09/07/2011 03:42 pm ET | Updated Nov 07, 2011

Validate Me

Every so often, I come across a friend that baffles me in our conversation. No, it's not because of the thought-provoking topic du jour, but because the person makes an unnecessary remark in an attempt to validate themselves in a certain light. This can be done by embellishing facts, name-dropping, making statements so that they are perceived as smart/busy/wanted/desired/rich, or flat out boasting.

We've all done it before -- played something up in order to make ourselves appear more important than we really are. Why do we do this? Is it because we are insecure? Do we think that by painting a better picture of ourselves people will like us more? Why do we spend so much energy trying to impress others so we can ultimately validate ourselves?

The reason why I'm so baffled when friends do this is because the reason why I'm a friend with the person in the first place has nothing to do with the "impressive" stuff. Instead, my friendship is based on mutual values, chemistry, love and support. So the unnecessary details that jack up his/her image is frustrating, because it feels inauthentic. Ironically, it makes the person's original insecurity even more obvious.

I think Dr. Seuss hit the nail on the head with the quote:

"Be yourself because the people that mind don't matter and the people that matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss

If you want to be liked, be you. Not the public relations you, not the "you" that is constantly selling yourself -- but the authentic you. The people who are impressed by the embellished you are people who at the end of the day, really don't matter. The people who truly care about you, on the other hand, your true friends, don't want to spend their time and energy with a talking self-promoter.

Amy Chan is a relationship columnist and a travel writer. To read more of her blogs, visit