“You’re so cool.” That’s one compliment that will never go out of style, isn’t it? You know those who are irresistibly confident and seem to have the entire world at their disposal. Ah, yes, those cool people. So intriguing and unique.

Have you cracked the code yet? You’re not using outdated slang are you? Egads. Are you fashionably attractive and impressive? Do you make shoe contact before you make eye contact? What are you wearing? Is it still trendy, in vogue, and up-to-the-minute? Short suit pants, happy socks, or puffed sleeves? Wait, it was chic last week. Styles, values, and even phrases seem to change as often as you blink. Speaking of which, when did slouch socks and neon go out of style? You don’t really care, you say?

Do you have the right look, career, car, or home? Are you taking your marching orders from Gucci, Nike, or the Politically Correct thought police? Whether we like to admit it or not, we all struggle with image, self-esteem, and a sense of belonging. But hold on a sec. Isn’t this all entirely subjective, based on the whims and opinions of others at the moment? Some say political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners. An intense desire to fit into a certain mold can actually make you lose your real values or identity. And heaven forfend you do something that may be hazardous to your “status.” Are you judging or worried about being judged?

Too cool for the weird kids, but too weird for the cool kids? What we need to do, sweet friends, is to appreciate ourselves with all our idiosyncrasies. It’s easier to say than do. Then again, not so easy to say, either. Heh. It is natural to try to reshape ourselves to “belong,” so as not to be ignored or overlooked. But what if you don’t agree with the group’s standards? Suppose you have a different spiritual or emotional quotient than the gang. What now? Do you still try desperately to be accepted and to be one of “them”? Who would ever want to be considered outdated? Ultimately, we need to make sure that every single thing we wear, say, or do aligns with our values.

Admit it: Weren’t you ever drawn to someone because they represented something you wished to be? Perhaps they were a famous dancer, historical hero, or a Nobel Prize winner. But one thing’s for sure: They had that special “something.” They stayed true to themselves, even if it was unpopular to do so. Remember the cool kids in high school who tried to appear distant, remote, and impossible to fathom? Well, really hip and chilled out people are the exact opposite. They do not spend their days making efforts to impress you. They don’t have to try to be charismatic, cheerful, and charming. They just are.

Think about how much energy you save by not constantly trying to be someone you are not. Speaking of high school, didn’t it look so much cooler on TV? You do remember high school, don’t you? Math teacher asks: I have five bottles in one hand and six in the other. What do I have? Student answers: “a drinking problem.” Lol.

Want the secret to who isn’t all that hip, swanky, or sublime? It’s people who focus a lot of their energy on materialistic things and superficial pleasure. This actually makes them unhappier and more emotionally unstable eventually. Pleasure is great at numbing or distracting, but not emotionally or spiritually fulfilling in the long run.

Genuinely “cool” people are open-minded and non-judgmental, embracing their own Achilles’ heel, instead of focusing on the frailties and foibles of everyone around them. G’head and absorb all their good traits like a sponge. They are the ones who will help you instead of competing with you. Someone who seems innocuous to you may actually be a hero to someone else.

We all know some who should keep their standards as high as their heels. When you’re around a truly hip person, they will make you feel as worthy as they are. If you don’t keep up with the latest tweets or stories on the “Gram,” you feel like a dork or dweeb? Don’t you fret. As a matter of fact, always be nice to nerds. You will probably end up working for one someday. Lol.

Hey, just be “flawsome.” Embrace your flaws, sweet friends, but know you’re still awesome. And by the way, I’ve never seen grace and elegance go out of style.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.