People get along with you the best when you are yourself. The issue is, we are so not used to being ourselves ever. We have forgotten how to be ourselves. We are too scared to act like ourselves, because we felt rejected when did act like ourselves many many years ago. So the advice to “just be yourself” is impossible for us to apply, even though we agree that it is good advice in theory.
I was inspired to write this when I attended a conference at my university today. There were a panel of speakers presenting a synopsis of their research works. After all the speakers finished, the floor was opened up for comments and feedback. I was surprised by the feedback. Very strong words given, without any fluffy talk or words trying to make the speakers feel better. And because there wasn’t much time for feedback, the moderator had to cut off each person after a minute of commentary.
So this one pakistani sheikh gets up to the podium and starts giving his feedback, talking slowly. he is very direct in his speech, and the crowd chuckles at his unique style. Then when the moderator tries to cut him off for time, he just stares at him and then emphasises the rest of his comment: saying on purpose: “AND as for the 2nd half of my comment……” People laughed, and even the moderator smiled and let him finish.
This was amazing to me. Because it shows how his heart was in it, he wanted to get his point across, and provide valuable feedback to the researchers, and it didn’t matter to him what the circumstances were, even if was going against “moderator regulations” and against simple protocol. I imagine if I was up there myself, in his shoes, and they told me, “your time is up.” How would I react? Let’s just say it wouldn’t quite be the same as our pakistani sheikh here.
May Allah make us people who speak naturally from our hearts, and to be ourselves!