be yourself

‘I felt it was ‘easier’ to blend in. It sucked all my energy. I became so used to seeking approval, I didn’t realize I was losing myself.’: Woman urges ‘it’s okay to not be everyone’s cup of tea’

“It was my default to smile, nod, and be in agreement. It was my default to shrink myself so others could feel better about themselves. It was my default to dim my light because others felt I was too bright. As I got older, I started to question, ‘Why am I wasting my precious time and energy on people I don’t even vibe with?'”

‘You know we work at the same Kroger, right? I’m a cashier.’ His opening line didn’t impress me. Something told me to respond.’: Woman with hearing loss finds true love who allows her to be herself

“His demeanor was off-putting. I am deaf in my right ear, and wear a hearing aid in my left ear. It was one of the most excruciating first dates I’ve ever had. ‘I’m going back to his place, just so you know.’ I was unsure if he was alluding to something sexual.”

‘I don’t really like black people, but you’re different.’ I shrank inside myself. I couldn’t change my skin, but I could lose every identifiable piece of who I was to blend in.’: Woman recalls experiences with racism, ‘I’m no longer a scared little girl’

“After months of being teased about my accent, my clothes, my hair, my body, I had no wherewithal to speak up when the N-word came out of the mouth of someone I considered a friend. I froze. I spent the rest of the year working hard to drop my accent. I got quiet. I learned not to raise my hand, because the teacher would make it a point to humiliate me anyway.”

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