Bit by bit we create fictitious relationships with people when how we act isn’t congruent with who we truly are. And then if we rely on or grow fond of those relationships, we become conditioned to elicit behaviors that aren’t a reflection of our true selves.
This poses a number of problems. Not least of which is the fact that the bigger the gap becomes between how we act and who we truly are, the more friction we feel. Even if we don’t feel uneasy at the time, living in an incongruent fashion eventually catches up with us and manifests itself as any number of relationship-related issues.
Always strive to act as authentically as possible. By aligning how you act with who you truly are, you will not only form far more meaningful and rewarding relationships, you will naturally attract many more of the types of people you actually want in your life.
It’s better to be your genuine self and have fewer of the right kinds of people in your life than it is to surround yourself with those who only accept you as long as you conform to their idea of who you should be.
Don’t live your life wearing a disguise.
When you refuse to be anything but your genuine self, you give those who are most compatible with who you are a chance to find you.
Never fear being rejected by those who seek to confine you to their expectations. It’s OK not to be liked or accepted by everyone you cross paths with on your journey.
You have to live your own life, learn from what life experiences provide you and evolve into the person you were meant to be.
Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and let go of things that are keeping you from making progress in life in order to make space for more of the things that will help you fulfill your potential.
There is a big difference between saying or doing something kind because you feel it is expected of you out of politeness and saying or doing something kind because you truly mean it.
When your true intention is kindness, don’t just go through the motions. Be kind like you mean it.
Even with simple social standards like saying “Please”, “Thank you”, and “You’re welcome”.
“Please”, “Thank you”, and “You’re welcome” are magic words, but they lose much of their power when expressed as a reflexive gesture as opposed to being communicated with sincerity.
Know that people can not only hear the difference when you speak with or without sincerity, they can feel it. So if you’re going to take the time to express things like “Thank you” and “You’re welcome — and you truly mean it — don’t just say the words without putting some thought & feeling behind them.
Take the time to express kindness like you mean it by speaking your words clearly and sincerely. Use your eyes, your voice, your body language, and your actions to reinforce those words.
For example, it’s not “Yup.” that follows “Thank you.” It’s “You’re welcome.”
It should be obvious, but “Yup” and “You’re welcome” do not even come close to meaning the same thing.
You might be surprised as how much of a difference it makes when it’s completely obvious to others that you mean what you say.
It feels better for everyone because it is better for everyone.
“Real men wear…”
“Real men drink [brand]…”
“Real men know how to…”
“Real men drive [brand]…”
“Real men like…”
Real men. Real women. Real people like whatever they want to like and do whatever they want to do. Their preferences are not dictated by fads, popularity, or the social norm. They don’t like things in order to appear more appealing to others.
Real people act with authenticity. And authentic people listen to their inner voice and make their own decisions based on their personal preferences and experience.
So to say “Real men like…” is practically meaningless.
A “real” person is going to maintain their integrity regardless of the influence of outside forces — regardless of your desire that they like whatever it is you think they should like in order to be a “real” person.
To suggest otherwise is to suggest that you judge people based on whether they like or don’t like exactly the same things you do. And if they don’t, they’re not a “real” person.
To be real is to be authentic. To be real is to have a strong sense of self. To be real is to have a positive moral character. And above all, to be real is to have integrity.
A real person is going to like beer or mixed drinks or not drink at all.
A real person is going to eat meat or not.
A real person is going to like cats or dogs or none of the above.
A real person is going to be religious or not.
A real person is going to like watching sports or root for the same team as you or not.
A real person is going to drive an American made car or a foreign car or none at all.
The thing about “real” people is that you can’t tell them what to be — or who or what to like — and expect them to cater to you simply because you want them to. Real people are going to be real and make their own decisions and do what they want whether you approve of it or not.
Real people don’t exist to confine themselves to other people’s expectations. They’re not content with being labeled. They have no desire to fit within a box. They don’t cave in to peer pressure. And they don’t act with the intention of pleasing everyone.
And this is far more rare than it should be — and should be of far more value and far more desirable than a person who simply likes the exact same things you like, shares your exact point of view, or is easily influenced by the social majority or the flavor of the week.
Consider this the next time someone suggests “Real people…” do or like anything.
Integrity does not involve feeding people’s egos in an attempt to manipulate them into getting something you want. Integrity is not being nice with the expectation of reward. Integrity is not preying on people’s weaknesses to meet your own needs. Integrity is not making promises you cannot keep. Integrity is not withholding key information until you have won someone over by fueling their desires. Integrity is not waiting until they’ve signed the dotted line to reveal the fine print or legally manipulative part of the contract.
What those things encompass can be described quite simply as inauthentic, offensive, and manipulative. In a word: bullshit.