instigating a life, one story at a time…

Misrepresenting Ourselves

SONY DSCA friend was sure he had found his soul mate through an online dating site (and this isn’t about dating sites). Eventually, they met in person and later he said, “She misrepresented herself.”

Over the years, I’ve met people like that and that statement applied to me as well. Most of the time it wasn’t deliberate deception, but more a matter of showing only our good qualities. And when I write that, I’m thinking of people we like or want to know better. By withholding parts of ourselves, however, they don’t truly know us. I used to wonder, if he really knew who I was, would he still want my friendship?

Why do we misrepresent ourselves? Here’s my number one reason: For a long time I didn’t like parts of myself. If I didn’t like those parts of myself, would anyone else? But I am making progress in self-acceptance.

One of my favorite, original maxims goes like this: I would rather be disliked for who I am than to be respected for who I’m not. That has been my goal – yet too often I’ve failed.

Recently, however, I had lunch with Josh Lord, a long-time acquaintance. At one point he said, “You know why I like you? You’re honest about who you are.”

Josh’s words shocked me and immediately I wanted to protest, but instead I stopped and thanked him. This sentence tumbled out of my mouth: “The greatest privilege I have in this life is to be exactly who I am.”

I knew I had spoken the truth. I’ve also embraced this statement: I am a unique, unrepeatable miracle of God. It is a privilege to me – not because of achievements or talents, but because I’m God’s creation. The more I value myself, the more I can repeat that sentence.

No one else can ever be me. Ever.

I’m imperfect and flawed, but I’m me. Everyone won’t like me and that’s all right. I like Cec and I know God loves him. That’s enough to make me shout, “The greatest privilege I have in this life is to be exactly who I am!”

Cec Murphey (taken from Cec Murphey’s February 2014 Newsletter)


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2 thoughts on “Misrepresenting Ourselves

  1. Good post. Someone said the same thing about Facebook. We represent a version of ourselves on Facebook to the world that is hard to live up to. The online dating is even more over the top on merchandising ourselves.

  2. Sometimes a reason that we misrepresent ourselves could be because we want to change the bad things about ourselves, and somehow our mind tells us that the first step to doing that is making it known to everyone else that you are a good person. If everyone around you has a high expectation of your character, then that could pressurize you to change for real?
    I don’t know, sometimes that’s what it seems like to me. Anyways, it’s always good to take out the bad things from life, but like you said, it’s also important to represent ourselves 100% if we want to be honest to the world and to ourselves.

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