But the people who like you when you are being open and legit are going to f-ing love you. These will be people who you can just relax and be yourself around. It will be easy and fun to be with them. These people will believe in what you do, be it work, hobbies, whatever. Your life will be awesome. Ok, not always. Sometime, life will still suck but these people will make the suckiness better. We all desperately need these people and the only way to keep meeting them is to show a huge number of people your true self. You have to give a lot of people the opportunity to decide if they love you. Some won't. Some will.
Now, I could be accused of being an over sharer. Example A: I have a blog. Guess what? Putting my writing out there still scares me to the point of an inner quiver. I'm fully aware that some people think my writing is terrible and my ideas are stupid. But, I keep doing it. I keep putting myself out there for the few people who will read this and decide to make a braver choice today because what I wrote sparked something in them. I know what it's like to be really, really scared. I want to help as many people as possible escape the pain they feel as a result of being so damn scared and shy. People hold themselves back from so much happiness, success and love. In doing so, they are also holding themselves back from contributing the special gifts that only they have that could be making this world a better place. I want to kick fears ass more than I want everyone to like me, so I keep writing, posting on Facebook, talking about Becoming a Badass wherever I can, and turning it into a business so that, day by day, this passion turns into my life's work.
Putting your real self out there is an act of bravery. Here's some words from Tina Fey in her book Bossypant's. Hope it gets you revved up. Big thanks to Tina Fey for being the person who wrote something that inspired me to be braver.
Amy Poehler was new to SNL and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers' room, waiting for the Wednesday read-through to start. There were always a lot of noisy "comedy bits" going on in that room. Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke. I can't remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and "unladylike."
Jimmy Fallon, who was arguably the star of the show at the time, turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said: "Stop that! It's not cute! I don't like it."
Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. "I don't fucking care if you like it." Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit …
With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn't there to be cute. She wasn't there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys' scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it …
I think of this whenever someone says to me, "Jerry Lewis says women aren't funny," or Christopher Hitchens says women aren't funny," or "Rick Fenderman says women aren't funny. … Do you have anything to say to that?"
Yes. We don't fucking care if you like it.
So my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: "Is this person in between me and what I want to do?" If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work, and outpacing people that way. Then, when you're in charge, don't hire the people who were jerky to you.
If the answer is yes, you have a more difficult road ahead of you. I suggest you model your strategy after the old Sesame Street film piece "Over! Under! Through!" (If you're under forty you might not remember this film. It taught the concepts of "over, "under," and "through" by filming toddlers crawling around in an abandoned construction site. They don't show it anymore because someone has since realized that's nuts.) If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk. If you're lucky, your workplace will have a neutral proving ground—like the rifle range or the car sales total board or the SNL read-through. If so, focus on that.
Again, don't waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go "Over! Under! Through!" and opinions will change organically when you're the boss. Or they won't. Who cares?
Do your thing and don't care if they like it.