When it comes to relationships, it is no secret that many people have their insecurities. And I’m definitely one of them. But what I recently realized is that I don’t fear being disliked, as I had once believed.
I fear inauthenticity.
Being “nice” to someone can mean absolutely nothing. If it does not come from a real, wholehearted place, it is essentially meaningless. At the end of the day, if you are not honest about who you are and what you need, then everyone loses and everyone hurts. You cannot outrun your own truth.
Ultimately, it’s much better for you to be authentic than to be liked.
I have lost relationships for reasons I believed to be seemingly small as compared to the gravity of the loss. Looking back, though, I realize that these ties weren’t spontaneously broken; the ties broke under the weight of holding in the truth for too long.
When we hold in our truth for too long, it can end up spilling out when least expected. We create images of who we think we are supposed to be. The longer we maintain this image, the more the pressure of bottling things up grows until it shatters.
It always hurts to lose someone, but sometimes it’s for the best. Don’t sacrifice your own authenticity just to keep someone else happy.
As painful as losing someone is, I have found renewed peace in honoring authenticity in relationships, regardless of how that looks. The truth is that many of my past relationships ended simply because we could no longer pretend we could be who we were not. And that is okay.
Being everything to everyone is impossible, and it’s not a wise use of anyone’s energy. It is kinder for everyone involved to set a boundary than to have someone count on you for something you cannot offer. It’s better for someone to tell you that they are unable to keep a promise, rather than to appease you in the moment by saying what you want to hear.
Being honest with your loved ones shows that you respect and trust them. You dishonor them and yourself by suppressing the truth of who you are.
I don’t fear being disliked anymore; I fear losing myself to who I think I am supposed to be. Moreover, I am equally scared of others losing themselves to who they think they are supposed be.
As you develop authenticity for yourself, you should encourage it in those around you. Thank your friend when they work up the courage to be honest with you about something they feared sharing. Be understanding when a sibling is honest in advance about not being able to attend an event they previously thought they could. Moreover, when someone isn’t authentic with you, explain why that’s upsetting so they understand.
Surrounding yourself with authentic individuals will help you stay honest as well.
Over time, it has gotten a bit easier for me to accept who I am and realize that some people simply aren’t going to understand it. If you find that a friend is consistently resistant to your honesty and openness, then it may be time to move on. Life is just way too short to be anything but yourself.
Originally published on HerCampus.
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