Note: I originally wrote this article as a guest blogger for the blog “personaldevelopmentcafe.com”

How to be Your Authentic Self in a Relationship

Being your ‘Authentic Self’ can be difficult. Being in a relationship can be difficult. Put the two together, and you have a real challenge on your hands!

What/Who is your Authentic Self?

There are lots of definitions of Authentic Self. I think of our Authentic Self as who we really are, once the mask is removed. Psychologists believe there is not just one Self, but a collection of parts that together constitute different aspects of who we are. Ou r Authentic  Self is who we are at our core. We are spontaneous, comfortable in our own skin, and full of vitality when we are in our Authentic Self mode. You know that sense of feeling g totally free to be yourself, even if when that means showing vulnerability?  To have a partner with whom you can be yourself is vital to a healthy relationship.

Who/What is your Constructed Self?

In contrast to Authentic Self is the Constructed Self. We all have Constructed Selves. When we are in a Constructed Self mode, we are adapting to the environment to be approved of and get our needs met. So, if in a relationship you have to be a certain way that isn’t truly a reflection of ‘you’, then you are likely in a Constructed Self mode. If we have to act in a particular manner in order to be liked or loved, the relationship does not have a good prognosis.

For example, if when “Marissa” is on a date, she boasts about herself and gossips about others, she is likely in her constructed Self mode. She is acting in a way that helps her to feel approved of and liked.  Another example may be when “Lisa” spends the night drinking shots and playing beer games because she believes she has to in order to be popular and/or find a guy to date.

The key is to know when you are in your Authentic Self, and when you may be in a Constructed Self mode.   Some situations require that we be in a Constructed mode, and that is ok. But a relationship based on our Constructed Self is doomed to fail.

As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken”

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