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Definitely "Be Yourself," But Make Sure That's the Best "You" You Can Be
What exactly does it mean to "be yourself"?
Dr. Rettenberg's response to my post on being yourself rather than what you think other people want you to be makes several excellent points. First, the admonition to "be yourself" is not meant to enable denial of shortcomings that you can fix. If you're rude, for instance, this is a character flaw that should be dealt with for the your sake and the sake of everyone around you, not just a potential love. Second, the self in "be yourself" does not include incidental or temporary characteristics, but elements of your core identity. Dr. Rettenberg brings up the example of unemployment, and highlights the absurdity of saying, "I'm unemployed, accept me as I am." Being unemployed is hardly part of one's essential self: at best it's a symptom of the poor economy, and at worst it's a reflection of poor character traits—and if the latter, then the person needs to work on those for himself or herself, before considered their effects on the love life.