How to overcome your need to fit in

Your real friends will appreciate you for you — quirks and all.

The question: I feel like I’m never myself in social situations. It is almost like I’m a chameleon and I just try to blend in with everyone else. I’m not sure exactly why I’m like this. Do you have any insight into this and tips?

My guess is that you get anxious in social situations because you fear how people might respond. Perhaps you’re afraid of rejection or judgment and you adapt by trying to be like others. Though it may make sense on one level, you’re missing out on being you, while others miss out on seeing who you truly are. Follow this exercise taken from my book, “BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life in 28 Days.”

1. Before you can be yourself you must know who you are: for example, what you stand for and what makes you tick. Know where you come from and where you’re going. How would you describe yourself if someone asked? Be able to give such a description with ease and confidence. Make a list of your convictions, beliefs, passions, values and strengths.

2. Understand the role that hiding behind a mask plays in your life. Are you shy, anxious or unsure? Do you feel inadequate? Or perhaps you are afraid to shine or dislike attention. If so, seek help to address any underlying issues.

3. Practice expressing yourself by writing out your thoughts and feelings, including how you feel about yourself, situations you might experience on a daily basis and people you might encounter during the day. Learn to express yourself clearly.

4. Don’t care so much about how others perceive you. The more you do, the more you are trying to fulfill their expectations and not your own.   

5. Do away with social comparisons. They only lead to resentment and move you away from being who you truly are.

6. Finally, practice opening up to people you trust by starting a conversation, talking about your day and how you feel. Be honest and forthright when expressing yourself.

- Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. His new book, “BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life
in 28 Days,” is available at major booksellers and Amazon. Follow him online at www.jonathanalpert.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jonathanalpert) and on Twitter @jonathanalpert.  

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

National

Donut capers stymie police in Oregon

For more than a month, mysterious vandals have been smearing pastries on cars, depositing donuts in lawns and leaving cakes strewn about the streets.

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.