I can be who I want to be. But who (what kind of person) and how do I want to be (perceived by others)? And if I can choose who and how I am, who am I really? Aren’t we creating and re-creating ourselves over and over again every day? Breaking old habits and forming new ones. Acting a certain way, to appear in a specific way, get associated with particular characteristics and be perceived as this or that kind of person. We get into the way of doing things and acting according to what we think are admirable, loveable, and desirable traits; and we overcome habits that make impressions we don’t want to be connected with. If that is so, then who are we really? Who am I really?

If that is so, we are all just social constructs: Influenced by our environment and the outside world, but also by ourselves, our desires, our ideals, our expectations of ourselves and the will to be or not to be a certain way. Everything we think makes us an individual person, we have taken from other people. From parents, from teachers, from friends, from movies, from books…

So when I find myself around people I haven’t known for long and accordingly don’t feel 100% comfortable, I often have a thousand thoughts going through my head about my behaviour and what the other people might think about who I am. I question every movement, every look and every sentence; analyse how I may appear and ask myself whether I want to appear that way and convey this or that particular image of myself.

In these situations, I am unsure about myself and my behaviour and I often just stay silent, lost in my own thoughts. Unfortunately, not saying anything also conveys a specific image. I already heard that it can seem arrogant, weird, unapproachable, cold, uninterested or restrained. But I am anything but that. I am not perfect. I will never be. But every day I work on myself, I make an effort to get out of certain habits or change specific behaviours I find annoying and hindering my personal development, I try to learn new and better habits and behaviours, constantly wanting to optimize my being. I pursue certain ideals and I have particular expectations of myself, which I try to achieve. That’s why I always think so much about how I appear to others, to find out if I even want to appear that way. Unfortunately, I get caught up in my own thoughts every time. Thinking about and analysing everything and everyone. Every sentence, every movement, every gaze.

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