Five Ways to Wellbeing- Connect- Are you Showing your Real Self?

I have been wondering lately how to be authentic in real life as well as online. I think my real self shows online but I’m too wary of people in the village where I live to tell them that I am an author, let alone the genres I write, or the fact that I’ve lived in many different places, done many different jobs and have a wealth of life experience which could maybe help them with their problems. To them I’m just a housewife.

I wonder if I can use these tips to help me be myself…

From here: https://www.psychologies.co.uk/are-you-showing-your-real-self

Are you showing your ‘real’ self?

Putting up defences might keep you safe for a while, but will it help you to find true intimacy in the long run? Relationships expert Sarah Abell looks at the role of authenticity in our lives, and why we seem to fear showing our real selves so much

6 MAY 2014 } by Psychologies

When I was 21 and my older brother died suddenly from an accidental overdose, people I thought were my friends crossed the road to avoid me. I had no idea how to express my grief and no one to talk to.

That was when a very difficult truth hit me. The reason that I didn’t have the depth of relationships I longed for was because I hadn’t been showing up in an authentic way. I had been sent to boarding school at the age of eight and, as a result, had become self-sufficient, outwardly confident, driven and socially adept – but also completely unable to express any genuine negative emotions or to experience true intimacy.

My story isn’t unique. We live in a culture that values perfection, success and appearance and many people find it difficult to show up as themselves. As part of my research for my work on authenticity, I surveyed 1,000 people. A third of respondents said they didn’t let people see ‘the real me’. And 50 per cent said they didn’t find it easy to tell others if they were hurt or upset. When asked what it means to be authentic this is what a few people said: ‘Authenticity requires vulnerability – and always the type of vulnerability that at times may feel deeply uncomfortable.’

And we don’t like the idea of being vulnerable and exposed.  We fear that others may not approve of what they see and that they may laugh at us, reject us or attack us. But there’s also a part of me that wants to be known and loved for who I am. And I don’t want other people to feel they have to pretend or to cover up with me, either. Probably the reality for many of us is that we want it both ways – we want the deep connection, but we also want to stay protected. So, I have two questions for myself:

  • How would I act differently if I did value connection over protection?
  • How could I act differently so the other person might feel safe enough to value connection over protection?

A beginner’s guide to authenticity

1. Start with yourself. Being authentic begins with being honest with yourself about what you really think and feel. Try keeping a journal about your day and ask yourself some questions to draw out your true reactions. Why not start with these:

Carry on reading here: https://www.psychologies.co.uk/are-you-showing-your-real-self

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2 thoughts on “Five Ways to Wellbeing- Connect- Are you Showing your Real Self?

  1. I have always been myself. Those who are my friends know my good and not so good points but they accept them.

    Someone once said Ron doesn’t suffer fools gladly – One of my closest friends replied. He doesn’t suffer fools at all.

    My other truism is – if you don’t want to hear my answer do not ask the question.

    • Thanks Ron, I always appreciate your comments.

      I think part of the reason people are not always their true selves is if we are women. I’ve been told over and over that I’m too clever, too bold, too strong, too abrupt so guess what? I tried to subdue those aspects of myself so I was accepted by more people. There is an excellent article by Tara Mohr which in summary says for so many centuries women had no power to protect themselves or their children, so to be unaccepted by those in power (men) could be fatal as they might throw the woman out of the tribe to die alone in the wilderness. It made a heck of a lot of sense because most women still feel this way deep down inside themselves in modern times.

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