From early in life, we might think we need to pretend to be a certain way in order to be accepted.
Here’s an example: from early on, I was taught to be someone other than who I was, I couldn’t talk, or even be in a room where people were. I was taught from a very young age that who I was wasn’t acceptable. I had to pretend to be someone I was not.
A lack of authenticity can make it hard to create fulfilling, intimate relationships.
Be yourself, everyone else is already takenOscar Wilde
In a world where we are told we can be anything we want to be, we can not be anyone that we want to be. You can be a writer, an artist. Or a Soldier but you have no choice but to be yourself. You cannot pretend to become someone your not.
I’ve tried pretending to be someone else, it’s very stressful, tiring, and ultimately impossible to do it forever. I am one of the people who tried and failed. And if you succeed in pretending someone your not, you will have no happiness in your life.
I come across people making their way through life by pretending. Maybe it’s easier to convince themselves they feel good about what they are not instead of being you they really are.
Contentment doesn’t require action so by convincing yourself you are happy even when your not you can avoid making difficult decisions. We don’t have to swallow our pride and ask for help because no matter what happens it’s okay with you. Pretending everything is fine means not having to contend with your fears and the disapproval from your loved ones. Pretending is costly because we may be giving away our peace of mind.
Why is it difficult to be ourselves?
From the time we were young, we have been taught that we are not enough as we are. People would not accept us the way we are. They wanted to make us think, look, and behave in different ways. It is a fundamental human desire for a connection and social relationships because we are, at our close, relational beings. Many of us choose to compromise, afraid that we would otherwise be left alone, isolated and helpless.
So we had to find ways to convince those around us that we are worth their friendship and act in certain ways to please others, in other words, we had to pretend. We have learned to cover ourselves with the veil of pretense. Behind the mask lies a deep-rooted fear; the fear to express yourself and reveal to others who you truly are.
Our lives do not feel very satisfactory because well, it not our life. It’s based on a fake version of us.
One of these days you are going to ask yourself whether you are truly happy. The truth is something inside of you already knows the answer.
Exposing your true self and fully embracing your deepest desires, and facing your fears requires a huge amount of courage. Many people have been trying to please others for such a low time they have forgotten who they are and what is truly important to them. Maybe even forgetting how to express yourselves.
The importance of authenticity in relationships
In thinking about your own life. Are your relationships genuine? Do you feel confident! Do you feel secure? Are you relaxed? For a significant amount of people, the answer will be no. You may pretend because you don’t feel enough as we are. Even if you don’t appreciate yourself, how can you expect others to appreciate you? If you’re pretending your relationships can become shallow and empty. There is no sincere communication in relationships built around pretending.
So how do we stop pretending?
Don’t imitate, everyone is different and so, to copy another person’s way of life simply means you are suppressing who you really are.
Speak the truth, be honest with yourself and with those you come in contact with. When a lie is told it causes anxiety because it must be covered up by another lie and so forth. Being honest is the best way to be at peace with yourself and others.
Find peace in being alone. It is better to be alone and confident I who you are, than to be in the company of others by lying out of fear. Once you have overridden the fear of being alone, you will be able to let go of the need for social approval. This will allow you to build genuine relationships.
Do what you love, no matter what others expect from you, try not to compromise your way of life. Whatever you enjoy doing, keep on doing it.