“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” -Judy Garland
Fear to show one’s true self is a contributing factor to the rising disconnectedness. Relationships are failing instead of flourishing. Individuals attempt to embody what they believe others expect from them in order to keep them in their life, rather than living authentically and attracting others who do the same. When both parties showcase their authenticity, then both parties are sufficiently self-aware to recognize and understand that because they are imperfect and flawed human beings that they can accept others’ flaws by virtue of knowing how it feels when one is not accepted unconditionally due to a perceived flaw.
We are all imperfect, because we are human. Everyone is not going to like you. One personality characteristic is considered a good quality in one person’s perspective, while at the same time another individual might recall the same personality trait as a bad quality. Since you cannot please everybody, please your mind by living as the person you want. To live as yourself and not someone else you eliminate much suffering and allow joy to emerge. To live authentically is to live honestly. When you are honest about showing others who you really are, then you are effortlessly adding rich meaningful relationships by enabling those who will accept you unconditionally to find you. By the same token, you are eliminating unhealthy relationships from unfolding. If people do not accept your true self, then let them decide to walk away and miss out on all of your good. Do not chase after them; let go.
Cultivating healthy and enduring relationships requires work, but not the level of work perceived by the masses. Relationships are easier if both parties are not deceived by the other in terms of personality traits, likes and dislikes, views, beliefs, short and long-term goals, and their pasts to name a few. Often people change during and because of a relationship, which does not count toward the deception. Similarly, people grow and are unaware of their own changes, which again does not count. What counts is initiating a relationship with lies and with the subconscious intent to harm oneself and the other from realizing a healthier version of the relationship.
If we do not change our approach to relationships on the micro-scale, then growing distrust and malfunction will continue to increase and permeate macro-scale spheres and institutions as a result.
Exercise: List 1-3 relationships in which you are comfortable living your authentic self and the relationship type.
Bonus: Shape new relationships based on the model you have achieved with those you listed in the exercise.
~ One person who I show my authentic self is my first and best friend from college.