Your Real Self Vs. Your Fake Self

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Getting ready to go out and then, at the last minute, bailing.

Real self: I can’t go out. I don’t want to go out. Oh God, why did I get myself into this? How am I going to do this tonight? Jesus, what if my ex-boyfriend is there? I’m screwed. No — no. You can’t give in, you can’t let other people decide your agenda. And let’s be real — you have to start getting out more. How are you ever going to meet someone again? You’re certain that Bradley’s going to be there. Something could happen. Anything could happen. Just do it. Get over yourself. Stop being a baby. But, where is this sudden urge to buy a bottle of wine and stay in watching cat videos on YouTube all night? Where does that urge come from? Forget it, I’m staying in. It’s fine. Time to do me.

Fake self: [Over text] Hey, something’s come up. I’m feeling terrible today and I didn’t get any sleep last night — don’t think I can make it tonight. Sorry, I owe you a drink :/

Being invited to a wedding.

Real self: Dammit. How am I going to do this? Why do I continue to keep in touch with vague high school acquaintances that live close to me and how do I keep getting myself into these situations where I have to spend entire weekends with them? Guess my entire weekend’s canceled now. Guess I’ll do this.

Fake self: [On phone] “I’d love to come to your wedding in New Jersey where I will have to spend the entire weekend. Of course I don’t mind booking a $100 – $150 a night hotel room, no problem! No — don’t look for one for me, I know all the best spots! Have I ever been to Jersey before? Well, once. But it’s fine, my friend knows a place! Oh, will I drive? Sure I’ll drive! I’d be happy to drive and pick up your three friends who I don’t know! This is going to be so much fun. Can’t wait to see you!

Talking to your parents.

Real Self: Okay. You ignored her last four calls — you have to pick up this time. Please don’t let her ask about the internship, I don’t need that today. I can’t tell her I got fired from an internship. How do you even get fired from an internship? You have to be seriously incompetent to get fired from an internship.

Fake self: Hey Mom! Everything’s going great! My internship is awesome. Yeah, I’ve been so busy with it, the CEO has me doing all this super important stuff. Are they considering me for a position? Well, yeah, I mean, in the Craigslist ad they said that the internship might lead to a position at the company. They definitely HAVEN’T said that the internship WON’T lead to a position at the company. So yeah, I’m not getting paid or anything, I know, but the internship’s supposed to end in a few months and by then I’ll have a better picture of what they have in store for me.

Waiting for a response to your premiere text message that you sent to the cute person you met last night.

Real self: It’s been 15 minutes. Does she usually text back immediately? How do I crosscheck this? Is there someone I can ask? I have her friend’s number. Wait, that would be way strange. Lol. “Hey Macy, do you know how long it usually takes for Megan to text back? What’s her average response time, do you know?” That’s so creepy. You creep. Just chill. You can do this. If she doesn’t message back, then she doesn’t want to. Her preferences are just preferences, not a reflection on who you are. You’re fine, dude. The ball’s in her court now. Pun.

Fake self: [Talking to friend about said cute person.] It’s going great! I got her number last night. I’m really excited about her. [Checks phone.] It’s fine, she’s really cute, and really pretty. Thanks for introducing me to her, I really appreciate it, man. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.

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