It’s not something people always talk about. But you see, people like me have the tendency to adapt, to fit in, to be alike. We find ways to make a certain aspect of someone else’s personality ours. We are able to relate with almost anyone and everyone. We do these while others spend years within their comfort zones, within the same group of people they have always known, not knowing what’s beyond the wall they’ve built around themselves. And quite honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if by now, you would be thinking that this is such an incredible gift, that you would want to have it as well, to be able to just blend with whoever you’re put among with.
I won’t lie. It is a gift, and it is something special. It could be very helpful, but just as it could be harmful as well. It could be harmful to the extent that you live your life taking a piece from something or someone else and putting it to yourself. Sometimes, the piece fits in perfectly, but that’s not always the case. Even though, we don’t always notice this. We always risk living our lives as a life we put together for others, and not for ourselves. But that’s the thing. We are put simply, “universal people”. We often play the role of reconciling two completely different sides, of listening and advising all your friends. It’s a part of it. However, as much as we’d like to help others, we must also help ourselves.
There are people who forget this including those who have always lived with the pressure of being as sturdy as a rock, that everyone can lie on. And hopefully, if you’re one of these people, who often adjusts themselves unconsciously to their environment and setting, it won’t be too late to assure that you’re on the track meant for you, and not the one that people want of you. With that said, here are a few reminders that I found to be helpful for myself, and perhaps they could help you too.
1. You may be a universal person, but you will always have your own identity.
Never forget that you are who you are, no more, no less. There is no way to perfectly describe you, except with you, yourself. You may be alike many people, but you are unique, you are special. You have your own talents, your own gifts and traits that others don’t. You have your flaws and imperfections. You are just as human as anybody else. Don’t ever forget who you are. You may think that your identity simultaneously changes with your everyday life, but whether true or not, there is nothing wrong with that. You aren’t expected to be always the same. Perhaps what makes you who you truly are is your ability to change and improve yourself constantly. Be proud, never degrade your identity compared to others.
2. You are not obligated to relate to every single person out there.
It may not be easy to accept, especially if you’ve lived your whole life thinking that you can just jive with everybody out there, but it’s true. There will come a time that you will cross paths with a person or two who you may possibly not be fond of or not understand at all. You may have trouble talking to them, connecting with them, bonding them, it doesn’t really matter. The point is, it will come. In fact, it may have already come. It’s just that you may have failed to recognize it. As I said, there is more to us than being universal friends, universal people. There i so much more. We may seem like universal people, but it’s quite difficult to truly achieve that. Doing so almost means that you are completely objective and you have no opinion or any of the like. It’s okay if you don’t feel the same connection with one or two other people. It’s okay if you can’t be the same friend to them as how you are to others. It’s okay if you can’t help them at all. Never blame yourself. You aren’t a superhero, yes, but don’t worry, that doesn’t make you any less of who you already are.
3. Don’t let being universal pull you down.
This doesn’t happen to people as much, but for some of those who seem to relate really well with so much people, they could be viewed differently. They are sometimes called fake, pretenders, social climbers even. Other times, they may feel like they don’t have any real clique, any real people to rely on. It kind of relates to quantity and quality. It’s true that being able to have a copious amount of friends may result to having no quality relationship with any one of them, but that is not always the case. It is certainly possible to have your own special friends, while at the same time, be as outgoing as how you’ve always been. Just because people think you’re not being yourself to relate with people doesn’t mean you should stop as well. If you are using your gift of understanding and friendliness, never think twice about what you’re doing. You are being who you are.
4. You aren’t the only one.
Do not forget this, especially when you’re having a trouble doing #3. There are people like you. There are people who could be smart and responsible inside the classroom, bullies in the canteen, varsities in the gym, and cuddle buddies under the storm. There are others like you, like us. Being the universal type doesn’t make you some kind of an outcast. It’s all just part of it. Don’t ever feel like you aren’t welcome in this world. In fact, there’s a big possibility that people rely on this gift of yours a lot. You may even see yourself as an amateur psychologist. Aren’t psychologists universal as well to a certain extent? So come to think of it, there are others pay thousands of bucks to learn to be like you. You are just as important as everyone else, and you are just as welcome as everyone else. You may not find your place in the society at some point in time, but trust that you will find it in time.
5. Feel free to adapt as much as you can, but never ever to the extant that you compromise who you are.
This is arguably the most important point I have right here. There will be times that we just get so used to adapting, that even if we know we have an identity, we forget to preserve it. Sometimes, we get so occupied with living our lives with others that we forget to live our lives for ourselves. And the worst part is that it slowly takes over your whole life. You don’t notice it as you chip away every small piece of your personality. Then at the end, you will realize what you have done and you will look back only to find out that the past months, even years of your life have been wasted on a mistaken idea of who you truly are. Now that’s arguably the worst case scenario, but as much as possible, try to avoid that. Don’t be consumed with how you naturally seem to fit in everywhere. Know that you will always need a place you can come back to, a place perfectly made for every part of who you are, a place called home.
6. If you are one of those who already feel like they have already lost themselves, know that it’s never too late to find yourself.
It just happens. There are people that we try so hard to help find that in the process, we end up losing ourselves. But remember, it’s never too late. No matter how much you may have changed, it is still you reading this right now. It maybe not be exactly the same as who you were two months ago, but it’s still you. You may see things differently, you may think differently, but beyond those surface level characteristics, there are distinct traits that last within you. Part of which could be your natural inclination towards charity, your passion for arts, etc. It won’t be easy. Believe me, I know. Nonetheless, you are well-equipped to do it. And you will, one missing piece at a time.