An Experiment in Authenticity

In my day to day life I try to be as authentic as possible, that is to say I act and speak in line with whom I am. Sometimes for reasons of social acceptability I may dilute myself somewhat in order to reduce the risk of having to get into protracted discussions / debates about my beliefs and perspectives on life. Not that I mind a bit of healthy intellectual debate but having done so, so many times simply to feel frustrated at the end of the conversation I rarely no longer am inclined to do so.

By way of explanation I seem to have a very different take on life than most people I know. I come at things from a kind of spiritually empathic viewpoint. It doesn’t mean that I am in some way better than other people, just that I seem to be of a very different mindset to those around me.
So, to get to the point, I thought that for a couple of days I would be as honestly open and authentic as I could possibly be. A kind of experiment shall we say.
It didn’t really go well.

My experience was that most individuals ‘turned off’ , that is, either changed the subject, made excuses to go and do something else or look at me quietly thinking that I was truly crazy.
A scenario being the simple though somewhat open ended question when someone asks you ‘ how are you today?’.
My honest response might well be ‘ I’m generally good though energetically a little out of kilter. A spot of meditative strolling through the woods always works. It’s that wholesome oneness you feel amongst Nature’.

A common question also being ‘what did you do last night?’.
My response may be something along the lines of ‘ I read Fritjof Capra’s book The Web of Life and his take on Deep Ecology. Later I sat outside breathing in the still night air and admiring the beauty of the dusk’,

So I’m thinking, how do I resolve this issue? Sure there are Facebook/ internet groups out there that discuss such things but somehow that doesn’t work for me.
I therefore surmise that I will remain authentic but will be diligent in terms of what I say and to whom!

11 thoughts on “An Experiment in Authenticity

  1. Thanks for sharing. Great post!!! It is fascinating the reactions one receives when we honestly answer those small talk questions. I have taught myself the small talk game and I am old enough to know when to play the game. I always remain true to myself but put on different masks for others to be more comfortable. However, I do slip up every now and then when I lose focus or am distracted by too much stimulation/energy especially in a large social gathering.

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  2. Now you (and some others it seems) understand the need for the solo mind. Not having an interface to the collective and finding the majority of talk cheap and petty a reflection of how deep you needed to go already. This is good. Eyes to see and ears to hear are in those depths.

    The lacking authenticity is the collective in action, which is trained into us in education. Being fully, psychologically defined by the environment is the aim. Believing it is my free-will is the trick. Its currency is an idle collective-mind. The sacrifice is the true, one-self.

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  3. I’ve noticed that most of the people that ask how our day has been don’t really care to listen to an answer, regardless of our authenticity. Sometimes I even give up answering because I know they will interrupt me mid sentence. It’s funny thinking how many people I would freak out with honest answers to their questions. Unfortunately I don’t have any advice for you but I wanted to let you know that I know how it feels. Some just aren’t ready for our truth

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  4. This made me smile, as I think we can all relate. Although in my case, my responses might truly distress others, what with time lines crossing and perspectives brought on by other lives, etc. Lol!

    I think the real issue here, though, is not the authenticity of our responses, so much as the lack of authenticity in the questions being asked. I mean, how many people asking how you are today truly want to know? How many are actually interested in what we did last night, or last weekend, etc. It’s all just polite conversation, right?

    Given that, I think discretion is more appropriate than full disclosure in most cases. I can still be authentic without offering details. For example, I can answer the “how are you today?” question by saying, “I’m ok, mostly; just feeling a little out of balance today,” and leave it at that. Or to the other question, “I read a fascinating book last night, and took some time for myself.” All true, all authentic, but short of full disclosure…

    Just my thoughts on this, though I personally would welcome full disclosure with no judgment. 😀

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  5. I understand you completely! There are friends whom I can say what you wrote here without raising any eyebrows and to them, I would answer the way I want. To the others, I would only go all out if I knew them well enough. It’s hard to balance. I get it. You can say those answers to me and we could chat for awhile. 🙂 I like the way you are thinking…

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