Sunday, March 4, 2012

Being Genuine

I'm getting older.  I know, surprise.  The alternative is not so great, so I am quite grateful that the aging process is occurring...but as the days go by, I am quickly noticing changes in what I like/want/enjoy/value. And I see that many of these changes stem from an overall desire to be genuine in all ways and experience genuineness from others in return.

I am really bad about thinking that if I ask someone ten times how they are doing and what is going on, that it feels like I am really interested.  The truth is, I really do want to know how you are doing.  But I don't want to fakely ask over and over again and I'm confident you don't want me to either.  I don't want to respond to someone who says they have had a hard time with, "I'm sure it will be fine."  I'm not sure.  How could I be? So why do I say that?

I'm finding that day by day, I have less desire to engage in small talk.  I don't want to call a friend I haven't talked to in awhile and spend ten minutes making polite chit chat.  Instead I want to genuinely ask them how they are and spend the rest of the conversation engaging in quality discussion.  It's not about how much you say, it's about what you say -- quality over quantity -- the same way I feel about powerpoint presentations and text messages.  Somehow even though quality is my preference, I tend to go overboard on the quantity (sorry).  My point is, it just doesn't feel genuine to exchange small talk with people you have known for years.  And if you still are, you need to assess the relationship and figure out a way to dig deeper.  No relationship will ever survive or be truly meaningful if you never get beyond the surface.  No one will ever feel like they get the real you if everything is sugar coated and wonderful all the time.  And if they don't get the real you, they will never be able to value the real you.  

By nature, I am prone to wanting everyone to like me.  I want everyone to agree with me, think I'm great, think I'm easy to be with, etc.  But reality is, everyone will not like me.  Everyone will not agree with me or think I'm great.  And if everyone does, then I am not genuinely being myself.  It just cannot possibly go both ways.

I am a work in progress.  I am trying to get away from being overly sweet and cheery if the situation doesn't call for it and if it will not seem genuine.  I want to be "real" and not misrepresent my life.  Blogging has this amazing way of portraying exactly what you put out there and maybe some other characteristics about you that can be inferred.  And who we are in our everyday relationships works the same way.  If I am not genuine, how can I expect others to be?

Note: My instinct is to put a smiley emoticon at the end of that last sentence.  However, that just wouldn't be genuine, so I will refrain. 

1 comment:

Lauren said...

We think alike my friend! My goal is to plan less and really just enjoy being in the moment. I have also realized that it's ok if I don't talk to friends all the time...if they are true friends, you can just pick up where you left off. If I spend all my time "catching up" I will miss the life right in front of me :) The Kleins love you.

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