It happens to anyone searching authenticity, those moments when you are stuck, wondering how to respond to a situation. My most recent moment came unexpectedly. A former close friend was in a quandary about some things. We wound up talking about it, sharing our opinions as we once did. And then it happened – we had a different view on a series of events. The quandary was presented: do I tell her the truth from my perspective, knowing she may not want to hear my opinion (even though it was a “kind” truth, not a harsh one) or, given the current status of our relationship, do I decide to say nothing. Allow the conversation to end as it was, and stay in the role of professional friend.
Certainly staying silent, saying nothing, would have been the easier route. Maybe even the more appreciated route.
But it isn’t “me” at all.
Staying silent would me not offering an alternative POV, not allowing the kind words that needed to be said, be said.
So, as I typically do when faced with a quandary, I asked myself why it was important to speak up at all. What was I hoping to accomplish. In truth, I am not certain the answer to that still. I do know it wasn’t about needing to hear myself speak, it wasn’t about being right, and it really wasn’t about me. It was about sharing a point of view that was being ignored, it was about highlighting positive things forgotten. And, for me, it was necessary.
So, in sticking with my commitment to myself to be authentic in all situations, right or wrong, I decided to say something.
The wisdom of that decision is unknown. But, I said what I would say to anyone if in this position. The only reason I second guessed myself was due to friendship troubles we’ve had in the past – not a good enough reason, in my opinion, to forgo being authentic.
See, from my point of view, being authentic means being yourself in all situations and letting that be enough. If I am misunderstood as a result, so be it. I need to be true to me.
This is not to say that I don’t learn and adjust as I float through this thing called life, I do. And yes, I know that my intensities often present themselves in confusing ways to the world around me. But being authentic, being me, is the only thing I really know how to do. So, I am sticking with it – even during the hard times.
What about you? How do you deal with authenticity?