How to Be More Authentic

Are you your real self on the outside as well as inside? You might think you are, give or take a few white lies meant to help rather than harm. However, countless people hide behind masks of niceness and secrecy as they want to appear non-offensive and people to like them. They want people to accept them; showing who they genuinely are could upset the apple-cart.

Niceness as a mask

Amiability can stem from the wish to please; everyone enjoys the company of ‘nice’ people, and they seldom say unkind words about them. However, being agreeable comes with drawbacks. If what you think does not match what you say, you repress your feelings. When you are not yourself, dishonest words repeat uncomfortably within as mind-indigestion.

Your brain wants to help you meet your needs and cannot happily digest incongruent behavior. You need to be true to yourself if you want fulfillment. When you hold back from speaking words that are true, but might offend, you swallow your emotions. Thus, you create stress in your body that might appear as illness.

Dropping the mask

You can drop the mask once you recognize that it formed as a means of survival and was your friend for a while, but no longer serves you. It does not help you get what you need or do what it set out to anymore.

People do not really hold you in high esteem because you are wonderful all the time; they find you easygoing and pleasant, but you are not their best friend. They want a pal that tells it to them straight. What good is a friend who always tells you that you look great when you try on an outfit in which you look terrible?

Niceness is a habit, and you need to practice to change. When you notice yourself not being genuine, pause and evaluate your needs. Is what you are about to say or do helpful? Will it fulfill your wishes? If not, change tack and speak the truth.

Honesty with kindness

Often, people are not honest because they care, and consideration is to be applauded when applied well. If the world was more compassionate it would be a better place. However, you do not need to be unkind to say your truth. Word what you wish to say with care and love. For instance, if a friend owes you money, you can say, “I’m glad I have helped you with the loan, and now you are back on your feet I would appreciate its return.” You may need to breathe deeply before you take the plunge and express yourself, but you will feel better for doing so. Speak honest words with a smile and without malice, and people will understand you.

Niceness is valuable at times, however, you can go too far. If being agreeable makes you less than genuine, you need to drop the mask and stand your ground. People will respect you for speaking your truth and know you are genuine rather than secretly disliking them beneath your pleasant veneer.

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

One Reaction

  1. Layla

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