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Zer Netmouse
January 5th, 2006
03:03 pm


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Are you brave enough to be yourself in public?

Do you think you should be?

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure that I know who I am, but to the extent that I do know myself, what I am in public is mostly me. I could still be braver, though.
Date:January 5th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
Since the notion of "yourself" must include the way one behaves in public, it is impossible not to "be yourself" at any moment. If one aspect of my personality is to be shy and silent in public, then I am myself: a shy and silent person when in public.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
i show little parts of myself in public... but they are always true parts... i am a bit more wary now as exposing my whole self right away has gotten me into some painful, and even dangerous, jams in the past.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2006 10:23 pm (UTC)
Often, yes. In fact, I've been criticized for so doing.
[User Picture]
Date:January 5th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
I don't think that modifying my behavior in public constitutes "not being myself" unless I'm putting on a whole different persona. No one looks dorkier than someone trying too hard to "be cool." :)

But generally, I'm not too different in public than in private; I am a private person to an extent, though, and will modify what information I give away through words or actions according to how "safe" I feel in a given setting.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
Sometimes. Not always.

And sometimes I think I should be more brave about it.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC)
Yes, and yes. Though I'm only, of course, speaking for myself; and "shoulds" in general I think are dangerous territory. *grin*
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2006 01:40 am (UTC)
I wonder--- it seems public "personas" get short shift.

If a person is only one "person," has only one face, it seems as weird in this society as having only one set of clothes, and showing them all to everyone might seem inconsistent; confusing.

Who is your "self?" The one you show to the stranger on the train, the one you hide from your mother?

I have self I show only to you, and one I show only to Bill, and some of each I don't show to Edward, who has seen more of what I show intentionally than pretty much anyone.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
Brave enough? Yes.

Do I? Not always, as being myself often results in too high levels of puzzlement amongst the people I interact with. But even if not "myself", I always remain at least a subset of myself, rather than part of anyone else.

I suspect that answers the "do you think you should be part too".

Good question.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
Honestly, it depends on the public. I'm a different person at work than I am at conventions, for example, and I was a different person as a teacher. (If that makes any sense.)
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2006 05:12 am (UTC)

Role stress

It depends on the public. I think I am more myself in public than I am in private, at least when "public" means "strangers". It's much easier to relax and be myself when I don't know anyone. I try to stay that relaxed, comfortable person when I am with my friends.

But when I am with my family, I am very careful. Anything that any of them can interpret as me taking a side, changes the balance of power.
[User Picture]
Date:January 6th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Some have commented to me that they are amazed at how freely I will be true to myself in public regarding controversial issues and oddball interests. Anything I might gain by staying silent about them is not worth the cost. But I am not quite so confident when it comes to being myself in social settings.

I feel like I have been much more able to be myself since entering fandom than I was during the church years. There are fewer expectations to meet. But of course, expectations are still there. And ironically, in a culture with looser rules, it's more difficult to know how to behave than it is in a rigid society.

I frequently expect to miscalculate someone and interact with them wrongly. I did not receive much training in how to detect the limits and preferences of individuals, and how they change when they combine with the company of other people. Every person is their own culture, and so is every duo, and every trio, each with its own norms.

I'm not bad at it, but could be better. There are several others I've observed who display a seemingly effortless capacity to know what behavior would be acceptable and what lines not to cross, and I observe them closely.
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC)
I was extremely introverted as a pre-teen, mostly due to some rather bad teacher/peer experiences. It took me years to learn to not only accept my oddities, but to enjoy myself for them. I've found that the kind of person who likes me, seeing me in all my weird glory, is often the sort of person I will like in return. Hiding behind a cool exterior tends to bring me friends I never should have wanted in the first place.

So, to answer your question, yes, I'm myself in public. I'm even myself in LJ, at least according to other people who'd notice.

This doesn't take into account "personality flexing", which I consider to be a mostly subconscious reaction (such as picking up someone else's accent), and not the same as hiding who you really are.
[User Picture]
Date:January 16th, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
To put it a different way - if someone grins when I do something impulsively silly, I've accomplished two things at once - I've made someone feel good, and I've figured out who has my sense of humor. Score!
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