I was bowled over by the reactions to my post last week on the delta between me when I’m alone and me when I’m with company. I received several heartfelt emails and direct messages that made me realize how common it is to feel this way, especially if you believe yourself to be a particularly empathetic or emotionally-aware person. Since writing, I’ve been wondering whether bringing your public self and your private one into perfect parity with one another is a realistic or even desirable objective. Perhaps the dissonance, while briefly uncomfortable, introduces a good kind of friction in the sense that it invites deeper self-knowledge? As in: “I know this isn’t my full self, because my full self is [fill in the blank — funnier, snarkier, gentler, etc].” On the other hand, perhaps finding balance is a worthy goal, as it suggests deeper comfort and communion with your true self. (“To thine own self be true,” etc!) Or maybe it’s about finding the people you can be your whole self in front of? A lot of angles.
Anyhow, in that essay, I wrote: “Maybe you are like me and in need of a kind of social calisthenic to find grace in my self-expression when I am with others.” The concept of an inner calisthenic — be it an exercise, mnemonic, private rule, ritual — has been on my mind since. Do you have practices like this? I’m thinking specifically of the way I will sit in my car for a minute after reaching my destination in order to gather myself if I am feeling slightly anxious about the impending social interaction. I usually launch into a quiet pep talk (“remember that you are an interesting person! you are fun!”), or centering myself around a social goal (“just put out good, friendly vibes”). I’m curious if you have similar emotional or social calisthenics that you find helpful in navigating your day, maintaining a positive mood, or maneuvering through social interactions.
Please share in the comments!
+A helpful way to reframe expectations in parenting, diet, productivity, exercise, and more.
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+Do you consider yourself an expert in yourself?
+All my Prime Day picks here.
+If you are a Nordstrom “Icon” cardmember, you get access to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starting today. See my picks here.
+Cute white eyelet shorts.
+Very tempted by this striped Jenni Kayne dress.
+Forever a white blouse girl. Love the detail on this one.
+This mini dress is terry cloth material — another option for throwing on over a wet suit on your way home.
+These dining chairs are so chic, and on sale.
+Who knew sanitizer could be chic? My mom gifted me one of these a few years ago and it smells fantastic.
+This striped cableknit skirt is wildly chic.
+All my favorite sunscreens for the family here. I also just ordered this stick style sunscreen from Supergoop as I find it’s much easier to use a stick on my children’s faces! Historically, I’ve used this mineral stick sunscreen from Babo on them, and it does a great job of staying put, but it doesn’t glide on super easily.
+Gucci vibes for under $100.
+WILDLY chic slides.
+Adorable toddler Adidas sneaks.