“Just be yourself.” The most common self-help sermon ever. I’ve been preaching it for years. Except … being yourself doesn’t always work. Sometimes it’s dangerous. Sometimes it’s not worth the frustration or the futility.

“Maybe I should just have a real conversation with him. Just be myself.”

“I just want to be all of me, with all of them.”

“There’s so much I can’t say to her.”

Not everyone can hear you, see you, and appreciate you. Bullying twists what you say and uses it as ammunition. Narcissism prevents a genuine two-way conversation. Strike a nerve and narcissism strikes back to annihilate you. Lots of “healthy” people are sick with poor judgement and they poison every single interaction.

I want you to blaze brightly in the world. I want you to fly your Soul flag — all your colors, sounds, and sonnets. And … I want you to leverage your light so that you can give more to the world. The surest way to do this is to seek resonance and protect your value.

So I suggest that just once in a while you make a conscious decision to keep yourself to yourself. Not because you’re scared of showing up, but because you have the clarity to see who’s who. And in some extreme situations (yes, a family reunion might qualify as an “extreme situation”), you put on your cloak of invisibility and just watch the situation unfold.

Being consciously reserved is not the same as being repressed or oppressed.

Intentional self-restraint can be incredibly powerful. It’s an ironic form of self-expression — an expression of how wise you truly are.

This article was originally published on DanielleLaPorte.com. Danielle LaPorte is a spiritual guru, author, and member of Oprah’s Supersoul100. For more insights and inspiration, check out Danielle’s book, “White Hot Truth.”