The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

 

to-thine-own-self-be-true

It isn’t often I find myself quoting Shakespeare!  After all, there isn’t a lot of it that I can recall, let alone use in an everyday conversation.  Nonetheless, I’m going to quote him in this post, as I cannot think of a more appropriate way to start:

“To Thine Own Self Be True”

Have you heard this quote before?  During this past week I started to think about people I have met (even for a fleeting moment) who seemed to be disingenuous.  Looking right at you, their verbiage sounded more appropriate for a high school play, never mind a ‘real’ conversation.

I think you know what I mean.  It’s that person who we might refer to as, ‘phony’, ‘fake’ ‘pretending’.  After encountering a few of these people recently, it dawned on me that they were ‘acting’ their lives away.  Who are they, really?  What’s their motivation to be something other than what/who they true are?

Can you imagine if everyone shed their phony faces and allowed themselves (and us) to see who they are for REAL?  I think it would be very interesting and perhaps downright shocking.  Picture people you know or have encountered recently that acted in such a manner you knew they were providing a false face.  Now picture that person removing the facade.  What do you see now?  Are they a vulnerable, insecure individual, only hoping their ‘pretend self’ will be more palatable for the world to accept, never mind themselves?

I was at a work ‘do’ once, when I spotted the biggest phony in the room.  She was going to come up to me, shake my hand, and tell me how nice it was to see me.  Then she would ask me for a favor; and, depending on how I answered, I’d either get more fake conversation, or I’d be dismissed by a, “Oh, I see so and so over by the sandwiches; have a nice evening”.  Sure enough and on cue, I found myself once again wondering who she ‘really’ was.  This time I decided to have a little fun with her falseness.  I asked HER for a favor; well, I don’t think she could have exited stage left more quickly!

fake-people

Back to the beginning of the post where Mr. Shakespeare provided such a profound statement for the ages.  “To Thine Own Self Be True”; to me, this simply means being your authentic self, being real, being true to who you really are.  It would be an entirely different existence if people stopped the act and showed the world (and themselves) their genuine selves!  I honestly feel when people invent a mask to show others, it is because they don’t feel they would be accepted without it.  We are the only ones who live in our own heads.  If someone else doesn’t like the ‘real’ you, that says a lot more about them than it ever does about you.

Now mind you, I know there are times when we all have to show a certain face when warranted.  For example, in our workplace we have to perhaps be seen with that ‘neutral’ face when really we want to show a, “What on earth do you mean by that?” face!

But I’m talking about those among us who never show who we really are to ourselves or to others.  I think authenticity can equate true happiness if you allow yourself to shed the costume.  It must be exhausting to be untrue to yourself, don’t you think?  The energy it must take would be likened to an actor performing on a stage during every single waking moment!

Here’s another example of the fake-head from my own repertoire.  I was at a gathering where I only knew a few people.  One of the guests of honor went to each table to say hello, blah, blah, blah, and onto the next table.  When it was our ‘turn’, this person gave the most phony, canned rehearsed speech ever.  All of the responses were tied up with a smiley face while the eyes told me this was anything but a ‘smiley’ person.  Cold and calculated, the words were dripping with extreme insincerity.  All I could think about was, “Who are you, really?” This acting job of yours is clearly getting you nowhere fast.

I became aware this person is ‘always’ that way; in other words, they clearly never read Shakespeare! *grin*

So here’s to being true to ourselves, leave the phony faces at the stage door, and finding our authentic selves will do just fine, thank you!

What about you, do you know anyone who chooses to be untrue to themselves?

being-true-to-yourself

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23 thoughts on “Shakespeare Didn’t Lie About This

  1. Michelle says:

    The world – especially the business world – is full of people like that. I always find it’s best to be yourself and if people don’t like it, tough! There are others who will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      I completely agree, dearie! What was it Dr. Seuss said? “Those that mind, don’t matter, and those that matter, don’t mind!” Thank you for your comments, my dear! Cher xo

      Like

  2. Jo (Fallen Angel) says:

    Wow, it feels poignant that I read this today. My manager is one big phony! Underneath her facade she is a very insecure individual, but she covers it by acting confident and by often being quite cold towards us. I wish I could call her out but I wouldn’t want to lose my job. I also wish I could have more empathy for her as she’s obviously not happy, but it’s difficult when someone’s actions directly affect you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      It is a difficult situation to be in, Jo; it really is. But being true to yourself is the most important aspect, I think. And yes, it is very difficult when someone’s actions directly affect you! And as Michelle said in the comments here, it is really prevalent in the workplace. You know, I might post the Shakespeare quote somewhere to remind myself! Thank you for your comments, Jo! Cher xo

      Like

  3. I think we all know people like that. Impossible to avoid meeting them now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      We do, don’t we? Just staying true to ourselves is important! Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean! Cher xo

      Like

  4. Aquileana says:

    Excellent post …. and reminder… Being who we are is so important… but society might force us to act certain ways, that´s a fact. I guess (in a total different level) that´s why modern people choose excesses such as drugs to try to connect with their unconcious desires … and real faces…. I don´t know. I was just thinking of the Celebrity culture if that makes sense…. much love! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Hello dear Aquileana! Ah, thank you so much. You are right; society can force us to act in certain ways. Perhaps societal pressure to be someone that we are not is a huge factor in why we see so many, ‘phonies’. I love the way you write, my dear! Merci and much love to you! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aquileana says:

        Hugs and… Thank you, dear Cher! ♠️⭐️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        Right back at you!! Merci! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Cher 😀
    I have seen this kind of people most in the business world, but also other places.
    I think, their unsecurity about themselves are why, they seem to be another than the real person.
    Many years ago, I was told to be professional in the business world and private in my own life, this could spare myself for much pain.
    Years later I decided to just be myself, which is much more easy.
    I think, this is also very common among young people, who haven’t found themselves yet. By maturity we learn to not think so much about, what other thinks and say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Thank you so much, Irene! Yes, being told to ‘be’ a certain way in nonsense! I agree; to be ourselves is easiest thing (and I feel, the right thing) to do. Young people aren’t so sure who they are, but when they figure it out, they should feel good enough about themselves to BE that authentic person!! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I try to be me most of the time but sometimes I embarrass my kids not by being phoney but by being a bit prone to silliness. That’s the real me the other side of me tends to be a bit quiet and reserved until I get to know you. That’s my natural default but occassionally my introvert tendencies are shunted aside by a desire to be more extrovert. Boy, what a lot of waffle …. I’ve confused myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why Marje, I think this is wonderful for you to show silliness! Yeay!! I think you have a lovely blend of introversion and extroversion! It’s fantastic! Thank you so much for your awesome comments! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes that’s me all over an introvert with extrovert tendencies! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. seaangel4444 says:

        *Biggest grin* And I think that’s lovely to be that way because that it who YOU are! Cher xo

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful post and advice, Cher! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      Why thank you so much, Tonya! I really appreciate it! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think many of these people are wearing a skin to cover up difficult things in their life and are often not very happy inside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. seaangel4444 says:

      I think so too, Hilary. I’ve yet to meet anyone who was ‘phony’ that actually felt happy inside. Very true! Cher xo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Janice Wald says:

    Hi SeaAngel,
    I am a huge Shakespeare fan. I agree we should be true to ourselves. I teach Medieval Times; when I get to the Renaissance I show Romeo and Juliette, my fav. I also like Much Ado About Nothing.
    Thanks for coming by my blog this week. I am glad you liked my post about the 18 Facebook groups that allow self-promotion.
    Janice

    Like

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