Why Is “Be True to Yourself” a Bad Philosophy?

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There’s almost no piece of advice we hear more often in movies and kids’ specials than “Be true to yourself.” What a terrible piece of advice.

First of all, what part of ourselves are we supposed to be true to? I just look deep down into my self for honest. If anyone’s honest, we don’t always like what we find there. We’re people who are wrestling with one another, wrestling inside of ourselves.

And I think when people say that advice, deep down they know that it’s really not true because if you find someone who’s being true to their self as a royal jerk, let alone as a terrorist, a murderer, a bigot, a racist, someone may say, “Well, this is really deep down my authentic identity,” and we would all say, “Well, that’s not a very good identity to have.”

We must be giving better counsel to people than simply to find a true self which may not be the self worth following.