Why Authenticity is the Key to Building Strong Relationships
In this digital age, the inclination to showcase a perfected version of ourselves online is strong. To create an enviable profile, we often emphasize only our best characteristics and conceal any imperfections. This may bring forth self-assuredness in the present but can impede us from building meaningful connections in the future.
Dr. Brené Brown, an esteemed researcher and author on vulnerability and authenticity, explains it this way: “Authenticity is a day-to-day practice of bidding farewell to who we believe we should be so that we can welcome our genuine selves.” By being honest with ourselves, rather than just settling for shallow relationships, the potential for forming deep connections with others increases exponentially. Keep reading to learn more about why authenticity is the key to building strong relationships.
The Importance of Authenticity in Friendship
When it comes to cultivating friendships, authenticity is paramount. In a survey by the American Psychological Association, “Connecting with others in an honest way was cited as being the most significant element in sustaining strong and healthy relationships.” If we are not genuine in our interactions, then those around us won’t be able to understand us more deeply or form authentic ties with us.
Being genuine with our friends yields various advantages, including more profound and meaningful conversations. As Dr. Brown aptly put it, “Vulnerability creates the breeding ground for creativity, innovation and transformation.” By being able to express ourselves without fear of judgment or retaliation allows us to have the courage to delve into difficult topics which can result in stronger bonds between ourselves and others as well as an opportunity for growth on both sides.
Authenticity and Romantic Relationships
Beyond just friends, authenticity is also essential for successful romantic relationships. A journal study by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships confirmed that people who don’t show their true selves in online dating profiles are less likely to receive replies from suitable partners. Thus, if we want to find someone compatible with us, it’s best to be genuine in our dating profiles instead of pretending or masking ourselves.
Even after entering a loving relationship, the significance of being honest still stands. In fact, a survey by the National Opinion Research Center exposed that couples who are not genuine in their relations have more likelihood to feel unhappy and discontent with their relationships compared to those who remain true to themselves. Not honest communication or lack of trust is detrimental for any kind of partnership; thus it’s important that we keep up our authenticity even when we’re in one.
Why Authenticity Can Be Challenging
Despite the many benefits of being our genuine selves, it can be a difficult process to do so. This is due in part to an apprehension of not fitting in and being rejected by those around us. As Dr. Brown elucidates, “Vulnerability lies at the heart of all emotions and feelings – making ourselves seen, truly exposed and vulnerable; loving with no guarantee – that takes vulnerability.” When we open up emotionally, there’s always a risk that others will not accept what they see or hear from us which can create fear within us.
Authenticity can be a difficult practice to master due to our self-knowledge discrepancies. As the Journal of Research in Personality found, we often possess an inaccurate understanding of ourselves and what lies within us—making it hard to portray authenticity. Consequently, investing time into better understanding who you are as an individual is paramount if you wish to live authentically.
The Benefits of Authenticity
Despite the difficulty, it is worth every bit of time and energy invested to be authentic. When we choose authenticity, we are able to build relationships with those around us on a deeper level. Furthermore, by being genuine and honest with ourselves, our self-awareness and acceptance grows profoundly – leading us towards greater contentment in life!
With authenticity, we can find greater success not only in our personal and professional lives, but it also gives us the confidence to make decisions that align with who we are. A research study published by the Journal of Applied Psychology discovered something rather remarkable: those individuals who remain genuine at work experience higher job gratification and their colleagues deem them as more capable leaders! So why don’t you take advantage of this opportunity? Be yourself – be true to who you are – for greater satisfaction on your journey towards success. Moreover, since being truly authentic allows us to tap into our creative side, there is no better time than now to explore its benefits!
How to Cultivate Authenticity
To start your journey to greater authenticity, here are some helpful tips! Reflect on who you really are and what matters most to you. It will help in determining any areas where one might be acting against their true self. Also, strive for honesty—both with yourself and those around you. While it can seem intimidating at first, when we share our authentic selves without fear of judgement or criticism, we open up a world of genuine connections that positively influence us all.
Embody vulnerability: According to Dr. Brown, being vulnerable is the crucial element of being genuine. This means opening up and sharing our innermost thoughts, emotions and struggles with others, even if it may be uncomfortable at times.
Surround yourself with individuals who accept you wholeheartedly: Being around people that embrace us for who we are can help encourage a feeling of genuineness within us all.
Ultimately, authenticity is the cornerstone of any deep and meaningful connection. While it can be intimidating to stand in our truth, doing so yields invaluable rewards for both ourselves and those close to us. To become truly authentic we must take time to understand who we are, remain honest with ourselves and others, embrace vulnerability when appropriate and surround ourselves with people that support us. By following these guidelines we will cultivate a life full of strong relationships built on trust and understanding.
What will you do to be more authentic in your relationships? Let us know in the comments below!