Finding Authenticity⏤It Starts With Communication

One of my biggest pet peeves is the lack of authenticity in people and relationships. That goes across the board for me with any relationship, be it a friend, significant other, or family member. In general, an authentic person is true to themself and able to express themselves. They are also non-judgemental and can accept others for their differences. Authenticity in a person also speaks to how thoughtful they can be toward others and their ability to learn from mistakes or experiences. (Psychology Today)

An authentic person is someone approachable and open-minded to others’ ideas, allowing them to feel respected and heard. Most importantly, authentic people don’t put on fronts to make themselves look better; neither do they downplay themselves to look worse. They are confident in who they are and stay true to themselves regardless of the situation. (John Kehoe Mind Power)

Being in an authentic relationship with someone should invoke certain feelings. Primarily you should feel connected and understood, safe to be in that relationship. There should be a deep sense of belonging in the relationship. Your interaction with one another should bring about more joy than circumstance. Authentic relationships with others are what helps us to get through circumstances, not create them. The relationship should also help you to grow as an individual through your support for one another.  

The key factor for me in an authentic relationship is communicating, talking about personal experiences or beliefs without feeling like you are being judged, or having a fear of being abandoned in the relationship. Knowing that you will be supported and accepted regardless of your differences.  

Being able to express yourself and share your ideas with a friend or a mate is hugely important in solidifying a real relationship. After all, our beliefs and ideas have been founded upon our personal journey—the things we have seen and experienced through our own eyes. Having our truths be criticized or shamed does not create a safe place to form an authentic relationship with someone.

Lack of authenticity is usually all about surface appearances. Superficial, some would call it. Having more concern with themselves and their image with no interest in others. Superficial individuals tend to be self-centered, judgemental, and uninvolved (unless it benefits them). Superficial relationships are usually based on looks and lack of substance with no real commitment. 

My most authentic relationships are with my husband and daughter. We have a household that is free from judgment. We are vulnerable to one another and open to talk about anything. My interaction with them is my safe place to be who I want to be, express my feelings, and make mistakes. I can count on them to have my back and support and encourage my growth as I am the same with them. 

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is for me to be my authentic self with others. I have not always done so because I was too concerned with others’ happiness or well-being and how they felt or would feel about me if we didn’t have the same ideas or notions when I was younger. I was always the one that did not want to make waves with others, just wanting to keep the peace; rather, it was good for my peace of mind or not (HUGE Mistake!). 

Nowadays, the Kortney that you see is the Kortney that you get. I am a very open-minded person. I am invested in my relationships with others as long as it is reciprocated.  I’ve always accepted differences in others, never passing judgment or insisting that others see or do things as I do. Just because a person is in a different place in their life than I am, this does not warrant a change in me being a genuine friend. I lend support when needed to be uplifted as well as cheer vigorously in success. This is my authentic self. 

The take away here is that authentic people have authentic relationships. Develop who you are by being true to yourself.  Facades and superficial personas don’t attract authentic people. It is human nature to desire and need true relationships with others. Be the type of person in someone else’s life that you want in yours, and it’s almost guaranteed the same will be bestowed upon you.

Kortney R. Garwood
Wife, Mother, Educator, Entrepreneur, Writer and EXTRA Phenomenal....Woman I Am!

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