by Jason Digges
Think back over the last day or week.
Was there a time where you had the urge to say something but held back?
Maybe you changed the delivery to not upset someone or didn’t say anything at all. This is the social brain in action. It is always feeling people out to see if others might react negatively to our words or behavior.
While important for many reasons, our social brains are giving us the wrong message about authenticity. Our desire to fit in and have a place in the tribe is such a strong instinct, but it often causes us to suppress the truth. When we tell the hard truth and let the chips fall where they may, we can create a shift in our social dynamics and create more connection and aliveness in our lives.
Remember that moment when something bubbles to the surface of your mind, and instantly your social brain pushes it down? “I can’t say that,” “They would be so offended,” “This situation is awkward, how can I exit?”
So what does Authenticity look like in a moment like this?
Try this: Speak the moment. Notice what is happening and say something that expresses your truth, is inarguably true, and doesn’t blast the other person with your assumptions about what’s happening. Experiment with pushing this edge and see what unfolds in your social life.
You will feel better
Repressing all those uncomfortable thoughts, sensations, and emotions takes energy. Try letting them out and see if you feel relieved or confident afterward. When we feel positive reinforcement from taking a social risk this helps us anchor the behavior. Pretty soon you will find yourself revealing more and enjoying a new found freedom of expression.
Others will respect you
You might be surprised at what happens when you step into more Authenticity and start telling the hard truth. It could possibly upset some people, but the majority will see you as a leader who’s able to do responsibly what others aren’t willing to. With this respect for your capacity here, you’ll be sought-out for connection.
Be a social leader
It can be difficult to go against the grain; if it were easy everyone would be doing it already. It takes courage to offer a difficult truth and stand for something deeper than the status quo. By making the choice to say the uncomfortable truth you are helping to create a new culture. The more you do it the more others around you have the same permission.
Finally, a word of warning:
Being skillful with your communication while speaking your truth is critical. There is a big difference between saying “Stop being a whiney asshole” and “It sounds like you are complaining and it doesn’t seem to be getting you what you want. Can you rephrase your concern so we can understand what you have your eye on?”
Feel free to be a little edgy and messy with this at first, but make sure to take responsibility for your impact and stay in connection with the people around you. Offering a truth bomb means you are taking a leadership role in the social situation, be available for the fall out.
Bonus Video: Reveal to Connect. Watch Robert and Jason talk more about and practice this concept.
Interested in practicing these techniques and ways of being in a safe place, built just for that purpose, with others excited to practice with you? Join us for our upcoming Aletheia Integral Circling Intensive.