Have you ever changed a bit of your personality to fit into some guy’s world? Have you ever caught yourself telling exaggerated truths or enduring activities you care nothing about in order to snag some guy’s attention? Everyone is guilty of a personality tweak now and again to impress another. If this becomes a pattern, a flip-flop of personalities soon inhabits the person who was meant to live unique and free from such bondage. The fabricated lifestyle is tiring and confusing. “Who am I, really?” It’s an honest question. But it’s hard to find the answer if you’ve been mutating into so many characters to impress the likes of this month’s crush.
I was interacting with a dear friend about her recent break-up and she said something that made me cringe, “I tried and tried, but it was never enough. I kept changing my personality to keep him happy. But it didn’t work.” Often, women are eager to adapt to the current boyfriend. On one end of the spectrum, he may be affecting an area that God needs to work on: a sin or weakness. But never should there be condemnation or embarrassment concerning our personalities and interests. If the happy-go-lucky jokester dates a serious intellect that just wants to have meaningful conversations and sip tea on the balcony, the conversation goes something like this, [his words] “Honey, I was just noticing how you tend to laugh a lot. Would you mind terribly, I’d truly enjoy a calm and meek you, instead.” Reading this incredulous scenario play out, we all laugh. There is no reason we should become more like the guy unless it is a reflection of Christ. If he is so admirable that his actions point us toward Christ then those are qualities to follow. But they only enhance our lively, joyful spirit, not tear us down or make us feel unworthy. Just because a guy doesn’t enjoy something we’re interested in does not mean he can take it away from us. We are different people. We will inevitably have different interests. There are dozens of layers to all of us. We are mysterious beings with intricate detail and matchless worth. Every part of us makes us unique. If we start morphing into the likeness of our man, we will lose a part of ourselves in the process. There is a reason we are different from our guys. Many of our qualities are meant to encourage and challenge them. And the unique qualities of men are meant to do the same for us. The guy we are supposed to be with appreciates and accepts all those qualities and idiosyncrasies.
When an attractive and fascinating guy comes along, the average girl subconsciously makes files in her brain as he shares his interests and hobbies. Oh! He loves bouldering. I could like that too. I should go to the YMCA next week and learn to climb. After speaking with guy-of-interest she changes a bit of her personality to impress him. The façade cannot be held forever. Say the pretense was a success and the guy falls head-over-heels. It was the plan. But as reality unfolds and the crush wears off, there are two drastically different people sitting across the table from one another.
It was tragic to hear my friend talk about her attempt to make things work with her boyfriend to no avail. She changed her personality from an intellectual, soft-spoken woman to an avid huntress, motocross rider, boisterous Calamity Jane. She was straining to make this relationship work while the guy was just in the relationship until someone better came along. And my friend put up with it because she was terrified of being alone. A lot of people give up the respect they undoubtedly deserve just to pacify their insecurities.
Insecurity takes its toll on relationships. If we don’t understand ourselves or have confidence in who Christ has created us to be we will inevitably fall into an artificial personality just to win a guy’s approval.