Personally, I think there needs to be a disclaimer on that saying. I’ve seen too many people use the excuse of “just being real” to justify blutalizing another person with their feelings. I don’t believe that being real means expressing yourself at the cost of another. Sure, if you’re upset with someone because of something they said or did, by all means tell them this, but don’t turn it into character bashing. We’ve all heard by now what has been toted as the correct way to communicate dissatisfaction or hurt feelings: I feel this way when you say/do that. It always sounds so ideal in written text, as if it would be something easily applied to all conversations with stellar results. Maybe it is for most people. My results have been varied and I can’t really put the blame on anyone but myself. I don’t have great interpersonal communication skills, though this is something I have been working on for a while and am much better than when I started.
I am a communicator. Though there are times in my life, in the past and occasionally in the present, when communication has been something I am horribly inept at. But, I think I am straying from the focus of today’s word. SO, back to real…
: actually existing or happening : not imaginary
: not fake, false, or artificial
: important and deserving to be regarded or treated in a serious way
b (1) : occurring or existing in actuality <saw a real live celebrity> <a story of real life> (2) : of or relating to practical or everyday concerns or activities <left school to live in the real world> (3) : existing as a physical entity and having properties that deviate from an ideal, law, or standard<a real gas> — compare ideal 3b
c : having objective independent existence <unable to believe that what he saw was real>
d : fundamental, essential
e (1) : belonging to or having elements or components that belong to the set of real numbers <the real roots of an equation> <a real matrix> (2) : concerned with or containing real numbers <real analysis> (3) : real-valued <realvariable>
f : measured by purchasing power <real income> <realdollars>
Around this household, we tend to be real. It’s not always a pretty site but it is genuine. We say what’s on our mind, aren’t afraid of having an argument or disagreement over something, openly express our feelings, apologize when we are wrong, and work hard at accepting the feelings of another. This is not to say we are stellar at it, because we aren’t, but we are honest. Sometimes the arguments that are had tend to be spurred by one of us coming at the other in a sideways way. I prefer directness, even though that can be hard to handle sometimes. I’d much rather deal with the directness than have to figure out what the sideways is about.
I’ve spent a lot of my life being the chameleon. I adapted to whatever best fit the situation based on what others wanted. This was usually either an attempt to fit in or an attempt to reduce that potential conflict I would have to deal with otherwise. I did what I thought would benefit me. I have come to realize that playing the appropriate role or not being honest with my feelings, not being real, is not what benefits me.
I have found greater happiness by just being me, imperfections and all. I’ve also found that people respect me better for it, find comfort in it, and tend to be more real with me. It’s a win-win situation. No lies or sideways comments/actions to decipher.
What does real look like in your world?