What Does It Mean To Be Genuine?
Are you “your own person?” Are you “for real?” Are you genuine? On numerous occasions, I have observed people trying to impress or control others. At the same time, these same people were usually not revealing who they really are. For example, recently I saw a person who I know has medicare, boasting that he would never trust a government-run health insurance program. When I pointed out that Medicare is a government-run health insurance program, he denied knowing that it was run by the government when he signed-up for it. I then asked him if he was happy with Medicare and he said yes. He then proclaimed that he had heard on Fox News that he should never trust a government-run health insurance program so “that’s that.” Is he genuine? I don’t think so!
How can we be “genuine” and not be aware of what we are really thinking and/or feeling? Carl Rogers once said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” When the before-mentioned person talked about never trusting a government-run health insurance program, I don’t think he was honest about his own thinking regarding the subject. He was not expressing what he thought, but instead, what someone on Fox News said. He was not, in my opinion, genuine.
Genuine people are aware of their thinking and feelings. They see no need to act like someone they aren’t. They know their weaknesses and strengths. Genuine people know that knowing and accepting something isn’t the same thing as liking it.
Personally, I know I have many faults and I’m usually not afraid to admit them. That doesn’t mean I like my faults. I am constantly trying to improve while at the same time, trying not to be a hypocrite by “putting on an act” in order to impress someone. Of course, I have been guilty of being a hypocrite now and then, but I never purposefully continued that behavior after I recognize it.
So, what does it mean to be “genuine?” Using the idea behind the quote from Carl Rogers, a genuine person is one who accepts her/himself for what s/he is right now and right here. Once that happens, then change is much easier. Therefore, if you are not happy with who you are then you shouldn’t worry about it.
Accept yourself and then change. Don’t pretend to be what you aren’t. Be genuine and you will be genuinely happier with yourself! :-)