Authentic Communication

Essay by simplyjewelsCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 2009

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Communicating authentically is hard for some of us. We are often afraid to tell others who we are, because they may reject us. We become imprisoned by fears and self-doubt which cripple us and prevent us from moving forward on the development road to maturity, happiness, and true love.

Because of our fear that people will not really like our "true self," we assume different poses to avoid being honest with others. People often portray different characters with respect to this, from the "martyr" and "body beautiful" to the "clown" and "cynic". Only by facing our fears openly and honestly can we learn to like our real selves and trust that others will accept us for who we really are.

We are actors but most of us are also reactors. To be an actor, we must be his or her own person to all people in all situations. Most people are tossed around at the mercy of chance by any wind blowing in their direction.

We come up with all kinds of things to say during this chaotic type of experience. We remain in this situation without reaching out for relationships with others. Only through relationships with those we love or with those we do not love, can we be become a whole person. Only by using others as a sounding board can we develop our exterior selves as an authentic representation of our interior selves.

Before any of us are free to act truly and in accordance with our "true self," we must be free to talk to others openly, express judgments and values, disclose fears and frustration, share triumphs, and admit failures. Most negative feelings and self-destructive behaviors are an attempt to cover up and an attempt at self-punishment. Once we are able to recognize that these negative emotions are guilt, depression, and others, we are then in a position to move to new emotional reactions, from self-pity or self-punishment to love, from anger to empathy, from despair to hope.

We sometimes make an effort to keep from communicating with others, either by being silent all the time or by talking too much all the time. When we are lonely or frustrated and do not reach out to others, there is no way for them to read our mind. Therefore, communication through relationships is the key to developing an authentic self of love, empathy, and hope as opposed to anger, self-pity, depression and loneliness. Often people are lonely because of the kind of people they are drawn to. For example, if you are always with a bunch of "takers" instead of "givers," it may be time to reassess your choice of friends. Through this process we are able to find our authentic self, love it, and nurture it through meaningful relationships with others. Without this processes, we are trapped, in lonely life of self-contempt or contempt for others.

I find that our relationships with others represent one of the most crucial aspects to a full and healthy life and development process. Communication is a key element in our relationships, as is the ability to be open and honest about ourselves and others. In order to communicate authentically, we have to get rid of negative, self-defeating visions of ourselves and replace them with better, more loving, and happier visions of ourselves. Masking ourselves from others is a surefire road to self-destruction and negative visions of life.