There are many ways the topic of this post can go, but for today I am reflecting on what I heard during a recent speaking engagement. To start off, who we truly are is our real self, which encompasses our triumphs, struggles, and honest thoughts and feelings. On the contrary, who we wish we were or think we ought to be is our ideal self. The speaker was suggesting that two strangers who meet at a cocktail party will present their ideal selves to one another in fear of being judged or rejected if their true selves were revealed. So instead of sharing with each other how they truly feel or what’s realistically occurring in their lives, a facade will be showcased. Thus, no one gains anything from these fabrications because 1) the strangers do not get a chance to truly get to know each other, 2) one or both strangers will be intimidated by the other because they don’t measure up, and 3) one or both strangers will continue this habit to inflate their ideal selves to others in order to continue covering up their insecurities. This got me wondering: What happens when two strangers meet and one is their real self and the other is their ideal self? Does the person who is the real self encourage the person who is the ideal self to become more authentic? Does the person who is the ideal self feel intimidated if the other person is their real self? Is one scenario better than the other- ideal meets ideal or ideal meets real? There is much to think about and I’d like to hear your insights. Also, when you meet strangers, do you present your real or ideal self?