STOP PRETENDING

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

We all do it at one time or another. 

We pretend that things are okay when they're not. We pretend that we feel well when we don't. We pretend that what someone has said or done to us is okay when it's not.

field of flowers

When To Stop Pretending

I am a firm believer in picking your battles and turning the other cheek at times, but what happens when pretending becomes fully entrenched in our lives and we are unable to stop its vicious cycle. 

What happens when we pretend so much that we lose who we are? 


be careful who you pretend to be

 How do we know when this has happened? How do we know when we need to stop pretending?

I believe there is a time when we know in our hearts, minds, and bodies that pretending has become unhealthy for us. 

In rediscovering the essential me, one of the things I am discovering is that I do a lot of pretending. 

There are many reasons that we pretend, but for me, I believe that it has to do with several things. I was conditioned to believe I had to be perfect. I don't want to hurt anyone else's feelings. I really hate confrontation. 

two butterflies on flowers

I also know that the time has come for me to stop the excessive pretending. 

By suppressing who I really am and allowing others to do and say things to me that aren't okay I am hurting myself both physically and mentally. 

I also know although I may have an MS in Counseling Psychology, which helps me to recognize and understand when this is happening to other people, I don't always want to recognize and admit that it has happened to me. 

How To Stop Pretending

So how do you and I stop the cycle of pretending?

field of pink flowers

I recently found these tips on the Unbounded Spirit.

1) Learn to say “No." To say “Yes” is not a bad thing, but to say “Yes” when your heart feels like saying “No” is certainly not a good thing. Never be afraid to express your true thoughts and feelings, even if they oppose those of others. Stop trying to please others if you don’t feel like it (Remember: helping is one thing, sacrificing yourself is another).

2) Don’t imitate. Everyone is different so everyone should live his or her own way. To follow another’s way of life simply means to suppress yourself. Create your own path and walk on it.

3) Speak the truth. Be honest first with yourself and then with those you come in contact. To lie means to be in an endless kind of anxiety because each lie must be covered up by another lie, and so on ad infinitum. Being honest is the best way to be at peace with yourself and others. 

4) Dare to be alone. It is better to be alone and yet true to yourself and confident in who you are than to be in the company of others by lying out of fear. Only once you have overridden the fear of being alone, will you be able to let go of the need for social approval. This, in turn, will allow you to build genuine relationships.

5) Do what you Love. No matter what others expect from you, don’t compromise your way of life. Whatever you enjoy doing, keep on doing, whether others like it or not. This will keep you tuned into your inner voice.

The older I get the more I realize that life is too short to not be true to who we are. 

stop pretending

Unbecoming You: 21 Days Of Living Life On Your Own Terms

Unbecoming You book


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Comments

  1. Great post Laura. I have had to learn to say NO too sometimes. That is hard. I am a pleaser and for a long time felt more excepted to be the giver and not the taker in life. That can burn you out and age your soul for sure. It is in my personality to be a giver and be generous but I have learned that I do not have to always be the giver I can sometimes say no. Make life so much better. Glad to see our post this morning. Have a good week. xoxo Kris

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  2. I totally agree! I've learned in the last 10 years or so... NOT to just go along with what others want. You need to stand up for what YOU believe and WHO you are! It is hard sometimes.. as I've always been a people pleaser too..... it still is hard to say "no" sometimes, but I do, usually.. and feel so much better for it and stayed true to my own feelings. In all of my work years, I was always the people pleaser and the one "who got along with anyone".. even mean and nasty bosses! Not anymore! of course, not working now so don't have to deal with that! xoxo Marilyn

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  3. I'm getting better at this as I get older, but I am the great pretender when it comes to trying to make others happy. I never want to disappoint my kids or loved ones, so sometimes I say yes, too often.

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  4. I am also a pretender when it comes to not hurting others' feelings, or avoiding confrontation. Great post.

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