There are eight characteristics that make a person attractive, and being unique is the third. Although, there's a balance between being unique and fitting in that must be maintained to uphold this healthy identity and be seen as attractive.
There are many influences in our environment that guide us in discovering who we really are—friends, family, teachers, horoscopes, personality test, experts—although, they're not all accurate. They're based on generalizations, or they're derived from another person's experience and/or fears.
We're the only ones who can define our true uniqueness. And we need to be clear on our identity in order to make ourselves feel unique—to be an individual, independent and special. To feel like an important speck on this massive planet.
But then there's this pull to be part of a group, a collective, or a community. We must have this connection with others to satisfy our need to feel important and to feed our desire for social connection.
After all, the perceptions of others is one of our barometers for measuring how unique we are.
We want to be seen as unique, but in order to fit in with a group we need to share common characteristics or interests with others. And to maintain this healthy balance we must be confident in who we are. Then we won't be concerned with losing that uniqueness or conforming to the group.
"Conformity happens when people give in to real or imagined social pressure. They relied on the group to give them more accurate information about what they were seeing." Queensland University
This informational influence causes us to question our own beliefs.
Within a group we want to contribute, yet we also have that need to be accepted and valued.
We're told not to shine too bright or show off, so that we'll be accepted. Then we're encouraged to be unique and strive to be the best. But when, where and how much?
It seems the only gauge we have is when we're put in our place! We overstep our bounds with our uniqueness and instead of showing our value and worth, they tell us what we're worth.
I'm not just talking about gangs or clubs, there's also this element in volunteer groups, and at work. Some are focused so much on their agendas that they lose track of their true purpose. Why they formed this group in the first place takes a back seat to fulfilling personal needs and quests.
If we fear we won't be accepted, then we're more inclined to giving up much of our ideas and personality to fit in. A compromise much of us are willing to make in order to be a part of something bigger.
At times, we bend our rules or lower our standards far more than we want just to be accepted. Right and wrong becomes blurred and we begin to lose our identity. We become a nickname, a number, or some other generic title, like so-and-so's daughter or husband.
If our values are compromised and our standards are lowered too far, then we have to consider if we're committing time to the wrong group, employed at the wrong company, or hanging out with the wrong friends.
To keep ourselves from falling into this situation we need to know who we are. Understanding our wants and desires and what that gives us, helps us to define our values.
When we remain true to our values we begin to use that as a reliable testing ground for all of our decisions. Saying 'no' becomes easier and expressing our uniqueness feels more natural and authentic, no matter what environment we're in.
We're no longer that door mat. Instead, we've created this aura that tells others we know what we have to offer that's different from everyone else. This exudes strength and stability, and that's massively attractive!
I would love for this to be something taught in elementary schools. A course that has students explore what they want instead of what their parents, peers, or the system wants. To have their own identity, and not fall into the trap of giving up their values for the benefit of others.
We're all unique. We just have to define how, and own it.
Please share and comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
Christine Hourd, Associate Certified Coach and owner of The Success Model, works with clients to help them reach their goals more rapidly. By improving how they communicate with themselves and others they more easily remove the roadblocks that impede success in their personal and professional life. Book an appointment to discuss how success coaching can benefit you.
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