Being the Real You in a Relationship

Sometimes it is hard to be true, honest, and authentic in a relationship. While it is natural and normal to react differently to different people with different energy, enthusiasm, and activity levels, it is not natural to constantly be adopting a new personality whenever you are around another person. Author Colin Wright focuses on this in the context of romantic relationships, but his advice can spread across any type of relationship. He describes the importance of having space, accepting silence, and developing privacy in a relationship, and about the three he writes, “In aggregate, the three concepts that make up the Space, Silence, Privacy Policy allow people in a relationship to demonstrate trust, have lives outside the partnership, and be comfortable with their partner, without feeling the need to put on a show every moment of every day.”

I like Wright’s quote because it speaks about the importance of being oneself in a relationship. He shows that the base of an authentic relationship is a mixture of togetherness, trust, and independence, which allow each person to be unique and individual. When we can live authentically in a relationship, we can put our true selves forward and trust that we will be accepted.

If we fail to build the foundation Wright describes, then it is like we are never truly in a relationship at all. If our relationship is based on expected actions and behaviors, rather than trust and respect, then we will have to always live up to a standard and expectation that may be separate from who we truly are. In a romantic relationship this could mean hiding our true feelings and always going along with the other person’s ideas, and in a business relationship this could be holding back true feelings to simply agree with anything a partner does. In both situations, rather than being open and honest, we are denying part of ourselves in an act meant to please someone else.

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