People recommend that one another ‘be themselves’ rather than being influenced by outside expectations and norms. Nobody suggests others should try harder to follow the crowd. They needn’t anyway; we seem fairly motivated by impressing others and fitting in. Few seem interested in ‘being themselves’ in the sense of behaving as they would if nobody was ever watching. The ‘individuality’ we celebrate usually seems designed for observers. What do people do when there’s only themselves to care? Fart louder and leave their dirty cups around. This striving for unadulterated selfhood is not praised. Yes, it seems in most cases you can get more approval if you tailor your actions to getting approval. So why do we so commonly offer this same advice, that we don’t follow, and don’t approve of any real manifestation of?
- Punishing the good
- Typology of blog posts that don’t always add anything clear and insightful
- The ecology of conviction
- In balance and flux
- What is going on in the world?
- Opposite attractions
- What is it good for? But actually?
- Unexplored modes of language
- Why are delicious biscuits obscure?