Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Keep it Real

Sometimes I am amazed with the human capacity to act fake. It has been found that individuals who believe lies enough and have decent control over their bodily arousal systems can very easily beat a polygraph lie detector. How often do you find yourself wondering if they really mean it when an acquaintance says: “how are you?” More importantly, how often do you really want an answer when you ask the same question?

When I catch myself acting this way, it makes me feel stupid. I try to ask myself: “What are you doing? What good is this doing?” Another perplexing question might be “Why do I not want to really talk and invest in this person?” A recent research article found that people who are happy seem to have less meaningless small talk conversations.  I think happy people have less small talk because walking around all day trying to give false impressions is exhausting and leads to superficial unfulfilling relationships.

In the first chapter of the book of John, Jesus calls Nathanael. When Nathanael’s brother tells him they have found the messiah, Nathanael makes a remark that was not exactly respectful of the savior of the world. He says; “does anything good come from Nazareth?” Yet when Jesus meets Nathanael, he says he is a “true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”

I would really like for Jesus to have a similar impression of me (not the Israelite part, there is nothing I can do about that, but the “nothing false” part). I think I already tend to veer in the direction of being blunt, but I think I always can improve the genuineness of my relationships.

I think we should all make some attempts to skip the niceties and really relate to each other. Some research shows that disclosing your weaknesses to another person often has the effect endearing yourself to them and strengthening your relationships. Unfortunately we often think the opposite and hide our weaknesses. So give it a shot, keep it real for at least once. Have a real conversation with a small-talk-type of acquaintance and post a comment about how it works. 

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