#Beyourself, #greatpretender, #landmarkforum, #simonsinek, Badassery, vulnerability

The Great Pretender

“We live in a world where we don’t say what we are thinking and feeling, we say what we think other people want to hear.” Kyle Cease

When I published my book last year, I was petrified what people would think. I assumed I would be judged and that is why it took me so long to just do it. I actually lost my entire book at one point because I did not back it up to a zip drive and the laptop crashed. I attempted to re-write it, eliminating parts that may make people uncomfortable; however the same story played in my head again the same way as I wrote it the second time.

To me, my book is JUST A STORY. It is a story I created in my head with some true and untrue things. I changed a lot of my story because…I can. My past cannot define who I am. I wrote from the heart, I wrote my from soul, and I wrote whatever popped in my head regardless if it made sense, really happened or who I thought of when I wrote it. If I wrote exactly what happened with an outline and bullet points; I may have lost connection to the reader.

I have had many people provide feedback like “I could not put it down” or “I was reading non-stop and then something happened and I stopped.” etc. I believe the people who “could not put it down” are the ones who read it as “just a story”. The ones who stopped and  “got stuck” seem to be the ones who know me very well and “get stuck” just like the protagonist in the story did. They began to try and find the facts, figure out what is true and what isn’t, and feel those feelings so personally that it became too painful, uncomfortable, overwhelming, exciting, infuriating, invigorating, sad or humiliating.

Either way, it is a compliment.

I have never felt like I belonged anywhere because I’ve always said what I meant, felt or thought. Many times people were offended or viewed my words as a weakness, stupid or my honesty blunt or abrasive.

Therefore, I viewed myself as weak, weird and that I did not fit in. Oddly, once I completed my book, my past seemed to stop defining me. Perhaps because I faced it, embraced it and moved on; I realized that the past can be changed and it truly is just a story. I found it to be very therapeutic being real, raw and honest.

There is nothing more attractive to me than someone who speaks the truth about their emotions or thoughts. If you are a guy on a first date and feeling nervous AF, say “I am thinking so hard of something to good to say” or  “I am nervous AF”. That is SEXY AF to me. If you play the “cool card” and behave aloof, distant and stand offish (dickish); then you may attract the same person who finds this attractive because they also are not being themselves.

Instead of talking about some lame weather comment in an elevator, say what you think or feel “elevator rides are always so awkward aren’t they?”

The definition of “Stand off” is a situation in which neither of two opposing groups or forces will make a move until the other one does something, so nothing can happen until one of them gives away;  a stalemate

If people keep “pretending” to be themselves then there is a deadlock and intimacy can never happen. “Pretending” to be happy. “Pretending” to be fine. I attended a conference called THE LANDMARK FORUM this weekend and it was a mind-blowing experience. This Forum brings a new meaning to “BEING YO SELF”. Trust me, everyone should go!

It seems like I can now see ….clearly. Human interaction makes so much more sense. Of course a movie popped in my head that portrays exactly what happens. (This is an example from the movie Swingers.)

Mike: So how long do I wait to call?
Trent: A day.
Mike: Tomorrow.
Sue: Tomorrow, then a day.
Trent: Yeah.
Mike: So two days?
Trent: Yeah, I guess you could call it that, two days.
Sue: Definitely, two days is like industry standard.
Trent: You know I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it’s like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money. What do you think?
Sue: Yeah, but two’s enough not to look anxious.
Trent: But I think three days is kind of money. You know because you…
Mike: Yeah, but you know what, maybe I’ll wait 3 weeks. How’s that? And tell her I was cleaning out my wallet and I just happened to run into her number.
Charles: Then ask her where you met her.
Mike: Yeah, I’ll ask her where I met her. I don’t remember. What does she look like? And then I’ll asked if we fucked. Is that… would that be… T, would that be the money?
Trent: You know what. Ha ha ha Mike, laugh all you want but if you call too soon you might scare off a nice baby who’s ready to party.
Mike: Well how long are you guys gonna wait to call your babies?
Trent, Sue: Six days.

In Swingers, the entire movie Mike is struggling with a break up and listening to his friends about how to act in the dating scene and “bag some beautiful babies”. He’s awkward, uncomfortable and does not fit in the whole movie. His two buddies say what they think everyone wants to hear and they are bagging chics non-stop (who are also pretending). Finally at the end, Mike meets a girl who is also going through a break up. They are both honest, real, awkward but their chemistry explodes. Mike whips out some ballroom swing dancing at the end leaving his “great pretender” buddies mind-blown and jaws dropped open.

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In the moment, we are always feeling something so if you say what you are feeling, another person may respond like “I know what that feels like” and connect with you. When you feel one way, but pretend to be another way, this mixed signal will have others put their walls up and pretend too.

Say what you FEEL. Say what you MEAN. MEAN what YOU SAY. Be REAL. Be AUTHENTIC. Be YOU.

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