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Why I Can’t Stand The Cult of Fake Authenticity

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how to be authentic

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Why I Can't Stand The Cult of Fake Authenticity

Today I want to talk about something that’s been really bugging me lately. It’s what I’m calling the cult of fake authenticity. It's about how to be authentic. I was having lunch with a friend and we were talking about this whole idea, how there’s this kind of cult of oversharing.

And I wonder if you feel this way too. I would love for you to weigh in about it.

Battered by intimacy

Do you ever feel battered by intimacy? That people share so much and share such hurtful, harmful, hard to hear things that it’s actually hard for you to hold it.

Especially when we’re in groups. I think more and more when people are getting together in groups, this sort of cult of oversharing is being cultivated and being brought to sort of a high level of a kind of expertise. Almost of crafting, like the over crafting that’s going on in social media and Instagram for example.

Cultivating and crafting our own authenticity

It’s as if we’re actually self-appreciating our own authenticity. When you’re: “I’m so real. I’m realer than you are. Can I up how real I am? Can I be realer than you? Can I even share more than you? Can I degrade myself more than you? Can I have a lower low than you?”

There’s this kind of self-admiring that doesn’t feel authentic at all. And it’s not even spontaneous. It starts to become cultivated and crafted and we’re starting to shape our vulnerability in such a way as to make it as dramatic as possible to affect people. And maybe even to one-up another person. Right?

The other thing is, my friend said, “I actually felt reverse shame because I wasn’t a sad drunk.” She is in recovery but she said, “There’s a bizarre sense that my story is worse than your story. Therefore I get even more accolades for having the dirtier, the grungier, the sicker, the lower, the more excruciating story.”

Self Degradation has become glamorous

So it’s kind of a reverse glamour that now this kind of degradation and hardship is actually turning into something that’s polished.

I was reminded of this when I was watching TV and listening to Ronda Rousey talking about that the media had said there was a time when she was homeless and she slept in her car. And she said “You know what? I just want to disabuse you of all of that.”

She said, “My mom and I had a fight. I went and slept in my car for a week. I could have gone home. I was just in my car for a week until I found an apartment. I was not homeless.” So there was even this kind of crafting that the media does of the homeless. The rags-to-riches, the homeless to celebrity status that we’re all I think kind of tired of hearing.

Raise your hand, let me know, are you tired of hearing these degradation to glorification stories? Because I know I am. And I long for real authenticity again. The kind of heartfelt sharing that’s not crafted, that’s not trying to one-up other people. And also that’s reserved for our private friendships.

Fake or real authenticity?

On the other hand, I really realize that there’s a place for sharing and caring in a group. And that that can be very lovely and healing.

But is this fake intimacy (I’m asking, I don’t know, it’s an inquiry) where we’re sharing in a group of people that we don’t know, this can be a deeply bonding experience. Question. Do you keep up with those people? Is that the kind of thing where we can really connect heart to heart and then develop these friendships over time?

Because I see it as kind of a reverse engineered friendship.

Usually a friendship goes along and we develop an intimacy and only when we trust someone do we start to share these deep dark secrets of ourselves. But in our kind of “blabby” culture today, what we’re doing is we get into a group and we skip all the steps that are typical in developing a friendship and go straight to the heart of what hurts most.

So is this a good thing? I’m asking. I’m wondering, what do you think?

I’d love to hear what you think!

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Are you enjoying the Podcast? Then I invite you to hop on over to iTunes to subscribe, rate + review it. Here’s a quick video on how to do a podcast review on iTunes. (It’s simple if you follow these directions). Note: It can take up to 24 hours to show up on my Podcast. You're welcome to send this to anyone you think it would delight. May good fortune always follow you!

Want to know how to subscribe on your phone? Watch this video.

Want to be a guest on my Podcast? Jet me an email with your topic and a link to your bio here.

Send Susan a Voice Message!

Click below to send me your voice message with a question or topic you’d like to hear more about in my upcoming podcasts! I will answer the most pressing and popular ones in a future episode. (I’ll mention your first name ONLY to protect your privacy.)

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