Are you walking around as the “real” you – or are you someone who pretends to be someone else?
It might well be that you yourself don’t know the answer to this question. For one reason or another – to which you yourself might not be aware! – you might have developed an “image” of someone who is not really you. But having “adopted” this image you gain – so you think – the love and respect you so much crave for. You are afraid – unconsciously maybe – that being “who you really are” might gain you neither love nor respect.
How have you developed the false you?
The answer is simple: you might have realized one way or another, that as long as you don’t get into conflicts with others; as long as you are “nice” to everyone; as long as you are “there” for others – they all “love” and “respect” you.
Your fear of being rejected then takes precedent over being authentic and true to yourself and to others: it is not authenticity which you care about, but being loved and accepted. And if by “pretending” to be such a loving person; if by avoiding conflicts and arguments; it by agreeing to whatever others say you are being “adored” for your understanding, care and “empathy” – why not make this approach to life your core being?
With time you “perfect” this approach to life: You don’t really care that your “empathy” is just that, empathy in parentheses. The truth is, you are a long way removed from true empathy. But you have learned, with the years, that showing “empathy” makes others want your company; that giving others “love” and “care” brings them closer to you. Hey, who doesn’t want to receive empathy, love and care?
So you have taught yourself to manipulate others by pretending to be the person who can give them exactly what they want. And if, for some reason, they are not aware of what they want, of their desire to get empathy and love – why would you care? Your “trick” of showing empathy and love works on them no matter what!
So you walk around, making friends and develop relationships by being the “nice”, “emphatic”, “loving” person.
And it works! You are a magician! You make miracles: see how many people are attracted to you? See how many intimate relationships you have developed throughout the years?
The price you pay for pretending NOT to be “who you are”
But there is a price you pay for your lies; for pretending; for not being the person that you really are; for not being authentic; for manipulating others to believe you are someone whom you actually are not.
And the price is a high one: as you “do” life and relationships without being “who you really are”, you can never really be involved with a truly intimate relationship. You can never be really happy with life and relationships.
The reason is simple: not being authentic, not being “who you really are”, you constantly put much energy into pacifying others, into pretending, into constantly looking for more and more ways to “satisfy” others, so much so that you just can’t relax into streaming with a partner and with a relationship.
Instead, you are constantly on the guard to use all opportunities to being “nice”; to always be alert to any sign that your partner needs just another “shot” of empathy and love. Or, in the worst case scenario, you are constantly on the guard to any sign that your partner is beginning to realize who you really are. No, this can’t happen: you should immediately do something to prove him/her wrong!
Are you truly this special, empathic, caring person?
By now you might tell yourself, oh well, but I truly am this special person; I am this emphatic, caring partner. But then, if you are indeed such an emphatic, loving and caring person, why does it happen so often that you are being left without a relationship? Why does it often happen that after some time in a relationship you begin to feel that the relationship is not even, not balanced, that there is no mutual give-and-take? And why does it often happen that after giving so much love and care to your partner(s) they all leave you?
Isn’t it time for you to understand what’s going on with your failed relationships?
If your relationships fail time and again, isn’t it time for you to begin to understand what’s going on here? Could it be – just maybe – that, without even being aware any more to whom you are, you are not the honest, authentic and emphatic person you would like others to perceive you to be – and that they begin to notice it? Or could it be that your “loving” and “caring” behaviour have become so extreme and exaggerated to the point of neglecting your own needs within a relationship, a fact that makes others not appreciate and respect you? Could it be that you are driven by needs and fears (to which you might not be aware) which control you and cause you to sabotage your relationships?
Your natural tendency might be to reject the notion expressed here and tell yourself: “None of this applies to me. I am who I am – an emphatic, loving and caring person – because this is who I am, not because I pretend to be one, driven by my own needs for love, acceptance and attention”.
But then, if you do feel that some of these questions mentioned above move something in you, it might mean: maybe the time has come for you to understand, once and for all, what’s going on; what’s going wrong with your relationships; why is it that something just doesn’t flow nicely in your relationships despite all the love, empathy and care you show and give to others – your partners included.
Embarking on the process of Self-Awareness
If you really wish to find out the answers to these – and other – questions, it might be helpful for you to embark on the process of Self-Awareness, of looking inside, getting to understand what’s going on, what unconscious needs and fears might drive you to behave the way you do.
When you become aware of “who you really are” and of the false ways in which you have been introducing yourself until now (pretending to be not who you really are), you can then see what avenues you can take to stop shooting yourself in the foot, and realize what you need to change in order to develop and cultivate a truly successful intimate relationship.