Ok breathe...think of kittens, soft cuddly kittens...think of cute guys in sweater vests...release the anger...don't hold a grudge......
This post is in response to a post on Beyond Black & White that I feel has a few contradictions I want to point out. The post I'm talking about is, Like Bees to Honey, Be Charming...It's Totally Easy and Well Worth it.
Let's start with the major contradiction of the article. The article is about being charming along with examples about how to be charming (e.g., using good manners, complimenting people, remembering people's names, talking about what interests them etc.)...yet in more than one paragraph the author talks about how one should always be themselves! If someone starts being charming then they are no longer being themselves, they are enacting the behaviours (e.g., using good manners, complimenting people, remembering people's names, talking about what interests them etc.) of someone who is more charming than they normally are!!! Here are some gems:
"Have you ever been in the company of a person that made you feel instantly at ease? You can’t quite put your finger on it, but its a pleasantness that certain people give off about themselves...Have you ever wondered what that was? And better yet, how can you become that person?" Then she goes on to say...
"Small subconscious cues work against you when you aren’t being yourself, and it isn’t so complicated to pick up on from those observing you. Now, instead of connecting with people, you have shown yourself to be insecure, reserved, and/or shady. I become apprehensive...When I meet a person who I can tell isn’t being themselves, I wonder what is it about themselves that makes them want to hide? Personal judgement of oneself can cause a person to ‘fake’ what they think is a more appropriate demeanor in order for them to be accepted...Who is willing to accept a person who does not first accept themselves??"So you are giving advice to people about how to become a charming person and how this helps you to get along with others and at the same time telling them to not to change and just be themselves! Here are some statements that show the author has a double standard when it comes to judging people,
"One of the most hurtful things that can happen to a person is for them to be suddenly judged by another. It makes one feel less than, inferior and out of place. Judgement can make a person feel as if they aren’t good enough, and it can shake their sense of self...Bias and disapproval from strangers which comes wrapped up in a neat package of subtle social cues can contribute to depression, self esteem and overall health."Did you see it? The author says judging people can be very hurtful and harmful but previously she did exactly that! Now tell me, when the author said "you have shown yourself to be insecure, reserved, and/or shady. I become apprehensive...When I meet a person who I can tell isn’t being themselves, I wonder what is it about themselves that makes them want to hide?" was that not judgmental!!? So it's wrong to judge other people, well as long as they are being who YOU think is their real self. If you sense they are being unnatural in any way then judge away! Forget the idea that maybe they are trying hard to improve themselves or maybe they are just socially awkward. Nope, you are an expert judge of who strangers really are and if they don't conform to the way you think they should be then they must have low-self esteem or they are hiding something. In previous posts this author has come to the defense of BW who act hard and angry by explaining that it's their defense mechanism, we don't know the hardships they are going through, and we shouldn't judge...but in the case of people who are not being who she thinks is "their true selves" then they should be judged and she assumes they don't like themselves.
"People love nothing more than to talk about themselves. I don’t care what it is that you have to say, I’ll listen and do my best to engage you in the conversation. I won’t behave as if I’m bored, that’s rude and how would I feel if someone did that to me?" What happened to being "the real you" and if you are bored shouldn't you act bored or change the subject instead of being fake and acting like you are interested? People can tell if you're not interested.
On all of my posts I think I have been pretty consistent. Sometimes I throw in a "be yourself" to appease those who always complain about advice to improve themselves or act better. But really, if you have read any of my posts you know that I have no problem with people enacting new behaviours and mannerisms, making them a habit, and reinventing themselves as better people than they were before. In my opinion, you don't have to be yourself, especially around people you don't know or just met if it will hurt you in the long run. Being yourself is something you do with friends, family, and romantic partners and even then, you have to be nice (even if you don't want to) in order to keep them around. If you have good self-awareness then you will know things about yourself that are unpleasant and you can change those things instead of "keeping it real". If the real you is unpleasant, angry, mean, or self-loathing then by all means CHANGE!
For instance, more than once on BB&W someone has written in about how much they don't like themselves or feel like they are unattractive...so what's this author's advice? Should these women continue to act like they hate themselves? Should the writer who said she feels ugly continue to act like she's ugly by avoiding eye contact with people, avoiding social events, hiding her face, shutting herself up in the house, and abandoning the idea that she will ever find someone to love her? NO!!! You try to improve yourself because that would benefit you more in the long run! You start doing things that you can be proud of to improve your self-esteem. You look for people who will appreciate you even if this is against your nature because this will make you feel better in the long run. You find out tips and techniques other women use to improve their looks and start using them so that you look better. If you don't change then nothing will change. No matter what you do, you will always be yourself.