Put Away Your Alter Ego

Sometimes – when I’m being a total chicken or I really need someone to like me – I send out my "Ambassador Andrea", not the real Andrea.

Ambassador Andrea is a real piece of work. She wears business suits she hates; lets others skate by with rude comments, keeps quiet when she should be speaking up, and claims to love social events that she’d rather stick a fork in her eyeball than attend.

I believe we all have an ambassador – an alter ego, false character we put forth in conversations in an attempt to impress, convince, please or fool others. And, our ambassadors are messing with our relationships.

If you’re thinking, “Not me,” consider these ambassador scenarios:

  • Have you ever volunteered to take on a project you despised with a chimey, “sure thing, boss,” simply to impress?
  • Have you ever laughed-off a comment that bothered you with an, “Oh, it’s okay. I don’t mind when people call me fat / ugly / stupid / or the wrong name.”
  • When others ask you to tell them more about you, do you name-drop or reply with only a string of accolades or accomplishments?
  • Have you ever said you “love” something that you either A) know nothing about or B) really hate...just to gain favor?

I’ve been guilty of all of these at some point. I’ve sent out my ambassador to keep a conversation going, build rapport or gain access to a social circle. And it’s always worked…for a time. Keeping up with an ambassador, though, can get exhausting and ruins trust in relationships.

I totally get why we use ambassadors; they stand in for the real us when we’re feeling vulnerable and desperately want to feel accepted.

But, remember this: from the moment you send out your ambassador in a conversation, you are making an agreement with yourself and the other person to never quite be yourself. Your true self. 

That's a hard promise to keep.

@@The real you is awesome.@@

Instead of working so hard to keep up a fake persona, put your time, effort and trust into showing others who you really are and how you operate.

They will thank you...and, most importantly, you will thank yourself.