Being Authentic! (but not rude…..)

Have you ever had a thought  rolling around in your head (happens a lot to me) that’s not quite reached maturity?   An idea  that’s forming and is on the cusp of being ready.   Well,  I attribute this post to another incredible and dear friend (and also a neighbor – are you starting to realize I live in pretty cool place or what??) who happens to be my mentor too of sorts – with many more attributes rolled into our relationship as well. We were talking about being authentic a while back and something happened just today that brought this entire concept to light.  Thus I must share it before I retire to bed for the evening.  It has to come out of my finger-tips or sleep will not visit.  I know myself fairly well.   I’m lying in bed, hair up on top of my head in a ballerina twist (growing it out again which means it bugs me if it touches my face at night), pillows all fluffed and in position for my sleep, laptop tinking away. My friend Sherry said and I quote “If you want an authentic relationship, you should be truthful otherwise, your relationship is built on shifting sands rather than a firm foundation.  Blog on that one, my dear.” It was actually in an email – remember that Sherry? I recently met someone shall we say, who seems to be a bit needy in the sense of wanting and actually requesting specific responses, constant stroking and reassurance of the ego.  I’m sure you can probably tell where I’m going with this.   I’ve never been good with needy people.  I do try mind you.   In my over-active imagination, these needy people become a human octopus with many arms pleading for more and more :::::running away screaming::::::: This person recently went to the doctor.   I was of course concerned and awaited an update for they had a prior blood clot in their left leg.  That’s pretty scary stuff in my book.  This is a new friend of sorts and the learning process is still ongoing.  After their appointment I asked how it went and hoped everything had been resolved.   They were given a clean bill of health thank goodness and all seemed right with the world.  ‘Good.  That’s really good news”, I responded genuinely.  We finished our lunch and went our different paths  for the day.  I received an email later that day saying they were surprised that my response to the good news wasn’t more energetic and over the top.  As I reread the email – my puzzled eyebrows turned into furrowed angry eyebrows – and my toes were NOT wiggling merrily I assure you.  If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a very compassionate and caring person.  I give freely of who I am.  I am very loving.  VERY. I was taken aback by the insistence that I should respond in a way that was more pleasing and fulfilled some kind of need that THEY had.  A need that had nothing to do with me.  From this persons past, I have gained information that insecurity is a large part of who they are.  Sad but true. I replied with an email that  gently stated that if my responses were not ‘authentic’ and true – and came from my GENUINE self, then they were a lie.  Is that what they wanted – for me to give them a response that satiated some internal need and void – but wasn’t a true response.  Did I need cue cards?  Do they want that?  Really?  Or did they want a real person with a response that was caring and not over the top enough for them – it was authentic but not rude. The emails continued through the day – at which time I was exhausted from trying to get the point across – that they were asking me to give responses that were not mine – and I couldn’t do that.   (There’s a little more history involved here of course – I’m trying to give just one example). Plus my stubbornness sets in.  The more you ask me to do something, the less likely the chance that I’ll do it.  Especially if it goes against my inner grain of who I am  (The 8 year old surfaces). Being authentic is very important to me personally.   I’ve always laughed at women who lie about their age.  I’ve earned these years and am proud of them and have recently found in the dating world that MEN lie about their age.   I’ll show up for a date and the gentleman is a good decade older than was originally stated.  HELLO – do you think I wouldn’t notice the fact that you look like the grandfather of the man in the photo?  Just be honest!  Plus I happen to like older men anyway – but if you lie about something as small as your age – what else would you lie about? In any relationship – friends, dating, business – it takes time to know someone.  Your true persona is revealed at some point.  You can’t hide.  And why would you want to? How taxing would that be emotionally to begin with a lie or even several and try to keep them hidden.  They always come out.  Always. (I was married to one of those by the way – it’s sad to see it all fall apart – ) And being authentic is not about being RUDE – I’m Southern for God’s sake – and manners are a part of good breeding – thus being authentic doesn’t give you license to be rude. ::::shaking finger NO::::::  It’s ‘ok’ to be yourself I suppose is the bottom line.   Cherish the fact that you are unique and express that in your responses. And on a last note – it’s all specific to YOU.  There’s no wrong or right way – your journey is unique to you.   Fun stuff. :::wiggling toes merrily:::::

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