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Don't Use Authenticity as an Excuse to Be Cruel

Know yourself

You can only know yourself if you are honest and accepting of all the parts of you.

  • Acknowledge the good parts about yourself. This can include strengths, talents, knowledge, skills.
  • Don't overlook the bad parts. The bad of you will hurt others and sabotage your path toward a meaningful life.
  • There might also be ugly parts, like being awkward, off-putting, or distracting from the good.

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Don't Use Authenticity as an Excuse to Be Cruel

Don't Use Authenticity as an Excuse to Be Cruel

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/dont_use_authenticity_as_an_excuse_to_be_cruel

greatergood.berkeley.edu

6

Key Ideas

Authenticity is under threat

The idea of authenticity has been changed into an excuse to be cruel without feeling bad about it.

Reclaiming authenticity is essential because it is a key piece of a meaningful life.

Authenticity

Authenticity is about being your true self and not pretending to be someone else. It is also the way to take ownership and refine and improve your true self toward the best you can become.

Therefore, if your true self is aggressive, entitled or immature, you don't have permission to mistreat others.

Know yourself

You can only know yourself if you are honest and accepting of all the parts of you.

  • Acknowledge the good parts about yourself. This can include strengths, talents, knowledge, skills.
  • Don't overlook the bad parts. The bad of you will hurt others and sabotage your path toward a meaningful life.
  • There might also be ugly parts, like being awkward, off-putting, or distracting from the good.

Work in progress

You are an imperfect work in progress. Be comfortable giving free rein to the good parts of yourself, limit and reform the bad parts, and refine the ugly.

Observe, absorb, and learn

Pay attention around you as you work on first knowing, then working on yourself.

  • What happens when you let your best loose?
  • When are you better and restraining the bad?
  • How are people responding to your efforts to refine your ugly?
  • Are there ways to better express the good, take responsibility for the bad and tweak the ugly?

    Finding your true self

    People feel a greater sense of meaning in life when they are able to be their true selves. To reveal the true self:

    • Think of only those traits you are able to express around those people you are closest to.
    • Now think of only those characteristics that you possess and are often able to express to others in social settings.

    The distance between your answer to the true-self and the social settings prompt is how far you have to go to become authentic. Ultimately, the way we act around those who are closest to us is how we should act around everyone.

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