#DearMash: Why do I feel the need to prove who I am?

“Salaams, how do I deal with feeling like I need to prove myself to someone (at uni)? I know I don’t, but keep thinking about how I need to show them how awesome/intelligent/funny I am…”

Wa alaikum salaam!
Hope you’re well! Okay so proving yourself eh. There’s absolutely no need. Chances are you probably are awesome, funny and intelligent. It’s either the other person knows this and they probably do appreciate it but they’re not making it evident. Or the person/people that you’re trying to prove yourself to doesn’t appreciate that. Tbh they’re not worth your time if the latter is the case. Naturally if someone understands and appreciates you, they’ll accept you for who you are rather than the person who you’re trying to be. 
That said, you probably know that and it’s the actual underlying feeling right? 

Honestly, I think schools/universities have this environment where we naturally become uber aware of the way we behave and interact with others. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, kind of allows us to know our boundaries and limits and build ourselves as people. That said, it’s not always a good thing either. Because we develop an image in our head of what other people should expect of us. And we constantly worry about what others think of us. We behave in ways in which we are think we will be ‘accepted’ as a means to be accepted. That’s not to say we should rebel or do the complete opposite like have bad manners or the such, but more like we feel the need to fit in. Genuinely, do not let this get to you. It’s unhealthy in the sense your own self-esteem will drop. Trying to keep up an image that is not you will eventually lead to an identity crisis. It’s just not good for you or your mental health.
The only thing you should worry about, if that’s even the right way to put it, is building your character and bettering yourself, for the sake of yourself – not anyone else. And if this person/these people, aren’t exactly the people who are on the same wavelength as you, find people who are. Whose presence does not make you feel like you need to prove your presence because those people are worth the effort when you do put it in.
More importantly, you are you. They are them. Everyone is different. So be yourself and I can’t really say much apart from stress that.

You are awesome, intelligent and funny my friend. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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