staying yourself in a relationship

Being yourself in a relationship is not easy. We all think that we have to be as open and honest as possible. But it does not always happen. You are afraid that you are going to hurt other people or yourself. This can cause confusion and misunderstanding, possibly leading to more disagreements.

In a relationship there are three forms of authenticity. Authenticity has as meaning: plausibility, truth and originality. You can find out which authenticity suits your behavior in a relationship in this self test (scroll down to see the questionnaire). The different forms are: ‘By other influenced authenticity’, ‘Balanced authenticity’ and ‘Egocentric authenticity’. The first form means that you are giving up your feelings and thoughts for other people. The second one stands for being able to express your feelings but you are also taking other people into account when you are expressing your feelings. In the third and last one is your own opinion the most important and you do not care (that much) about what other people think of you.

The authenticity form ‘Being influenced by other people’ and ‘Egocentric’ both have adverse effects on your well-being. If you have to suppress your feelings and opinion every time, it can lead to tensions. These tensions can cause physical complaints like a headache. Egocentric authenticity people seem like they do not have feelings or are being very abrupt. This can lead to being abandoned by friends and family. In the end, you do not have a lot of intimate relationships left. The second form, ‘Balanced authenticity’, is a way in between. This form of authenticity is, according to Wang Yi Nan, an interaction between personal well-being and satisfaction. By this interaction you will have the feeling that you are more in control of your own thoughts and feelings. 

What can you do?
To have more balance and authenticity in your relationship it is important to look at your own behavior. You can start with practicing different behavior in daily situations. To achieve this you have to be conscious of your own starting point, what do you think is important in a relationship and is it in line with how you act? Also look at the starting point of your partner and compare it with yours. Important is that you do not want to change your partner or yourself but rather change the pattern. If, for example, you are always the one who follows, talk about it with your  partner. Try to find more balance together. For example, instead of always following you can try to lead more. However, discuss this with your partner so you both have knowledge about changing the pattern.

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Selin Colakhasanoglu

Coach. Walks together with you to achieve your goals. Loves to play the piano, to travel and different cultures.

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