I've realized so far this year that there are so many people in this world who still long to be carefree. But free is something I've had the pleasure of being for as long as I can remember, because I am without a doubt sure that I am unapologetically who I am, and my mother would agree with me on that.
So why is it such a struggle for some to be free and unapologetically themselves?
If I may offer up a suggestion, I believe the struggle is alive because we bind ourselves by how we are perceived by others. By holding someone else's opinion of us higher than our own, we will always be in encouraged to meet those perceptions. Which also suggests that other's opinion of us matter more than the opinion of ourselves.
Fortunately for me I have been able to accept myself 100 percent. I know myself better than anyone and accept the good, bad and the ugly. This means, however, that I had a hard time early on understanding why other's didn't get that my intention was always good, despite the negative impact of the delivery.
In hindsight, I understand now why I always felt misunderstood, because while my heart was (and is) always in a good place, and although I believe I speak with the most sincere intent, I had to understand that it was easy to label me as someone who is mean or rude because when you don't or refuse to recognize certain truths, the words themselves can be hurtful.
But despite how others perceived me, I never let that taint my perception of myself. I always believed I was a good person, maybe with out a filter, but a good person indeed. I learned to still be myself while preparing others for the boundlessness of my candor.
Here are 5 things I've learned about being unapologetic.
I. SHARE THE BOUNDS OF YOUR PERSONALITY FIRST!
Frankly you should know all the pros and cons of your personality. Additionally you should be able to articulate what it would look like to someone who is your friend or who loves you.
When you are mature you can articulate what those pros and cons are, and give the other party the choice to love you inspite of. But you can only give someone else the choice to accept you as is, when you wholeheartedly accept yourself.
If you want someone to accept you at face value, it doesn't hurt to let people know what they are getting with you in their life. For example explain to them how you are extremely honest, cheap or have no regard for tact. Whatever it is that you know people usually take issue with, let them know what those things are up front, so the they can prepare themselves for what is to come. Then you give them the opportunity to accept or walk away so you don't have to feel any remorse.
Understanding this, comes with the consequence of knowing that you will not always please people or make them feel good. Sometimes you will hurt them. But when you understand the difference between your intent and their perception, this won't impact you as much. You can be unapologetic because eventually you'll learn how to allow them to exist in their hurt without feeling the impact of their emotions.
II. BE YOU, BUT BE WILLING TO CHANGE FOR BETTER, NOT FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
On this walk of life we evolve and grow, we come into contact with others who we regard as friends and may even develop love for. But one thing we often forget is that love, depending on how deep and complex it is, can entice us to change ourselves, to meet their needs. And we often fail to realize that not everything we do is bad, mean or rude, just because it hurts someone else's feelings.
So how do you recognize when you change for better or change to meet someone else's expectation (appeal to their feelings)?
All you have to do is examine your intent/motivation behind your behavior. And be honest with yourself. Ask questions like, "Am I being completely honest?", "Am I trying to hurt this person?" or "Do I want them to feel my pain?" These questions help you examine your intent and motivation, as well as attempt to rationalize the other party's motivation surrounding your change.
This way when someone else comes to you requesting that you change or treat them in a different manner, you can determine whether they are rejecting your behavior because they want to deny your truth, or if they are requesting a change so that you can treat them in the manner they treat you.
Often times we think it is outrageous for people to request us to be anything other then ourselves. And in some instances that may be true, but what I have learned is this, when you are loved by someone who meets all of your needs, it is often easy to require them to accept all of you even at their expense. Which if you love someone, this ideology is selfish. So it's ok to be better for those you love, without compromising who you are, but understand when the intent is not genuine.
III. TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!
The moral code exists for a reason, to ensure the we are holding ourselves accountable for our actions. A part of being unapologetic is understanding that you have an obligation to operate within a moral code.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Simple enough right?
The point is to make sure that you are always content with how you treat others. With that, however, comes understanding that you can not control someone else's response. You have to learn just because you don't appease them, doesn't mean you did wrong by them.
IV. DON'T ACCEPT NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR FROM OTHERS!
This may be the most selfish of the five but it is necessary.
Often times we don't realize how someone else's negative response and behavior impacts us emotionally and/or mentally. Some people refuse to accept that their behavior provokes negative response. Some people also have a hard time accepting that you've been "putting up" with their negative behavior, so they believe it's ok to continue to treat you in that manner. You have to learn NOT to accept negative behavior from others.
Sounds cliché but you really do have to tell/teach people how to treat you.
Otherwise if you don't, you have to accept that many do not yet govern themselves by a moral code, so they don't see any issues with their behavior. They will never understand what your problem is with how they treat you because they have no regard for common courtesy, consideration or respect of others.
Learn to be unapologetic with setting the tone for other's treatment of you. Don't feel bad for requiring more, if they respect you and care about you they will meet your expectation.
V. FORGIVE YOURSELF!
Despite intention, there are times that we will be emotionally impacted by how we make someone else feel.
The people that we allow to impact us are typically those we regard as family and/or individuals we care very deeply about (significant others). It is very easy to embody their feelings as our own, and beat ourselves up for making them hurt in a way that was never our intention.
But in order to be unapologetic you must forgive yourself, first for the pain you may have caused and second for being you.
If you said something that hurt someone else and it was regarded as your truth at the time, despite how you made the other person feel, you need to forgive yourself for being you and move on from it.
If your love and concern for the individual is mutual and real, they will understand and move past their hurt, because they know it was never your intention. So no need in you holding on to their pain and punishing yourself when they will ultimately get over it. Right?
Essentially we are all capable of being unapologetic, but it really encompasses acceptance, acknowledgement and forgiveness.
I encourage you to be yourself, embrace who you are, be clear about the extent of your personality and give people the chance to accept it or deny it. And if they deny you, don't embody that rejection, know that they simply can not appreciate you for who you are. Because there will always be someone who you don't have to change for. And truth be told those who judge you based on your ability to be carefree, wish they had the capacity to be just as liberated.
With that being said there is no reason not to be UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU!
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