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As people, we crave connection. The ability to connect with others is a core human need and driving motivation for many. However, how often do we feel like we are assimilating to the norms of those around us? Do we have to change parts of ourselves to maintain our relationships? In short, yes. And no. We all have parts of ourselves that step up in our various personal and professional relationships. We want to portray ourselves in a way where we are desirable, intelligent, likeable, and many other characteristics. But in the process, are we losing our authentic selves to maintain these relationships. When we show who we really are, we become vulnerable. And with vulnerability there is always the risk that we may not be validated.

The thought of someone not liking our core self can be terrifying, so we amplify the parts of us that are socially accepted and lose touch with the parts that are true to us, as individuals. What would it be like to acknowledge those parts that others may not like? Or what if those concerned parts are the ones that can help our relationships grow? The more we care for each part of ourselves (yes, even the ones we do not like) the more authentic we can be, and in process can build better relationships because we are no longer “faking it”.

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