Are You A Fake?

Talking to my wife at breakfast today, she mentioned bumping into a good friend of ours that moved away a number of years ago.  We always liked him, but never his wife. Not that she was awful to be with — there was just something off with her interactions with us. We felt that we never saw 'the real' person. Her husband was great — open, honest, informative, and pleasant to be with. We just got the impression that she was critiquing us during our get-togethers and most certainly afterwards.

I think it comes down to authenticity. She wasn't authentic. She didn't let us see the real person — she kept a lot of her personality inside and hidden. When we spoke about meeting the husband to another neighbor, they also commented about the behavior of the wife.

First off — it's not a male/female thing — both are equal opportunity offenders. But you need to observe your behavior — here are some telling signs:

  • You don't have many close friends. They don't call you to get together.
  • You find that you aren't 'in' on many things at work.
  • You are the last to hear about something important happening.
  • At parties, people tend to shun you - or they at least keep you at a distance.

How to counteract this?

  • Open up - let people know how you feel.
  • Tell personal stories - this allows people to understand WHO you are.
  • Comment openly - take their feelings into account, but be honest.
  • Don't gossip. Don't spread rumors.
  • Smile - look people in the eye when you speak.
  • Ask people about their day, their work, their life.
  • Act genuinely interested in their response.
  • Ask if you can do anything for them.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being totally authentic, and 1 being a total fake, where do you sit? What can you change to be a bit more authentic?