What a retarded phrase. You know when a guy is acting obviously fake cuz a hot girl is there? He rolls up and says, "I was at this crazy party last night," because he wants people to think he's social, or he says, "I really like that outfit," because he wants people to like him. If guys like this actually were the people they were trying to be, they might still say, "I was at this crazy party last night," or "I really like that outfit," but it would not be said to impress. They would say it because they would genuinely be enthused about their experience, and because they would genuinely find it enjoyable to talk about. I'm just putting this anecdote here so we're all on the same page in terms of what this thread is talking about. Anyways, one way or another, people have a knack for differentiating between the real deal and the fake deal (at least that's what they think). People "sense something off" about the guy's body language and his delivery. So they see this and they come to OT and the write in Cosmo and they say, "I want a guy who can be real / be himself." But what they're actually noticing is the fact that after the guy speaks, he looks expectantly at people. That's it. Innocuous enough, right? He's just cocking his head slightly. But this expression reveals that he is gauging people's responses to see if they are reacting the way that he hopes. People may not realize that is WHY they find him fake, but that is, in this case, why they find him fake. This is called "incongruence." Incongruence is when a person's communications are not aligned with their subcommunications. When people say "be yourself," they are thinking of the last incongruent guy they saw. My point is that you can be whoever you want, as long as you can do it congruently. If your body language lines up with what you're communicating... you're gold edit: Another thing for all you "be yourself" people to consider, is that a guy COULD be performing ... himself. If he's broken down who he is and what he's like when he's comfortable - say, at home, or with family or friends - then, when he's not comfortable enough to BE that guy, he can consciously and congruently PERFORM that guy, until such time as he is comfortable enough to do it naturally. E.g. When I'm behaving naturally around friends / family I tend to tease people in a very specific way - it tends to make people feel good, sort of a reverse sarcasm. Well, I figured this out, and now if I'm hanging out with someone and I'm not comfortable enough to behave naturally, I can PERFORM the way I would naturally behave ... congruently... from practice. I know it's a strange idea - you, performing yourself - but that's what it comes down to for me.