ourselves and living in our Growth Zone, we will get there faster than we think.
So which would you rather be? The person “everyone” thinks is “nice enough” at a distance, or the person that the people who you are a good match with just can’t get enough of?
I know what I’ve chosen.