On the Importance of Being Yourself

When I was a kid, everyone told me that the most important thing in life was to be myself.

So yesterday, I rode an elevator facing the back wall.

Nobody spoke to me.  The people at my sides stared at me.  And I missed my floor.

When the elevator returned to the ground floor, a building security guy was waiting for me.  I presume someone on the elevator called him.

He asked me if I knew what floor I wanted.  I told him I did, but that I missed it because I was trying to be myself.

He got onto the elevator and escorted me to my floor.

When I got out of the elevator, I waved.  He did not.

So kids, be yourself.

But prepare for a police escort.

41 thoughts on “On the Importance of Being Yourself

  1. We were told to do that by a teacher in college. He thought it was always interesting to see what happens when people break the elevator “rules”. I still do it to this day. Talk out loud, look people in the eye, stand in front and look straight forward, etc. It’s fun, and it cracks me up. No escort yet though, bummer.

  2. LMAO!

    When I was in university my sociology prof told us in his higher level classes he made people do things that were against the norm.. face the back of the elevator.. face the back of the bus (since everybody always stares so bloody intently out the front window of the thing).
    He told us some of his students got threatened with bodily harm for doin that stuff..

    Looks like you may have gotten off light 😉

  3. Hahahaha! So true. Seriously. Every now and then, I still spin around in circles at random intervals. It’s not working out well for me.

  4. At least you won’t have to worry about getting mugged while you have a police escort . . . unless he’s the one mugging you.

  5. Next time, be yourself, but ask someone to let you know when you get to your floor. Oh, never mind. That might make it socially acceptable, and I know you don’t want that.

  6. I also had a soc prof in college who made us do experiments like this. My favorite was when he had us write a paper about what happens if you take a seat right next to someone on an almost-empty bus. It was one of the most terrifying days of my life. At first people looked confused, and then they got ANGRY. I heard language that day so filthy it was just dumbfounding. I did it five times and all but one the bus driver eventually called back and threatened to kick me off the bus if I didn’t move. As a nineteen year old white girl on a bus whizzing through some bad, bad areas of Minneapolis (at night, no less), I took that warning pretty seriously.

  7. My wife did this as part of a Psychology class project to see peoples reactions to non-standard behavior. She also did several other projects like putting ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ signs on two adjacent telephone booths (remember those). Basically just noted how people reacted to the unwritten rules of society.

  8. Being yourself is highly overrated, with the exception of the few admirable people that exist. The rest of us should just try to copy those few, instead…

  9. you rebel you (see your own blog from 9/9/09? -geez, I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast but I remember your bleeping blog!

  10. oh in college i pretend to be an ostrich in the elevator all the time…i stick my head in the corner and go all anti social n freaked out
    if a friend’s with me, i keep asking “are they gone yet?”
    i’ve even made ostrich noises once in a while
    elevators are fun

  11. I can do that at work all I want and I won’t miss my floor. The elevators here announce “5th floor, going up” or whatever on every stop.

  12. Oh, how I wish I were as courageous as you, Meester Pastees.
    Sadly, I’m in high school, and usually things like this would result in endless bullying. When you’re on the elevator like that with complete strangers it’s all right to show you’re a dork, but in the small town I live in you know everyone and it just takes the fun out of being weird.

  13. If you take a cab anywhere, do you ask the cab driver if you can sit up front with him?

    Keep the laughs coming!! I love it!

  14. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

  15. I love being a freak in high school… I think I’m the freakiest person who does not have major social issues (of course my school has over 3000 kids so I don’t know the extent of the freakiness of each one…)

  16. I just LOVE this blog. Every single post that I have read just makes me laugh and this one was hilarious!

    Next time I’m in an elevator, I’m going to try this.

    Livi 😀

  17. This struck a chord with me, because my mother always told me to be myself, and I had no idea what she meant!

  18. Stephan
    You just made my day….

    I may be looking stupid sitting at my desk grinning widely at my computer screen while reading your blog… but hey.. i’m just being myself!!

    thanks for making a lot of people smile 🙂


  19. Blame the Sonoma County water you’re drinking. It is highly alkaline, with a pH over 8. It is destroying the metals in your brain. The metals aid your sense of direction.

  20. LOL! hahaha. next time stand with your back against the door and smile or speak to anybody who catches your eye. It freaks them out

  21. Nice! Another fun one, is when on an uncrowded elevator, go stand next to another person rather than on the far side of the elevator. Reactions are rather funny.

  22. Do you really do this stuff? Cause if you do, you’re awesome, and if not, well, you come up with some awesome shit to get the rest of us in trouble.

  23. You are not only true to yourself but brave enough to take chances in todays ‘insecure’ world. Keep up the hysterically funny work!

  24. Most of the lifts I go in to don’t have a front or back, they open on both sides.

    Guess I’ll just have to face the side 🙂

  25. And your pocket wasn’t picked? Lucky you.
    However, it’s pretty darn sure no one could pick your brain. It’s hard to pick at the missing object.

  26. Next time you’re in an elevator, stare down at the top of the head of the short girl next to you. See how that turns out.

  27. Hah! I cannot believe some of the stuff you claim you do. I’m surprised that the security guard did not come and get you, with the guys dressed in white with the huge butterfly nets in tow. Well, there is always a next time, right? 😛

  28. I bet the first counselor who thought up the gem, “just be yourself” went to the same school as the counselor who says that married people should communicate more…yuk yuk yuk

  29. Rat clones.

    And prepare for a police escort? When did you get one. You got a rent-a-cop escort, not a police escort.

    By the way, I faced the back of an elevator a few time. One it was a case of having no choice, I was helping move some weights from one floor to another at a school (yeah, it was no doubt used by kids in wheelchairs and probably for moving really heavy objects like a couple hundred or so pounds, this was a Saturday so school wasn’t in and if anyone has done OM or DI then think the about the structure problem and you get an idea why we wereusing an elevator to move the weights) cause the weight room was on a different floor and I was both the last one on and to be the one moving backwards on the way out. The only time I have ever been on an elevator that stopped moving between floors and everyone was starting to wonder how close we came to the max weight capacity. Another was at a hotel in Virginia Beach that must have originaly been a freight elevator or something cause it had doors both front and back and thus buttons and the lights telling you the floor. There was another just like it at a local mall/market place. Most of those where I’ve face the back have either been glass elevators or had a window in place of a back wall. And lets face it, when you can actually see something other than the door are you really going to bother looking at the door?

  30. Please try not to be too funny in the next 6 weeks – I won’t have internet access! At least I’ll have something to look forward to when I’m back…

  31. I, as well as my good friend Cookie, like to spin in circles in parking lots…especially when ultra conservative girlfriend Barbie is with us. Just put your arms out like a plane and “fly” around a Shoney’s lot …you’ll get lots of looks…especially if you do BEFORE going in to eat !

  32. My favorite way to be myself is to introduce strangers to each other in an elevator. I don’t need to know anyone. I turn to a stranger and say, “Hi, my name is……” and hold out my hand. Generally, I get a name in return. I then turn to another stranger and introduce the first to the second. I’ve been know to do this with a dozen people in an elevator car. (I do not recommend doing this in NYC, however.)

  33. You’re so funny!

    Just to share, I’m a girl and I sometimes want to go to work naked or even just in my underwear. Every morning I want to remove the hassle of deciding what to wear to work, whether I look professional in it or if I look fat in this blouse. I tell my friends this and they shake their head.

  34. There was a woman who lived in my apartment complex who was, shall we say, crazy. In addition to flashing people with her very unattractive and weighty hind end, she also would be walking along and all of a sudden turn and walk backwards. While I don’t know and don’t want to know what was inside her head — I’ve got my own problems — but the best I could figure about the walking thing was that she was that trying to see where she had been.

  35. Pingback: Just being myself and I’m proud of it « Livi

  36. Social differences between America and Europe ar huge! This ridiculous. It would never happen in Europe (especially eastern, where i live). I love your posts about your everyday situations.

  37. Pingback: The Importance of Being True to Yourself in Life » Christa Johnston

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