During the holidays we are far more likely to visit with family and repeat patterns of behavior that are not genuine.
What does it mean to be “genuine? Marketers of various wares toss around this word…genuine leather, genuine experience, and genuine gemstone, they say. But, what does it mean for a person to be genuine? Thesaurus sights these meanings and synonyms: “real, candid, honest, frank, sincere, unpretentious.” Being “real” or “honest” in all situations is not easy, and…
Because of family roles established in childhood, in future years after having left home our visits with siblings and parents can develop into disingenuous words and behavior as we slip into old roles. As we become genuinely our sovereign selves, separate from family, we (hopefully) develop as adults who hold beliefs about ourselves…our gifts, passions, and leanings…as well as a more global understanding of the world beyond family.
When you are with family or old friends, do you find yourself slipping into a role that is no longer genuinely you? If so, you may be suffering from chronic physical or emotional challenges that stem from having to temporarily impersonate an old version of yourself.
Imagine trying to get back into that dress or pair of pants you wore when you were 10 or 12. That could be a painful, right? Here are some thoughts about how you can be more genuine in these situations. In fact, if possible, stay away from family situations until you feel fully grounded in your true self and have found your voice. If your family is abusive, then reason to stay away. But if you can’t, then:
Don’t open up discussions about your school years, old behaviors, or happenings
DO steer the conversation toward things you are learning, doing, sharing, with friends and spouse or significant other
Talk about your job responsibilities or what you are learning in graduate school
Don’t complain about your job or your boss (it will likely lead to a treatise on your childhood behavior)
Be passionate about your current life
Share photos of your apartment, your life and your friends, or your dog or cat
Find something you have in common in current reality…movies you like, TV shows, books you have read, places you have visited, plays you have attended
Play a non-competitive game
Go for a walk, or a run by yourself
Don’t plan a long visit unless you are capable of being GENUINE
When we are able to be our genuine selves, our stomach does not churn, we don’t have headaches, or dread being with family. We can be joyful and opened and actually even have fun with siblings and parents! Being genuine allows us to be whole and true to our growing beliefs and structures in our independent lives as grown ups. It is important to exercise being genuine. Use these tips and practice at home with friends or with a spouse or significant person who feels safe and opened to who you are in current reality. I hope these tips are helpful for you. Don’t give yourself away…Be Genuine as often as humanly (and safely) possible.
Blessings on your journey!