Lately, I’ve been running into a lot of people who want to tell me exactly who they are. Self-discovery is great and all, whenever I hear a sentence begin with, “I’m the kind of person who _________,” I always know that what I’m about to hear is either:
Whether it’s bragging about what you have, talking about all you do, or talking about who you think you are, talking about yourself makes you a complete bore. We grow in self-awareness as we grow older, which is a good thing. But we shouldn’t define ourselves to the nth degree in a ridgid black and white manner. I find that some people really pigeon hole themselves. I think the only thing worse than being stereotyped by others, is being stereotyped by ourselves. Some become closed-minded and restrictive, and say “that’s not something I’d do”. Or, “I’d never wear that.” Or, “I’m not the athletic type”, or the “outdoorsy type”, or the “artistic type”.
Life is change, and we need to adapt and grow. A person who may not have enjoyed team sports and wasn’t very athletic in high school can still turn out to be an amazing runner, skier, golfer or tennis players in their thirties or forties. Someone who was too cool to be in drama club or in the band, may actually realize that they do enjoy attending the theatre and may want to take up an instrument later in life. When we stereotype or define ourselves in such a restrictive way, we shut ourselves out of opportunities and possibilities that we may really enjoy.
I think it’s very important to go through life with an open mind, flexibility, and an open heart.
– Miss A
Andrea Rodgers is a Dating & Relationship Expert for HealthCentral’s Sexual Health Connection. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.