Pretending to be someone you’re not to get other people’s validation leans more toward the deception of oneself than of others.
When you have lost a lot, you create a list of things you can never get back. Together with this there’s the list of things you wish you’ve never done, opportunities you hope you’ve only kept saying yes to, even chances you shouldn’t have overlooked. When you’ve had a lot taken away from you, you’re aware of how crucial it is to spend time wisely. You know that changing yourself to suit somebody else’s lifestyle only means inconvenience—having to keep track of the lies you’ve made up, always having to be wary of your actions because one wrong move taken and every artificial personality trait you’ve molded would reveal itself to people you’ve been trying to conceal your real self with.
The exhaustion piles up from having to be someone else for somebody else. It’s sometimes already too late by the time you realize it because you have already intoxicated your mind about who you think you’re better as. Though one cannot truly blame another for doing so; concealing imperfections, adjusting lifestyle, even realigning future plans to stay within people’s radar is certainly easier than having to sweat it out convincing them why you’re the kind of person you are to begin with. With little consideration of these attempts to hide your issues and scars, you should also notice that people who are truly worth pouring excessive efforts into won’t ever require you to fake anything just so you can become their trophy. You would change not because changing is obligatory but because it would improve relationships and make you better, not a pretender.
It’s undeniably real for everyone—no one wants to be with someone who has wounds so deep they turn personalities dark. No one wants to carry someone else’s heavy luggage as they already carry their own. Hence, the deception becomes the defense mechanism to convince oneself and others that you are also worthy of affection, to make people stay, to reassure them that you can be who they need, to live your life as a fraud just to avoid undergoing the consequences, the blame of leaving and letting toxic people go.
What you fail to discern is the fact that maybe the idea of having to forcibly change yourself is a waving red flag. You keep thinking of why or how you are always walked out on or why you always feel empty after your relationships fall flat. It’s because you have assembled and put on too many masks that you become unrecognizable even to yourself—you just feel lost, unsure of what you’re supposed to do next. Your made-up self went with the person who walked away, and you’re left with nothing but uncertainty, filled with questions as to why it went wrong, what could have been, and where you fell short. You blame yourself, too hurt to recall that you subconsciously warned yourself about how it would destroy you once things failed and fell apart.
And then the cycle goes on.
It’s going to be an endless battle if you keep hesitating to accept who you are and not allowing people to see the beauty in that, to genuinely love you for that. It would take a lot of heartache and time to grasp the truth that pretending to be someone else can only hurt you more than it could ever hurt anyone else. I can only hope that this goes straight to you.
“Courage, dear heart.” – C.S. Lewis