Finding the real you
It is only too easy to be influenced strongly by those around us. Be they friends, family, co-workers, even strangers, it can be tempting to listen to them over ourselves, to take what they say or feel as the absolute truth, to like what they like and believe what they believe.
In short: to forget who you are as an individual.
Peer pressure doesn’t just exist for teenagers tempted by drink, drugs and deviant behaviour; we live in times where often it is simpler to toe the line and avoid standing out, to play it safe and be like everyone else, or at least how we think everyone else wants us to be. Show somebody your feelings and you may be seen as too emotional; like something niche or out of the ordinary, and you may be viewed as being out of the ordinary yourself. Dare to be different, prepare to be shunned.
But somewhere in the shuffle your true identity may be lost. Your authentic, real self is drowned out by the noise, the opinions of others, or the version of yourself you have carefully created to please or satisfy as many people as possible.
What happens to the voice inside which represents you as the truest you? The ‘you’ which likes all the music, films and hobbies which you ‘shouldn’t’ like? The ‘you’ which would sing and dance around the supermarket as a toddler, just because you wanted to? The ‘you’ which desperately wants to tell someone how you are really, truly feeling? The ‘you’ that can tell the difference between what you ‘should’ stand for, and what you actually ‘want’ to stand for.
Counselling can provide the ideal opportunity to help you to discover the real you. In a non-judgemental, warm atmosphere, you can begin to feel freedom to explore your choices and identify what motivates you as an individual, with no fear of persuasion, scorn or recrimination. Nobody else is in the room with you, other than your counsellor; what would be the use in bringing in anybody else, when the expert in you is you? External influences may only know their perception of you, and may have done so for your entire relationship so far.
The opportunity to get to know yourself in your truest form can be a liberating feeling, and one which could kick-start a mini-revolution. You may find that you are able to be you, but more importantly, you may find that you are proud to be you too.