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Is It OK to Be Two Different People?

Have you ever experienced a situation that makes you feel like you need to be different than you really are?

Less talkative? (This one’s all the time for me.)

Less truthful.

Less funny.


I would guess that all of us have experienced this at least once (hello…remember high school?) in our lives.

Last week at a women’s leadership program book discussion session, one of the participants shared that she feels she needs to be a completely different person at work than she is at home.

After my heart recovered from a quick jab (which I always feel when someone tells me something like this) I simply asked her, “Is that OK?”

Watch the video and then read the comments below…

(Oh and before I posted this, I did look up the word “tamp”. Nailed it.)

Before we touch on a few more key points, for the record, I never want to work in an environment where hugging is frowned upon. Never.

Here are the main things to keep in mind about getting your groove back (or keeping it, if you generally rock on with your bad self.)

  1. Figure out who you are (define full-strength you) and what you value.
    • Don’t know how to start? Get out a journal and write about a time in your life when you felt the most free, most happy or most excited about your life. Isolate the people you were with, the things you were doing…everything you can about that time in your life.
  2. Compare and contrast that experience with your current reality.
    • Try to pinpoint the things that you still enjoy as well as the things that you’re possibly missing.
  3. Make a plan.
    • Whether it’s a person, job, committee, or some other environment, do whatever is in your power (hint: nearly all of this is, so be prepared to face the music) to adjust. Sometimes, simply spending less time with people that diminish who you are can do the trick. Sometimes, quitting a committee or even a job is the answer. Often times, you can identify “things” you used to do, creatively or physically, that you could incorporate back into your life by picking up a class or trying something new.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of deciding that you will not let the environment or people change you. It takes a lot of inner strength to do this, but it’s certainly possible.

I do know this for sure: the long-term answer to this situation is not being two different people.

Not only is this not sustainable, it’s not good enough for you.

You deserve to show up, full-strength you, in all areas of your life.

But it’s up to you to make it happen.





  1. Bob Staigle says:

    suppress (tamp) is the word you are looking for and the answer to your question (“is that okay”), NO it’s not okay. In order to grow and be happy in your own life, you need to be able to express who you are. If you have to suppress who you are, you will learn to be miserable in one environment and will ultimately affect the other. Find your path (groove) and move in that direction. Don’t be afraid to make changes. ONLY you can make that decision to change.


    • Rebecca says:

      Hi Bob! As you can clearly see, I don’t script my videos! Ha! And yes, suppress would have been a great wording choice. I agree with all you’ve said and mostly, I want people in that situation to realize that it’s understandable to do this in the short-run while you make a better plan but you must make a plan. Because as you said, it will begin to affect the other areas, too. Plus, the people we love are watching us. As parents, we’re teaching our kids (by showing them) that it’s OK to be two different people. Thanks for commenting, Bob! Always good to hear from you!

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