I have been acting torn for the past months because I act so differently than myself when I'm around my friends. When I try to stop, they get mad. I tried telling them how I feel and I wanted a... Well, A fresh start. And that's when I see how much I mean to them, And I can't bring myself to say it. Also, I have a reputation, and I can't change it. Please Help!-Anonymous
I've always thought that friends are people that you should feel comfortable being yourself around. It seems that you don't feel that way and that your friends don't react well when you drop the fake persona. This behavior is unhealthy for you and for these friendships. I think that you really need to examine these friendships closely. Your friends don't seem to exactly get along with the real you. If they do not get along with you when you are being yourself then the friendship is somewhat shallow and not the best for you. Having a sort of fake personality in social situations might seem like it makes things easier but it does not. Constantly putting on a performance is exhausting. Good friends will like when you act yourself. Having a reputation based on being someone you're not will not end well because it will be putting a ton of stress on you to keep on faking it. I've tried to act differently to please people and it always ended in me feeling bad about myself. Your friends might not be responding well to you dropping the persona because it is confusing for them when you are suddenly acting what must seem to them unlike yourself. You are these people's friends but they are not exactly friends with the real you, they are friends with your persona.
Be yourself sounds cliche but I honestly do think it's the best advice I can offer here. If you want to have meaningful friendships you need to be comfortable acting like yourself around these bad. I know it can be hard, especially if you have self-esteem issues or something similar. There are ways you can work on whatever issues are causing you to feel like you have to act like someone else around friends. Working through these issues will help you with your friendships. The ones you have currently might not work out long term because it sounds like there are already some deep issues. But even if this can't help with those friendships it will help with future friendships.