Written by: Andrée Funnell, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
If you’re going to find genuine happiness in a relationship, it’s essential that you bring the most authentic version of yourself to the table. Building a life with someone means sharing everything with them, and that includes your true unfiltered personality.
This being said, it’s all too common for people to hide aspects of their personality or adopt new traits to please a partner, especially in the early days of a blossoming romance when the desire to be loved can cloud your true opinions, interests, and values.
The problem with this is that by doing this, you’re selling your partner a false version of yourself, and at some point, it’s likely that the charade will drop or the pressure to keep it up will hinder your wellbeing in the long term.
Here are a few reasons why you’re better off behaving in your most authentic way from day one - for yourself and your partner’s sake - to forge a relationship that is built on honesty and comfort.
Being false is exhausting.
Firstly, it takes a lot of mental energy to behave in a way that doesn’t come naturally to you, and eventually, you could even end up burning out because of it.
Pretending to be interested in something to impress another person may seem like a good way of winning their respect or affection, but unless it’s something that you genuinely think that you’ll grow to enjoy, it’ll only come back to bite you. The same goes for adapting your personality. Imagine how tiring it could get pretending to be someone who loves a life of hedonism when really you’d rather be curled up in front of the TV with a cuppa?
Being authentic in front of your partner should create a stronger bond, and sometimes it’s even your differences that could be what makes the relationship really work.
Honesty is the best policy.
It may sound like a cliche, but honesty really is the best policy. Save yourself the trouble later down the line and be truthful about your interests, opinions, values, and traits. It’s far better to build a connection based on genuine shared interests - or even your differences - than to create a false version of yourself for somebody else’s benefit.
How can you form a genuine bond with a person if you’re not showing them the real you? Plus, they probably won’t appreciate being lied to either, if it were to come out that you’d been presenting a false version of yourself.
It will improve your self-esteem.
When you stop compromising yourself to be the person you think somebody wants you to be, you’ll learn to accept and love the person you truly are. You’ll probably find that you feel more comfortable in your own skin, and there’s nothing that will boost your confidence more than realizing that your partner loves you for the person you truly are.
By living by your core values, you’ll feel more satisfied with life and grateful for the things you have and the people you surround yourself with.
Your partner will be authentic in return.
If you present your most authentic self in the relationship, hopefully, your partner will offer the same in return, and that’s essential for both of your happiness. After all, you want to truly know the person you are with, and not an edited version that they’ve crafted for your benefit. Nothing will bring you more contentment in a relationship than knowing that you both feel comfortable being yourself around each other.
In the same manner that you wouldn’t want to be judged by your partner, they won’t want to be judged by you. Show them that you love them for the person they are and that you don’t expect them to behave in a certain manner to please you.
Furthermore, allow them the space to express themselves and deal with their feelings in whatever way they feel most comfortable. This could be that they need alone time on the odd occasion, or perhaps they thrive off the company of others. Either way, respect their needs.
Keeping it real and authentic isn’t always easy, but honesty is one of the fundamental building blocks of a great relationship. If you’re inauthentic, then you’re not 100% honest with that person. For both of your sakes, remove the mask and express yourself in a way that you feel happiest and most authentic to yourself. Your partner will thank you for it, and you’ll likely feel more connected to that person than ever before too.
Andrée Funnell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Andrée is a multi-award-winning Coach, Learning & Development Consultant, best-selling author, and speaker, the founder and driving force behind Aspiring Future Competence (AFC). Since its inception in 2002, AFC has helped clients across a wide range of business sectors to get visible, get heard, and get ahead by applying inspirational ways to bring about positive change and empowerment. She has over 20 years of HR & training experience working in corporate organizations and a further 18 years delivering development solutions that make a difference to people’s careers and lives. She is a qualified coach, professional trainer, and NLP Practitioner. She discovered that Authenticity is the key to happiness, fulfillment, and success and is keen to get the message out there to others. ‘Behind the Mask’ is Andrée’s literary debut about ‘Authenticity.’ It’s an essential interactive step by step guide to turning your life around and achieving the kind of life you deserve by living authentically.