Do Others Really Know You?

Do others really know you? By that I mean, do they really know what you want; your likes and dislikes; your dreams, desires, wants, values, preferences and personal goals?

I have a feeling that for many, the truest of true self stays hidden from those closest to them.

Marriage and the workplace are the two most common areas where others tend not to know who you really are. In marriage you may be tempted to say you want the best for your spouse. The way you do that is to not let your spouse know who you really are, but only focus on your spouse’s needs. You tell yourself that if your spouse really gets to know you, it will make them sad or indifferent because some of your wants, desires and goals may differ from theirs.

In the workplace you want to support your boss, be liked by your colleagues and most importantly keep your job. So what do you do? You refrain from letting them really know you. You listen and watch others express their views, and say to yourself that you wish you could be as outspoken as so and so.

Maybe the biggest consequence of not letting others really know who you are is the resentment, anger and sense of failure you experience on a daily basis. When you spend most of your time trying to please others so you can be liked while denying the real you, the result cannot be good. Marriages end, careers end or stagnate, and you become cynical about life.

Here are some signs of someone struggling with letting others really know who they are:

  • Regular mood swings
  • Easily angered
  • Depressed
  • Easily swayed to go along with others
  • Avoids conflict

By now you are probably asking yourself: How do I let others know who I really am without fear of my spouse, family and friends getting angry or sad, my colleagues not liking me, or losing my job.

During the next three weeks, I will guide you through the process of how to let others know who you really are.

First, Know Thy Self.

Before you can let others really know you, you have to know yourself. What are your likes and dislikes? What core values are you unwilling to compromise? What peripheral things are you willing to release? What are your strengths and weaknesses – and are you okay talking about either without becoming defensive?

This process of knowing yourself will take some time and intentionality on your part. You will need to get alone and honestly explore who you are. Discover why you hold to certain values and why some things are not all that important. This exploration may require the help of a mentor, counselor or life coach depending how deeply you have buried the real you.

You may have buried the real you for so long that you are unsure of who you are. You have lost the joy for living and your life appears to have no purpose at the moment. This is when you need someone to come alongside you and help you discover the real you.

Remember this is a process that will require time, intentionality, persistence and commitment. You will discover it was worth it all when you really get to know you.

Take some time this week to reflect on who you really are. Talk it over with someone close to you and see how close they are with what you came up with. It will certainly help you decide how much you have to do to get to know yourself.

Next week we will look at embracing the real you.

If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.

Photo credit: Maria C Dawson|Stupefied via photopin cc