3. Just Be Yourself. When Katniss first arrives at the Capitol, she is told that she needs to make people like her. Sponsors, Haymitch (her mentor) states, can make the difference between life and death. Katniss fails miserably at this until Cinna, her stylist, tells her, "Don't try to make people like you... Just be yourself." When she forgets about public opinion and is true to herself, she becomes beloved by district and Capitol people alike. It goes without saying that it’s important to be yourself in a relationship. There's nothing worse than sushi and ballet when all you really want is barbeque and line dancing. Don't pretend to be someone you're not, if for no other reason than it's just plain tiring — and it's impossible to keep up the façade forever. When the walls come down and the real you shows through, don't you want someone who shares your secret passion for all things Woody Allen, or at least loves you for it?
Suzanne Collins is more about opposing the Man and the media than providing commentary on romantic relationships. But forging relationships based on equal power dynamics, avoiding toxic situations, and having personal integrity are lessons that are as applicable to the bedroom as they are to the arena.
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Written by Amy Osmond Cook. Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D. is a faculty associate at Arizona State University, where she teaches Communication and English classes. She is the publisher of Sourced Media Books and co-author of Hope After Divorce and Full Bloom: Cultivating Success. Amy and her husband, Jeff, have five children and look forward to welcoming baby #6 in April 2012. For more information about Amy, please visit amyosmondcook.com.