a : actually having the reputed or apparent qualities or character <genuine vintage wines>
b : actually produced by or proceeding from the allegedsource or author <the signature is genuine>
c : sincerely and honestly felt or experienced <a deep andgenuine love>
It seems there are many different ‘faces’ a person is asked/expected to wear in today’s world, even in times of distress and/or great loss. Admitting there is a problem is fine but openly expressing the feelings that may accompany the situation seems to fall into the category of unacceptable weakness. We live in a world where perfection is the bar we are expected to strive to achieve: perfect looks, perfect clothes, perfect life, perfect life skills. At least, that is what it looks like from where I am sitting.
There are tons of anti-bullying campaigns and promotions of acceptance but the one thing I have yet to see addressed is things like subliminal bullying. I’ve seen people say all the right words to imply acceptance of another but the actions, though not boldly expressed, are casually enacted that contradict the words. Its sad, really. I love the idea to teach the future generations to be better to each other than we have been but I think the message gets lost when the words and actions don’t coincide/contradict each other.
I’m a firm believer of being exactly who you are. Feel what it is you feel and don’t be afraid to show it. Screw anyone that doesn’t like it or is made uncomfortable by it. This is not to say run around throwing temper tantrums or being cruel to others just because you are trying to be genuine. There are mature, healthy ways of expressing unhappiness and discontent that don’t include taking victims or hostages. As much as I’d like to say I am stellar at this last one, I’m not. It’s a work in progress and I am amazingly better than I used to be.
I tend to openly share my feelings. I have reached a point in my life where the felt need to be the way I believe is expected of me in any given situation is something I have no patience or desire to do. I am who I am. I feel what I feel. Those that can’t accept that are probably people I don’t really want or need in my life to begin with. Yes, there are times when there are certain expectations, such as in business/work. Honestly, I have a really hard time not just being who I am anyway, and it seems to be working for me.
Part of being genuine is being honest. I am horrible at sugar-coating anything. Sure, if I have news that could be emotionally difficult for another, I try to share the news as gently as possible without losing the line of complete honesty. For everything else, I’m pretty straight forward, blunt. There is never a reason for anyone to be unsure of where they stand with me. No decoder ring needed here. This was something I had to learn how to do, and the key to it is completely accepting who you are, being good with it, and not being willing to settle for less from yourself.
You teach people how to treat you. If you can’t have enough respect for yourself to be genuine in your actions and words then how is anyone else supposed to treat you genuinely or have respect for you? Maybe I’m too closed-minded on this. I just can’t imagine not being able to say things like “I don’t agree with that” or “I don’t like that” (without having to justify it) or the simple act of telling someone “no” when I am asked to do something that I really don’t want to do. I need to be able to speak up for myself, to ask for what I need, to know that I have honestly expressed my position on something when it was called for. You will never find me just agree-ing to keep the waters calm, though this wasn’t always the case.
I didn’t used to really know myself very well and what I did know, I didn’t believe was acceptable to show or express. I was the best chameleon I could be, and I was miserable. Sure, I learned a lot of different things in many different situations but the relationship I had with myself was not good. I didn’t like myself. I based my opinion of myself on how well I was accepted by those around me. It really was no way to truly live.
I believe that the only way to live and be happy is to be as genuine as you can be, first with yourself and then with others. Say whats on your mind. Don’t edit out the most important parts just because you might believe someone else may judge you negatively for it. Appreciate the differences in others as opportunities to learn but don’t lose yourself in it. Those that you are going to want in your life are going to be the ones that see the genuine you, the you without dressing, and appreciate all that they see. This doesn’t mean that every person is going to be in love with every last bit of you. It means that they will appreciate the ability to not have to question your motives, your angle, and will have respect for your complete transparency. Give it a shot. Sure, there will be those that will be put off by it, but there are many people who are uncomfortable with attributes of others that appear to present strengths that those people don’t possess. Do you really want to have people you can’t trust as members of your inner circle?