We’ve all been asked to tell others about ourselves, whether in a job interview, on a date, during a casual conversation while in line waiting for coffee – we’re all asked about who we are.
What do you usually say first?
Do you tell people what you do for a living before you tell them your name?
Do you explain that you’re a mom before you ever utter your occupation?
Do you often ask others about themselves first, or are you seemingly always on the receiving end of inquiries?
Take online dating for example. I know a few people who have used this very helpful tool, I’ve used it before and one of the most awkward things to do is to build your profile.
First, you have to choose a picture. We live in an age where everyone has a somewhat decent camera on their cell phones, so there’s no excuse to say that you don’t have a photo. The response is usually, “Take one.” Then the panic sets in. Oh my gosh. I’m not wearing make-up. My hair is a mess. I haven’t slept in a couple days so I have bags under my eyes big enough to carry groceries home in.
So, you skip the photo part and move on to the box where you can explain who it is that you’re looking for. Hmmm…now you actually have to think about it. What traits do I want this person to have, what are absolute turn-offs or deal-breakers, etc. Then the next part is usually, tell your viewers about yourself and use at least 300 words. At this point in this blog, I’m at 280.
Scroll up. To have to write that much about yourself can be terrifying, especially if you don’t have a good sense of yourself or what it is that you actually want. This is a big red flag to you that you need to spend some time thinking honestly and openly about what it is that you’re trying to gain from putting yourself out there. There are so many conditions. You also have to spend some time thinking about who you are. What is it that makes you so special? Why should anyone want to know you? What validates your existence on this planet? How do you feel about yourself? Do you lack confidence which causes you to shy away from meeting new people, feeling you have nothing to offer them so you might as well fade into the background? Or do you beam when someone asks you about yourself? Do you seize every opportunity you can to give someone the privilege of learning about you? Or are you somewhere in the middle? No matter which way you identify with, it’s important to know which way that is so you can be more aware of “who” you are.
If I don’t put a picture up, they won’t even read my profile.
If I say what I really want in a mate, will I even get responses?
What if no one responds? I’ll feel like such a loser.
What if the wrong people respond?
What if I actually find someone who makes my heart skip a few beats and could actually be the one?
Playing the “what if” game is like gambling in a casino on the majority of the games – the odds are not in your favor. The best approach is to take the time to get to know YOU. Why would you even consider going through such a hassle of meeting someone else, taking up their time and putting yourself out there when you’re not even sure of who you are and what you’re looking for? Seems a little backwards, no?
Take some time to date yourself. Really! All the questions you would ask someone else, ask yourself. Take the time, without the added pressure, to figure out who you are, what you enjoy doing, what you do for fun, what your last read was, movies and television shows you like, favorite hot spots, life ambitions, etc. Once you’ve figured out the answers to your questions and you get specific about what it is that you want, the bitter part of the deal is that you’ll most likely face more rejection than exception – or will you?
Rejection is subject to opinion. If you put a laundry list out there of qualities you would like the person you’re looking for to have, you have to be okay with the fact that a mere handful of people will fit most of the qualities that you’re looking for. The majority, will not. Just as you would be selective of who you approach in a bar, restaurant or other gathering place, be selective of who you email and who you try to connect with. If they don’t match you that much on paper do you really think meeting them in person is going to be any better?
The bottom line is that if it takes something like online dating to get you to ‘meet’ yourself, play the game now. Even if you’re in a relationship, maybe you’ve been in one for many years, play the game. Chances are if you had to describe yourself to a perfect stranger, you might fumble, find yourself uninteresting and wonder why people talk to you. Wouldn’t you like to KNOW why people talk to you? Wouldn’t you like to KNOW what it is that draws them to you? You can’t possibly KNOW unless you finally sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and meet “you.”
When you finally get to know yourself, you’ll feel like the following statement has never had such a poignant meaning:
“It’s nice to meet you.”
Get out there and be your own match!
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