10 Words To Help You Rebrand Yourself

It's a matter of self-perception, after all

Tired of the old you? In need of a quick makeover? How about turning what you perceive as a negative into something more positive?

Now, our budget didn’t include room for a new wardrobe, but we can provide you with some linguistic flexibility, so you can view yourself in a different (and improved) light. Psychologists say a shift in your narrative identity—or the stories you tell about your own life—can result in positive changes. So why not recast yourself as more of a hero, starting today?

After you’re done reinventing yourself, check back here to see if you’ve become that hero, or simply a protagonist … 

All your life, you’ve taken charge, but that’s only because no one else steps up to the plate, right? Kids may have called you “Lucy” in school (all those “Charlie Browns” needed advice whether they knew it or not), and now that you’re grown, they’ve tagged you as bossy, but we here at Thesaurus.com get you and have the right synonyms to change your point of view:

You’re not bossy, you’re simply authoritative.

Confident. Commanding. A straight shooter. You know what you want, and you’re not afraid of going after it. As far as knowing what everyone else wants, maybe take a breath and a step back when it comes to dictating to others. You’ve got yourself to worry about.

You’re the quiet one, eh? Off in the corner hidden by your hoodie, poring over a softly glowing Kindle at a party that you had to be dragged to. Some may mock you, calling you “aloof” or “brooding,” but we’re not going to do that to you. Nope …  Thesaurus.com says:

You’re not uncommunicative, you’re merely introspective.

You look within and carefully examine your characteristics, interests, and tendencies … a lost art these days. And if it’s a new look you seek, go for dark-rimmed glasses, a black turtleneck, and a jaunty beatnik beret to top off your self-renaissance.

Running to grab your car keys this morning and stubbed your toe on the table? OW!! Everyone at work is going to hear about it, and if they don’t hear about it, they’ll sure know something’s up by your limp. Out of hazelnut coffee for the Keurig at work? You’ll go around and smell everyone’s coffee cup just so you can give them the evil eye and a small quip about (sigh) having to brew the French vanilla instead. Well, some of your coworkers may describe you as “dramatic” … but Thesaurus.com thinks:

You’re not dramatic, you’re just passionate.

Who doesn’t have a favorite flavor of coffee? And, yes, a stubbed toe does hurt. Being passionate about your likes and dislikes and your emotions isn’t a bad thing. But it can start to turn negative when passion turns into complaining. Careful of that line.

Your desk is a mess, face it. You’ve got books stacked on top of binders on top of … Oh, there’s your laptop! The beeping means it’s out of power! Well, you get the picture. You’re not a lost cause. But, please wipe up that jelly donut spill. Your coworkers may call you a mess, but Thesaurus.com puts it this way:

You’re not messy, you’re creative.

Did you know that people with messy desks are more likely to be creative and take risks? Albert Einstein famously quipped, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign of?” As an editor, Toni Morrison had an overflowing desk. Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have chaotic workspaces. Bet no one’s calling them “messy.”

When you picture a workaholic, you often think of someone hunched over their desk late at night with one lone lightbulb to keep them company. This is usually an unflattering view for both you and your coworkers, although your boss may appreciate it. You’re in need of some work-life balance and a little rebranding. Guess what?

You’re not a workaholic, you’re merely dedicated.

No detail is too small. You’re thorough, and you don’t miss a thing. This is something to be complimented, not looked down upon. Some people cut corners so often they keep scissors on their desk, but not you. Now, did you make that reservation for a three-day weekend in Palm Springs yet? (We weren’t joking about that work-life balance.)

People always know where you are, because they can hear you from a mile away. You could talk all day long, and sometimes you do. It’s who you are. Sometimes, this can be an irritant, especially in public spots like libraries or public transit. And, often people ask you to tone it down a bit, including the volume, because you’re a bit of a loud talker, too. All isn’t lost, though, and we do see you a bit differently:

You’re not a chatterbox, you’re a communicator.

Making conversation is hard these days. People are much more adept at virtual conversations and one-liners. So we need people like you to keep face-to-face communication alive. Just be mindful of the workplace, library, subway train, or anywhere people may be trying to concentrate. Sometimes, conversation can wait.

You’re shopping with your BFF, and you see those shoes you’ve been eyeing for weeks. You run the math in your head, and the numbers don’t work. Remember, those bills that you need to pay tomorrow? Too late, the debit card flashes through the card reader and you’re out the door. Now, there’s nothing terribly wrong with being an impulsive person, although you may regret certain quick decisions. But impulse can be flattering:

You’re not impulsive, you’re spontaneous.

We’re in your corner here. You’re not impulsive because that can often denote recklessness. No, you’re spontaneous; you’re driving by a florist with your significant other, jam on the brakes, double-park in NYC traffic, and run in/out for a bouquet of roses. You’re “in the moment” and live life on your terms. Just rethink proposing (for one minute) if it will be your fourth marriage …

When you enter the room, everyone knows it. Call it an aura, or call it arrogance. This is a tough one. While old-time baseball player Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up,” if you come off as arrogant, you may need a piece of humble pie—and you definitely need to keep reading.

You’re not arrogant, you’re merely confident.

There’s a fine line here because when you say you know it all, you come off as a little high and mighty. So instead, just remember that you know it all … and don’t need to say it out loud. And, maybe bring donuts to the office every Tuesday for a month? You’ll be surprised at the way people (re)view you after that.

If you have a reputation for always being distracted, this means you have a problem focusing. Find yourself daydreaming during a two-hour conference call? (You’re surely not the only one.) Either way, distraction is a tough one to avoid, so we’ll give you a pass and say:

You’re not distracted, you’re a dreamer.

You’re a big-picture person. To you, there is no box. Consider Marie Curie or Steve Jobs. Their minds were so full of ideas, they were bound to get distracted in long meetings, too. Just, chime in every once in a while to prove your value, even if it is about the big picture and not the details.

You’re a low-key sort. When you walk by that blood-pressure cuff at the pharmacy, you stick your arm in just to make sure you have a blood-pressure reading. But, if people tag you as being lazy, perhaps it’s merely that they’re not around you enough. From where we sit, we’d say:

You’re not lazy, you’re chill.

You’re relaxed when most people are freaking out. You keep the sea calm when a storm is brewing. So, who doesn’t want to hang with someone like that? Sounds like Margaritaville! Just do your laundry a little more than once a month and try not to wear your stained shirt to work … every day.


Now that you’ve transformed into the positive parts of yourself, check out how we transformed some insincere compliments into more meaningful and effective ones. 

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