Sounds like a losing proposition all the way around.
It’s definitely a risky proposition, that’s for sure…not necessarily a losing proposition I would say…and I think that’s part of his point. Both approaches ( to hide your real self or to reveal your real self) come with risk. This is not a trivial decision. There are contexts in which it would be far too risky to be fully revealing and ‘authentic’ I think and the potential cost too great if you did ‘lose’. So, how do we decide or intuit when and how much to risk? For me that’s best handled as a moment to moment or context to context assessment. And it also occurs to me that deciding to not fully reveal myself is an authentic expression of who I am…
I revealed something about what I wanted for the garage the other day to my partner. In doing so, it is true that I was being authentic.
I was also being really unsavvy.
Savvy in the sense that when we DO know someone, we can grok what overwhelms them, what their capacity is for engagement around certain subjects, and their willingness and skill.
And their safety.
My Nature is for things to have “a place.” I want to steward spaces and things, and things without a “place” and without a usefulness feel to me like a frozen fish on the counter where no one seems to want to eat fish! It’s just going to “go bad” and then what?!?
I want to be known, but revealing everything or expressing myself in a moment doesn’t NECESSARILY lead to more closeness, intimacy, empathy, or what we want.
“Say what isn’t being said.” Ok. But there are 10,000 things not being said. Which of those do I say? How do I have candid conversations without harming (even if temporarily) the connection?
My deepest relationships are a “risk” – and so worth it. It’s true that talking about stuff in the garage when my partner has 100 obviously higher priority things on her mind and heart was me speaking from my pain and discomfort… which is (often) painful and uncomfortableness SHARED when one does that.
I mean, dang, Adira is uncensored. When she’s upset about something, she shrieks it. Talk about discomfort now SHARED. I continue to work on my inner wiring so I can be more neurologically calm at such times… there’s improvement… but we all kinda know that a baby / toddler shrieking is definitely AUTHENTIC and in this case the Courage needs to come from those around them. Or at least it seems that way to me…
I do want people who over the course of many moons get to know me, and I get to know them. We can then navigate from deeper compassion and understanding. We intentionally co-create times and spaces for sharing of deeper feelings, needs, and discomforts where that space can be “held” without washing away the connection.
Toddlers don’t get that. Emotional toddlers (even decades after diapers) don’t get that, either.
Context by context, expanding our resilience so the risk is a bit of discomfort and not the destruction of our self-worth or psyche… that’s the kind of strengthening that does take courage, practice, and real skill.
Love to us all, ~Rick
I felt tears when I read that. I want to shriek !!! It would scare the person I live with and I don’t want to be like a toddler but damn! Living with a person who doesn’t understand “we” space nor does he want to makes it so hard. I’m not blaming but right now I want to SHRIEK.
So much depth and truth in what you’ve described Rick. It’s no mystery why so many people immerse themselves in activities that are binary in nature…anything ‘team’ related fills the bill…sports and politics work nicely as they can be reduced down to a binary ‘us vs them’…my team vs the other team…winning vs losing…and then of course that sort of thinking can be easily mapped onto relationships of all kinds. It’s a sort of ‘elegant’ solution by some description (it simplifies VERY complex interactions and creates abundant feelings of certainty as a result…and significantly reduces the emotional risk…WIN!!) but it sure misses the mark in terms of depth and authenticity and real connection and the sort of things we talk about here. Team Me vs Team Everybody/Everything Else…not a great emotional thrival strategy I would say and I speak from experience…