How to Be Proud of Who You Are
This article will explain different ways to be proud of who you are no matter how different you are from others and no matter how others will judge you.
- Be yourself. If you’re not you, how can you be proud of yourself? Also, do not be what other people want you to be and do not let peer pressure get to you.
- Base your confidence on real achievements and strengths. Give yourself an honest self-assessment, good and bad. Look at everything that’s true of you in its best light and its worst privately. If both your fans and your detractors agree on something about you, it’s probably true. It may help to be aware of its negative context and try to tone it down when it’s inappropriate – and really indulge when it’s the right thing to do. Measure this against your own understanding of right and wrong, if you try to be a weather vane on that issue you’ll have trouble getting out of bed in the morning without offending someone.
- Be confident. Pay attention to your strengths, your accomplishments and your triumphs. Make sure you actually are proud of yourself and that you’re happy about being yourself. If you aren’t, it’s important to understand why. Are you being realistic about who you are and what you can do? Did you listen to people who cut you down and believe inaccurate criticism? Have you been insulted for something that’s a strong point just by how it was slanted and become embarrassed about it because of that? Try to describe yourself accurately using only positive terms.
- Be proud of yourself. Don’t be too proud though, it can easily be confused with arrogance if you show too much pride towards yourself. The big difference between honest pride and arrogance is in how you treat others and their accomplishments. Accept compliments with a gracious “Thank you” whether it’s over something you did or just whether they like the hair you were born with. Compliment others with equal honesty for anything you think is cool about them and anything they’re proud of. When someone you know says “I scored 832 on the trivia contest for (something you don’t even recognize that was on TV)” and they’re excited, grin and say “That’s fantastic! You’ve got a heck of a memory to pull that off.” Don’t worry about not knowing the scoring system or the context. If they’re proud, they worked hard at it and achieved something, be happy for them. Do this all the time and encourage people, then when you say “I finally finished my ten year hobby project!” and feel that thrilled about it, you’ve set the tone and they’ll congratulate you honestly without feeling like they got put down for not being dedicated enough (or lazy enough) to take ten years on a hobby project.
- Get friends who love and respect you for who you are. If they’re really your friends, they’ll be there for you no matter how different you are from them, right? The best way to do this is to accept them for who they are no matter how different they are from you. If you’re a cat lover, understand and accept that your dog-loving friend is just as thrilled at seeing any dog of his dog’s breed, loves his dog the way you love your cat and has a good relationship with the animal. The more diverse your friends are, the richer your life will be and the easier it is to relax and just be yourself in all your individual quirks. If you don’t fit your ethnic stereotype, a diverse group can be much easier socially.
- Ignore hateful or mean comments from others if it’s about how you are. No one has the right to change who you are. Only you have that choice. When people make rude comments about you, tell them you don’t care and tell them you don’t take negative feedback. You can also say, “I don’t care,you seem like you need a hug.” Kill them with kindness, and they will be annoyed and won’t bother messing with you. A good way to deal with insults is to turn it inside out and ask if it would be a compliment if it was expressed in more positive terms. “You’re so stuck up” could mean “You’re choosy about who you spend your time and attention on.” If that’s about not hanging out with people who constantly criticize others, then you’ve got a right to that choice and the lowered stress it brings. “Too stubborn” can mean “Dedicated and not easily pushed around.” Most insults have a positive quality depending on how you look at it.
- When something’s true about you, both your friends and enemies will be aware of it. If you want to tone it down or develop opposite qualities, that takes work and introspection but you have to want that yourself – don’t do it just because others picked on you.
- Understand and accept that sometimes criticism is completely untrue. People get conditioned to Accept Criticism, you’re a wimp if you don’t. But very often people criticize to manipulate others or believe stereotypes that have nothing to do with who you really are. “You’re so lazy” hurts people most if they’re driven and don’t know how to relax. A genuinely lazy person who’s decided they’re okay with that will grin and say “Yep. You should try it sometime. Smell the roses.” It also usually means “because you won’t stop everything else you’re doing to do what I want you to.” Someone who calls you stupid but always calls people of your race, gender, religion, social class, income level stupid will not be capable of seeing that you’re intelligent and spend a lot of your time in intellectual pursuits – truth that contradicts that belief will confuse and shock them. Often it gets twisted into something else. Don’t ever believe what people who are prejudiced against you categorically say about you. They have an agenda and a large part of it is based on preserving their view of the world, simplifying it. Anything real about you will be rewritten to fit the bigot’s ideas of what people like you are really like. This happens to everyone. No matter who you are, some people hate and fear you so much they can’t look at you as who you are, an individual. The best thing to do is avoid them, don’t believe them and don’t let them stop you in life. Don’t fear and reject everyone that looks like those bigots either – you’ll get along fine in any diverse group that thinks bigotry is wrong and takes people as individuals.
- Another reason for completely untrue criticism is projection. People with mental illness, alcoholism and some other problems in life are very likely to project their own worst qualities on others. If they’re jealous of your success they may assume you cheated and stole to get it because that’s what they would do. That doesn’t make you a cheat and shouldn’t send you into a quandary worrying about every minute decision you made on your path to success once you’ve gotten a sound realistic view of your life measured against your own ethics. Something like the “lazy” insult can come from this source too – if the person who said it is an alcoholic who hasn’t cleaned up, paid rent or looked for work in months while you’re still paying and doing part of his share, Projection is at work.