Why You Mustn't Ever Say You Don't 'Take Yourself Seriously'

I have a real issue with this phrase and the way it comes up time and again when describing our personalities. If you don't take yourself seriously, you have a serious problem on your hands.

I know that this is often used just a turn of phrase and ' it only means that you're not uptight' or 'it just shows that you know how to have fun'; but the language is all wrong, so can we please stop?

You can be playful, fun, humble, or a thousand other words and still take yourself seriously. It's really important that you do.

Trying on ridiculous hats or sunglasses in a shop - we've all done it and had a friend say 'I can't take you seriously in that.' That's great. We then take off the silly headwear and normality is resumed. But imagine if that friend then said to you as you're walking away: 'I still can't take you seriously, dressed as you.'

On dating apps, when people say they're looking for someone who 'doesn't take themselves too seriously'. Imagine meeting on a date, sitting down, and the other person saying 'I'm not taking you seriously.'

I hope this shocks you as much as it did me when I first realised what we were saying.

Whether you're doing it to yourself or letting other people do it to you, 'not taking yourself seriously' is allowing yourself to be devastatingly undervalued. You are your whole life, and that deserves to be taken seriously. Be funny, silly, playful, kind, gentle, humble, embarrassed, loud, goofy, relaxed... anything you like, but be all of those things and be taken very seriously as the valuable and rounded human being that you are.

I have a big part of my personality that is light and playful and childlike. I am relaxed enough to roll down hills and fall off paddle-boards. My humour is often self-deprecating, and I can take huge joy in tiny things. Cake and ice cream are very important features of my life. I need these lighter moments to balance the deep thinking and emotional states that I also get into. But from now on, you will never, ever hear me say that I don't take myself seriously.

Here are some words that we can use instead:

light-hearted relaxed informal whimsical gracious funny amiable flexible laid-back casual spontaneous playful mellow silly free