I was talking to a client the other day and helping her navigate through a relational issue and I made the following statement! “The key in every relationship is, if you can’t be yourself in it, then you need to look inward and ask why you can’t?” If I can’t be myself with people I am in relationship with then there is something wrong, either in my heart or theirs (we can only change our own). In thinking about all this and asking those questions I realized how much of our lives we spend on trying to make people like us. Insecurity and the desire to be accepted makes us do all kinds of crazy things that just aren’t who we are. If people don’t like me “for me” then are they really a friend? If they get to know the “fake me” do they love me or the person I pretend to be. Imagine with me for moment if we actually invested the same amount of time working on being authentic in our relationships, strengthening them, investing in them and enjoying them. Battling through the tough times but sticking together. If you had to do an inventory of your relationships and had to separate the real from the fake how many friends would you have left. Personally I would rather have one or two real authentic relationships then a hundred shallow fake ones. I would rather be unpopular and loved by a few then popular at the cost the authenticity. That is the kind of friend who accepts you for who you are and sticks with you through everything. So how can you tell if someone is authentic?
1. They aren’t in a hurry - It takes time, don’t be in hurry, be at peace with who you are and you will attract people who know who they are and both will be patient in the process. My best friends are the longest relationships I have.
2. They are transparent - if they can’t be transparent about themselves then they won’t care what is going on in you. They know their weaknesses and will be honest about them. The word intimacy could be spelled ‘into-me-you-see’.
3. They listen well – Authentic people genuinely care about what you have to say. They practice active listening to ensure they understand your heart more then the information you share.
4. They Stay in the storm – when trouble does come through misunderstandings they seek to make things right, they can say sorry and take responsibility for their part. If it is always your fault it’s not authentic.
5. They speak well of others – if they talk trash about others to you, then chances are they will do the same about you, Authentic people will not be insecure about you having other friends. They don’t demand all your attention.
Hope this helps you look at your relationships and invest most of your time with the authentic ones! Remember by being authentic you will attract authentic!
By: Mark Gordon