Recently, I have been starting to look at the world and my social media from a different angle and I would like to express my deep gratitude to those, who have been instrumental in my shift of consciousness. So here are my thoughts.

Am I “nice”? Why do I feel like I should be? And why do I feel like it’s not ok not to be “nice”?

Is that what I would like others to think about me? “Barbara? Oh, she is NICE.” Hm… for a long time, that’s what I thought. That’s what I was taught, but does this really say anything about me? Not really. It is only what others perceive of me in a certain ephemeral moment. So why do I still think that it is what I should want them to think and say about me?

I can be nice but I would prefer to be kind.

I can be nice but I would prefer to speak up.

I can be nice but it sometimes bores the hell out of me.

I can be nice but I need to express my opinions.

I can be nice but sometimes I choose not to.

Then I feel like I let people down. I feel like “a bad person”.

This needs to stop.

I am kind.

I am happy.

I am sad.

I am angry.

I speak up for others.

I get bored.

I express my opinions and try not to hurt others when doing so.

I choose whether to be nice or not.

It’s my right to choose.

I don’t have to smile when I don’t feel like smiling.

I don’t have to be nice to anyone.

I don’t need to hide my opinions.

I don’t need to do anything to please others.

So what do I WANT to be? What facet of me do I want to show to the world?

Until now, I have been nice, kind and smiling on social media. I never analyzed it or thought much about it before, but if I look at my posts, there are only very few without a smile, a laugh, a humorous quote or a “nice” version of Barbara.

This is only a very small fraction of me. It is the one that I felt is socially acceptable. The one that I think people will like. Because it’s nice and everyone likes nice, right? Because a woman is prettier when she smiles. Because a girl is expected to be nice.

Well, both I and you deserve more. We all deserve to be and express everything we are feeling. Sometimes, this might be a smile. And other times, it might be a frown. All of it is equally valuable.

I am me. You are you. We are all different, unique individuals and deserve to express our emotions and opinion freely, yet without willingly hurting others. Some parts of our being might be congruent and we will be happy to find companions for certain aspects of ourselves. We might disagree on others or be surprised about things we didn’t know yet.

If we aren’t showing others the many facets of ourselves, how can we expect to be understood?