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We often hear phrases like “be yourself” or “stay true to who you are” all the time. But what does it really mean to be real? 

Think about children. They laugh when they find something funny, cry when they’re hurt, and express curiosity about the world without any filters. 

As we grow up, many of us tend to put on masks, trying to fit into roles that society expects of us. 

We hide our true feelings, opinions, or even change our personalities based on where we are or who we’re with. 

Being real means showing the world your true self, without any masks or pretense. It’s about embracing your strengths and acknowledging your flaws. 

In a world where so much is filtered and edited, being real stands out like a comforting old song or a warm blanket on a cold night.

10 Things it Means to ‘Be Real’

things 'real' people do

1. You Choose Authenticity Over Pretense

Being real often begins with the principle of authenticity. It’s about shedding the masks we sometimes wear and showing up as our true selves. 

In a world that frequently values polish over substance, authenticity stands out like a beacon. 

Authenticity isn’t always about being raw; it’s about being true to who you are.

Many times, people find themselves bending to societal pressures, changing their views or behaviors just to fit in. 

However, true authenticity requires you to stand your ground, even if it means standing alone. This doesn’t suggest stubbornness but rather staying true to your values and beliefs.

When people know they’re interacting with the “real” you, they’re more likely to place their trust in you. 

2. Real People Embrace Vulnerability

Brené Brown, a researcher and storyteller, once said that vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation, and change. To be real means to embrace this vulnerability. 

It’s allowing ourselves to be seen, flaws and all, and to show our genuine emotions without the fear of judgment.

This kind of openness can be daunting. It exposes us to potential hurt and criticism. But the flip side is that it also paves the way for deeper connections and understanding. 

When we’re vulnerable, we give others the chance to truly know us, and in turn, we get to know them.

We also pave the way for learning and self-improvement. Instead of hiding behind a facade of perfection, being real in our vulnerability means acknowledging our human imperfections and growing from them.

3. Opinions Don’t Control You

Everyone has opinions, and in this age of social media, everyone shares them too. But being real? That means not letting these countless opinions sway you off your path. 

You’ve got to recognize the value of constructive feedback while also knowing when to shut out the noise. 

See, everyone will have a say about your decisions, from the clothes you wear to the career you choose. But at the end of the day, only you live with the consequences of those choices.

Now, this isn’t a call to become stubborn or dismissive. Instead, it’s a gentle reminder that you’ve got your own compass. It’s up to you to decide which direction it points. 

Let opinions be the wind; sometimes they might help steer your sail, but they shouldn’t be the ones deciding your destination.

[Interesting: How To Analyze Someone’s Personality]

4. Real People Stay Grounded

How to be 'real' in a relationship

In the midst of success, staying grounded shows you’re being real. It means remembering your roots and the journey that brought you to where you are today. 

It’s an acknowledgment that while achievements are commendable, they don’t define your worth.

People who stay grounded often exude humility. They are quick to acknowledge the contributions of others and understand that success is often a collective effort. 

This humility doesn’t diminish their achievements but rather enhances their human quality.

Staying grounded also means keeping in touch with reality. It’s about understanding that life has its ups and downs and navigating them with grace. 

It’s a recognition that while circumstances change, your core values and principles remain steadfast.

5. Acceptance of Self and Others

Being real involves acceptance. It’s a journey of recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and being at peace with them. 

It’s about acknowledging that you are a work in progress and that growth is a continuous journey.

Similarly, acceptance extends to others. Being real means understanding that every individual is unique, with their own set of strengths, weaknesses, and experiences. 

It’s about refraining from quick judgments and taking the time to understand different perspectives.

This dual acceptance – of self and others – paves the way for mutual respect. When we accept and respect ourselves, we set the tone for others to do the same. 

And when we extend that respect to others, we foster a community where individuality thrives.

6. You’re a Person of Integrity 

Integrity is often described as doing the right thing even when no one is watching. To be real, at its core, means to uphold this sense of integrity in all situations. 

It’s a commitment to honesty, fairness, and ethical behavior. This might not always be the easiest path, but it is the most genuine one.

When people prioritize integrity, they become pillars of reliability. 

Others look up to them not just for their accomplishments but for the character they display in the process of achieving them.

8. You’re Consistent in Words and Actions

There’s an old saying that actions speak louder than words. To be real means ensuring your actions align with your words. 

This consistency is what makes others believe in your sincerity and commitment.

Imagine someone who always speaks about the importance of honesty but is often caught lying. This inconsistency can erode trust. 

However, when words and deeds match up, it creates a harmony that is easy to believe in.

Consistency is not about perfection. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s more about owning up to those mistakes and making amends. 

In the process, showing that your intentions and actions are in sync even if you occasionally falter.

[Read: What It Means When Someone Calls You ‘Personal Person’]

9. Being Real Is Being Brave

Often, there’s a misconception that being real means you’ve got it all figured out. But here’s a secret: it’s quite the opposite. Being real is about having the courage to say, “I don’t know.” 

It’s about stepping into the unknown, with all the risks and uncertainties it holds. It’s about being brave enough to show your fears, your doubts, and your hopes.

Have you ever met someone and thought, “Wow, they’re so genuine”? There’s a good chance it’s because they wore their heart on their sleeve. 

They took the risk of being seen for who they truly are, and in doing so, they connected with others on a deeper level. 

Of course, this bravery doesn’t come easy. There will be times when you’ll want to retreat, to hide behind a facade. 

But every time you choose to step into the light, scars and all, you redefine what it means to be real. You show the world, and more importantly, yourself, that being genuine is the ultimate act of courage.

10. You’re Comfortable In Your Own Skin

Ever walked into a room and felt out of place? It’s as if everyone else got a memo you missed out on. In moments like these, it’s tempting to morph into what seems acceptable. 

You know that sigh of relief when you finally reach home and can be yourself? Imagine carrying that feeling everywhere. 

But being real? That’s about being comfortable in your own skin, quirks and all. It’s about embracing your unique blend of strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes.

That’s what it feels like when you’re comfortable in your own skin. You don’t need validation, and you don’t fear judgment. You’re just unapologetically you.

Related Questions About Being Real 

What does it mean 'to be real'?

What does it mean to be real in a relationship?

Being real in a relationship signifies being genuine in your intentions, actions, and feelings with your partner. 

It’s about letting go of pretenses, taking off the masks we often wear, and showing your true self, complete with all the vulnerabilities and imperfections. 

Authenticity forms the foundation of deep, meaningful connections. When both partners are real with each other, they build a bond based on trust, understanding, and mutual respect. 

It’s not about creating a picture-perfect love story, but rather navigating the highs and lows together, with honesty and openness.

In practical terms, this means being honest about your feelings, acknowledging mistakes, and valuing open communication. 

It’s about listening, understanding, and supporting one another through thick and thin. A real relationship doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations or hide behind false pretenses. 

Instead, it thrives on mutual growth, understanding, and a commitment to journeying through life side by side.

What does it mean to be real with yourself?

Being real with yourself is about embracing self-awareness and authenticity in your personal journey. 

It’s an introspective process where you recognize, accept, and understand your feelings, desires, flaws, and strengths. 

Instead of living by societal expectations or seeking constant validation from others, you live by your own values and standards. 

You accept your imperfections, not as flaws, but as part of your unique identity.

Furthermore, being real with yourself is about self-reflection. It’s regularly checking in with yourself, asking hard questions, and seeking genuine answers. 

It’s about recognizing when you’re straying from your path and making the necessary adjustments to realign with your true self. 

This continual introspection ensures that you live a life that resonates with who you truly are, fostering inner peace and genuine happiness.

Why are so many people not real nowadays?

The line between reality and perception has become increasingly blurred. The rise of social media platforms has ushered in an era where personal lives are showcased like highlight reels, often filtered and curated to portray a particular image. 

This constant showcase often pressures individuals to project an idealized version of themselves, leading to a gap between their online persona and their true self. 

The fear of missing out (FOMO) or the need for social validation can push individuals to conform to popular trends or opinions, even if it doesn’t align with their genuine feelings or beliefs.

The modern world’s fast-paced nature can sometimes result in individuals losing touch with their inner selves. 

The hustle culture, the race for success, and the fear of being left behind can lead people to adopt personas that they believe will help them fit in or get ahead. 

Over time, this can make it challenging to differentiate between the facade and reality, causing a drift from one’s authentic self.

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Destiny Femi

Destiny Femi is a dating coach whose work has helped transform the love lives of countless people. With a writing style that is both insightful and relatable, Destiny has amassed a following of hundreds of thousands of readers who turn to him for advice on everything from finding the perfect partner to maintaining a healthy relationship. Through his articles he has inspired people around the world to become more confident, authentic, and successful in their dating life.

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