When do we stop kissing arse?

The other day I introduced two people who should know each other. Despite being liked and respected by each of them already (I hope), I felt the need to lay the compliments on hard in the intro email. To set the scene, I’m an adult; I’m a parent; I’m a people manager; heck, I’m even a Leo, yet I regressed to my 16-year-old teacher’s-pet-self, uncomfortable, unsure and unaware of how obvious it all was.

If authenticity is key to being admired, then why do we revert back to younger, false versions of ourselves in the moments when it’s most important?