More than two months ago, I wrote about authenticity, versus being controlling. I'll say more, tonight. Control patterns arise whenever we are fearful about being:
1. Rejected 4. Judged 7. Criticized
2. Controlled 5. Ignored 8. Abandoned
3. Attacked 6. Frustrated 9. Shamed
Practicing authenticity is a better, more fulfilling, alternative. It helps us outgrow protecting ourselves from reality. Being present, real, is developing our resiliency. We handle what happens when relating with others or life's challenges, right when it is happening.
Authenticity does not develop overnight. It requires maturity, knowing our value is not based on how others regard us. Being internally referented allows authenticity. It is the fruit of having emotional object constancy. It is from this foundation that we can be comfortable in our own skin.
Presence is feeling and sensing what is alive within us and our surroundings, right now. It freedom from the white noise of insecurities blaring within our mind. We ask questions with those we relate, even though they may create discomfort."As we feel more comfortable with our likes, dislikes, dreams wants and desires we are increasingly able to risk the disapproval [and rejection] of others. " Courage to Change, 217
The surprise is, that discomfort draws us closer to others. It is popping the pimple. We go beyond artifice. Being present is uncovering the self-talk going on within ourselves and the other person. It happens when we are relaxed and enjoy peace of mind.
Presence makes relationships thrive. It lets me know this connection is not form without substance, leaves without roots. Not long ago, I was hurt. I told person who disturbed me I was confused, needing to comprehend a disappointing comment he made. This was not attacking, simply trying to understand.
Presence/authenticity flees when I focus on outcomes, the need to impress, or be right. When I am not present, there is no one "home" to relate with the person before me. When triggered, we can't hear or see what is going on. Presence makes paying attention possible.
We can be honest in relationships when we realize we will still be okay, even if things don't work out. This is placing principles above our personality, the opposite of control where we try imposing our agenda, our personality. We are present when we are confident to feel what we feel, say what we feel and hear what others feel about us. The truth at times may hurt, but it is the only road to sanity and reality.
Transparency does not guarantee people will always love or stay with us. But even if telling the truth does lead to the demise of a relationship, there is more warmth and respect for the person who tells the truth right away versus someone who waits too long.
Controlling and Relating, The Contrast
We are controlling when we try to create a favorable impression. Or when we want things going our way. When relating, our aim is knowing the other person, letting them get acquainted with the real us. Controlling is one-way communication, attempting to make the other fellow feel bad, making ourselves look good, on top of the situation.
I hate it when others treat me this way. I need to also be honest about myself, and hate it, kill the dragon of control, when it lurks within me, wanting to raise its head.
Relating involves self-disclosure, curiosity about the other person's reality. It is mutuality. Instead of manipulation, it is vulnerability. Relating is being observant, stepping back, noticing my reactions and expressing them. It is revealing what is alive within me.
Control is about being right, playing it safe, to punish or to avoid feeling vulnerable or uncertain. Control leads to mistrust and defensiveness, unless the other person is internally referented and is not codependent.
Relating is about being real, transparent, speaking from my heart, not my head. It builds trust and intimacy.