When we really know someone, we know their many sides (some of which we won’t necessarily like). People have different facets to their personalities which includes, sometimes, contradictory characteristics. Someone can be kind in some situations and almost cruel in others. We are more than two-dimensional meaning more than just good or bad. We have good sides, bad sides and many other sides in between. We need all of our sides to face what we need to face and do what we need to do each day. We have to be tough sometimes when it’s uncomfortable. We have to be pleasant sometimes when we don’t want to be. When you really know someone you don’t categorize their entire personhood by only one aspect of their personality. When you spend enough time with someone, sooner or later you will see some of their bad sides or some of the sides they don’t normally let others see (like their silly side or their scared side). How is it even possible to have so many different ways of being? Think about this in simple terms–such as favorite color. We may have a favorite color for something like a vehicle yet another completely different color is our favorite for clothing. Yet again another favorite color for decorating our home. So what is our favorite color? They all are. To truly know someone you really have to be aware of all their many sides and fully understand that not one or the other is “the real them”. All the many sides of a person–the pleasant and the unpleasant–are “the real them”. The side you see most often is the one they are most comfortable with showing the most. It’s a rare treasure and an honor when someone allows you to see the other sides they have–the ones they don’t usually show people. It’s a gift. By allowing yourself the room and permission to be all the many different ways YOU are (without self-shaming) you will then be able to experience others as multi-faceted individuals without boxing them into only one or two categories. Be yourself and do not give into shaming or criticism of others who are only comfortable with seeing one side of you (the one they like). There are people who want superficial relationships with everyone they know (everyone smiles and pretends to be happy all the time). This is their choice although you don’t have to play along. (You can choose to play along if this person is that important to you although you may need to limit your time with them for your own health). Inevitably you will lose relationships by simply being yourself. On the other hand, the relationships you gain will be less stressful in the long run because you won’t have to put on a mask as often. It’s complicated. We are complicated.