From childhood on, we are told to be true to ourselves—to be authentic. Paradoxically, that may mean acting in ways we never act, according to new research.
New research published in the Journal of Personality found that participants who tried new ways of acting toward others—like introverts acting extroverted—reported feeling that they were authentically being themselves.
Wake Forest University psychologist William Fleeson says being true to yourself may mean acting counter to your own personality traits and may improve your mood and mental health. In his research, Fleeson found that people who thought of themselves as rude felt more authentic being considerate, and careless people felt more true to themselves when they were conscientious.
Don't get down on yourself, Fleeson says. Change yourself.