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Why can't I stop performing? Why can't I react authentically to situations, why do I have to take a step back and evaluate what kind of response I have to give in order to achieve the most positive response in turn? For what even? Approval points? From who? People I'm not even sure I like all that much?

What is self-expression good for if not to connect to other people? But is that connection authentic if I fabricate every reaction? I want real, true connection and for people's love for me to be genuine and not something I created by carefully influencing their image of me. I slip into different roles for different people (and it's so easy), now in quarantine I take the time to reflect and I find that I barely feel like a shell of a person. I know I'm kind and I know I'm supportive, every other trait feels like a tool I can pick up and put down whenever needed.

Every reaction and every response feels similarly genuine and yet none does. Does it even matter?

As a heart type (or really any other type who wants to share their input), how do you know if you're being authentic?
 

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ESTP 7w6 so/sx
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The only advice I can give is, try to meet different types of people (on the internet or otherwise once the ban goes down) and try to find a special person who you don't put up an act around. Then meeting this "special someone" will start a domino of events about accepting your authentic self when making connections with others.

Until then, good luck!
 

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I would start by trying to understand what your 'approval mechanism' is, then slowly observe it. Under normal circumstances this could represent a years-long process, since you not only need your personal thoughts but also a host of experiences to look back upon, almost forensically, over short and long periods of time. As you become your own 'old dog with the same tricks' figuratively speaking, there'll hopefully be a good vein of data to mine from, and worth banking on. It would probably help, excuse the pun, to read about your type from a number of different perspectives, old and new.
 
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