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This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Emphaty and Authenticity

Now, when I ask my friendships if I will do drag and parade myself in a party, they might say, "oh that would be fabulous and sounds like fun," and when I ask my friends the same question, "oh, that's a no, no, are you crazy, what are you thinking?"
From these two reactions, we may find that one group is being emphatic and the other authentic. So what's the difference between the two words, let's start by defining each:

emphatic
1. Showing or giving emphasis; expressing something forcibly and clearly.
authenticity (plural authenticities)
1.The quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original.

So, from the definition we can reason that authenticity can be honesty and empathy is simply being nice. We are surrounded by people whom we owe a lot of ourselves, our self esteem and how we view life in general. In the continuum balance life serves us we both encounter these two types of people, everyday.
We probably wouldn’t expect everyone to tell the truth in every situation. In fact, it is also worth thinking about whether or not we would have told about the truth had we been asked. So what do you think the number of people who'd been honest and nice to you?
It turns out that the great majority of people, me included, in most situation, prefer to avoid the truth. Why? Because, of course, we are sensitive to the feelings of the other person. We don’t want to cause any unnecessary hurt, so we prefer to lie. Often we would have called such an untruth a ‘white lie’. It is our ability to empathise with the situation of the other person.
It is this same ability (empathy) that causes us to cry, or indeed experience other emotions, when watching touchy movies. Why do we feel emotions when we watch some movies? Because, in reality, we have put ourselves into the shoes of the character in the movie and so we experience exactly the same emotions we would feel if we were actually in the real situation – and that’s empathy.
When we think about this example, it is very easy to see the relationship between empathy and honesty or, the term used, ‘authenticity’. Being authentic involves having the courage to be honest with others. For most people, it is not always an easy thing.
There are people who have developed the authenticity personality within themselves; others have developed the empathy personality. Surely it is worth doing a bit of inner self-searching, asking ourselves the question: which two characteristic is the most dominant in our behaviour? When we know, we will be able to watch out for occasions when our habitual behaviour starts to takes over.
With practice, we can develop a truly balanced approach to dealing with others. We can have the courage to be honest in our relationships while at the same time staying sensitive to feelings. The secret is doing it the right way which is out of love. Don’t answer out of spite, or in judgement of another, or to get the upper hand in a conversation. Just let that sincere, kind and loving person that is part of our soul – our higher self – to guide our actions, and we will never go wrong.

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