Some people have it, but most don't. For those who have it, it permeates every area of their life. They look for it in everyone else. Those who don't have it are naturally drawn to it, but they don't know why. It attracts the opposite sex.
What am I talking about?
Just kidding. I'm talking about authenticity. I define authenticity as knowing who you are and never making any effort to appear any other way.
This is an interesting topic to me because it's something I've gotten a handle on recently. I realized that the people who were universally liked and admired, were NEVER the stereotypical "cool people".
They aren't the people who are cold and removed, who act like characters from some TV show, who keep up with the latest trends. That isn't to say that those people aren't liked... but they're generally liked only by similar people.
However, people who have visible quirks, eccentricities, even faults, but make no excuses or apologies for them are liked by EVERYONE.
A great example is Amy, the waitress I wrote about a few posts ago. She's the kind of person who lays it all out on the table from the beginning, and doesn't even consider who her audience is. It's inescapably magnetic.
Authentic people are usually really happy because they don't have the constant struggle of trying to fit into an impossible mold of what they think is cool.
When I think about my friends, I realize that all of them are very authentic. They don't try to be people they aren't... they are who they are and they're happy with that. I think of people I used to be friends with who I grew apart from, and I realize that they're almost all people who weren't authentic.
I read some of a book called "Radical Honesty", recommended to me by my friend Hayden. It's written about a guy named Brad Blanton who NEVER lies. He's the epitome of authenticity. I found the book a bit boring, but the concepts were fascinating. I haven't fully integrated it (yet?) because at the extreme end you're supposed to always say whats on your mind, no matter what it is.
I don't think that's a terrible idea. I think back and can't think of a single thing I've been told that I wish I wasn't told. Still, it does call for saying some pretty insulting things.
Pickup is an interesting journey to authenticity. I believe that anyone who follows it through will become extremely authentic. If there's a process that makes you take a very honest look at yourself but also realize that people like you for who you are, it's pickup.
At the same time, beginners or even people in intermediate stages of pickup are usually VERY inauthentic. They're the guys who try to "be alpha" all the time. Anyone in pickup knows exactly who I'm talking about.
The cool thing about authenticity is that it does a lot for you. It makes you more attractive. People want to do business with you because they know you're not going to screw them over. It makes it easy to be your friend.
Then again, so does being lefthanded.
I think being "authentic" attracts others only if your authentic personality is attractive to begin with.
If you're a shy dork and coworkers ask you to hit the bars with them and you are "authentic and real" and say "no thanks", then they all look at you like you're from Mars. A LOSER from Mars. So where does that get you?
I think sometimes you have to be inauthentic in order to get what you want (respect from coworkers, into a relationship with girls, nurture a new friendship, etc.)
So I've decideded that being "authentic" doesn't mean you have to be "recklessly truthful" all the time.
For example, yesterday at the gym, one of the regular personal trainers came up to me and said, "Hey man, awesome work! I can tell you've bulked up and added size! How much more do you weight?" Now in all honesty, I've actually LOST weight in the last month. So, I didn't want to say "you're actually way off" so I just went along to make him feel a little better. I didn't want to throw his compliment back in his face, so instead I graciously accepted.
Authentically me :)
Star: I agree with you. I certainly went through that phase, and I think it's a necessary (or at least convenient) evil.
Sono : I don't fully practice what I preach here, so I should be taken with a grain of salt. However... I wonder if it really WOULD be that bad. I know that personally sometimes I NEED to hear things that I don't want to hear.
When I was in Hollywood, the pickup artists were extremely authentic and blunt and they told me a lot of things that no one else would. I grew because of it.
Also, when you are known to tell the blunt truth, compliments have value. The kind of person who is always trying to please people cannot offer a worthwhile compliment.
Another thing that Blanton argues is that we avoid saying things not because of the other person's feelings, but rather because we're scared to face them. I know that's true of me sometimes.
It's an interesting topic to think about. I will say that the handful of times I've told someone something I knew they didn't want to know, the END result was better.
Very inspiring post! I'm going to make more of an effort to be as authentic as I can in my daily life as well.
I think authenticity is great. But some people who are just starting in the community need the canned stuff just to get comfortable. Besides if being yourself worked, then the community wouldn't have the things it has today, like routines and such.
There is authentic and then there is also plain rude. I believe myself to be an authentic individual but I would never tell someone something they obviously didn't want to know. I don't think its my job to give everyone I know or meet the dose of cold reality they don't want to see. I would hate to be the guy that blasts the hopeful college student into a mickyDs job because I told him I don't think he is smart enough to make it through, truth or not.
If they want the truth and ask for the truth I will tell them the truth. There is a common sense element here. I would never tell my wife she is gaining weight, nor would I tell my mother she annoys me when she calls to complain about stuff. IT WILL HURT THEIR FEELINGS, they are southern and proper and above all courteous.
I might work it a little more with people I could care less about, but there really aren't that many people on the planet I could care less about.
Ty hit it on the money. People who are authentic, are inherently well liked and are magnetic to the people around them. Of course to be authentic, you also need to be "tactful," for lack of a better term, in some situations.
Man, I wish their was a prescription pill for this authenticity thing. Oh well, I guess all there is to do is keep working and chipping away at the block until one gets there. Would anybody know evident signs of reaching authenticity? =D
Mystery's show on VH1, The Pickup Artist, has gotten a lot of mainstream attention. As a result there are scores of people in that audience trying to wrap their minds around this whole "pick up thing".
I've read a few message boards where people are discussing the show, and almost universally trying to discredit the pick up. Why are people so against pickup? First instinct might be to assume that girls would be against it, but that guys would all be excited about it. Think about it - it promises to fulfill the #1 goal for nearly every man on the planet.
Here's what I think is happening.
At first I was going to title this talking VS doing, but the whole point is that you need both.
I'm sure you've all heard "Don't talk the talk, walk the walk" or some variation of it, point being you need to follow through with your actions. "Actions speak louder than words" too.
And this is true for the most part. But you need both. You can't just rely on the doing, even moreso today than 50 years ago (of course I wasn't around 50 years ago so I could be mistaken).
In the vast majority of cases, a person should follow the traditional advice so they err on the side more doing, less talking. But, if you're smart or productive and have legit value to the world, often the doing isn't enough. In fact, the highly competent people could probably reverse the old sayings and turn out better.