Your Authentic Self is the Person You are When No One Else is Watching
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We all have different faces and behaviours for different situations. You may speak differently when you are around children than you do when you are watching a football match. When you are with friends and family you may be different than when you are with people you are less comfortable with.
So which one is the real you? Are you that person who appears to be sweet and kind around children or are you the obnoxious foulmouthed individual who attends a football match with a few mates?
In truth most people like to think that they are a mixture of both. If you are one such person you could be partially correct. But what if you are interested in discovering the real, the authentic you?
You see, most of your actions are determined not only by the situation you find yourself in at any given time but also by who we are with at the time. Basically you, like many other people, like an audience and your behaviour will often be linked to the act you put on
So, what if the audience was taken away? How would you then behave in the same situation?
Stub your toe when you are entertaining polite guests and you might choose to bite your tongue. Do the same thing when you are with close friends with whom you feel relaxed and comfortable and the air may turn blue with your choice of words. But which of those would you do if you were totally alone?
It may be that you behave as a confident positive person always encouraging people around you. But when you are alone you could be a worrier and doubter of your own abilities?
You see the real you only decides to show up when the reaction of the audience is taken away.
We don’t always act the way we do in front of people to impress our audience. It can be that you behave badly when you are with people who expect that of you. For example you may not be a particularly gossipy person, but put yourself in with a group of gossips and you try to ‘fit in’ by acting the same way. You don’t do it to impress. You act like that so that you don’t draw attention to yourself or stand out from the crowd. But take away the gossiping mob and ask yourself if you would naturally talk about people behind their backs?
I have a happily married friend whose wife knows and who freely admits that when alone in the house, walks around naked a lot of the time. But he wouldn’t dream of being naked if anyone else was in the house with him, and that includes his wife. “It just wouldn’t feel comfortable if someone else was around” he told me. “It is not about hiding anything or being ashamed of her seeing me walk about the house naked” he went on “she is happy for me to be naked around the house. It is about me being embarrassed” When asked further about why he went naked when no one else was around he simply said that it just felt right and made him feel “authentic”
So what stops us being authentic all of the time? It may be, like my friend simple embarrassment of letting people see us as we are. It could be to conform to what we think society expects from us. Or it could be that you like to be the centre of attention. It could even be that you feel that you are keeping other people at a distance and protecting yourself by not letting others see the ‘real’ you.
The next time you behave in a certain way when you are in the company of others ask yourself, how you really ‘want’ to behave and how you would behave if you were alone. Then try to be that way and see how it feels.