Being True to Who You Are

  • Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW
  • Series: Dear Rosa

My grandmother was an easy person to be around. Those who knew her longer than I, said they never saw her depressed or anxious. I remember whenever we visited her, there would be a stream of guests. She had what we later called a “breakfast club” that consisted of friends and neighbors that would drop by for breakfast and conversation. She then branched out and had a “lunch club” also. My grandmother could easily express her opinions and listen to others. She was always authentic.

Learning about who we truly are, our authentic self, is a process and it takes time to discover. Researchers from Harvard, Columbia and Northwestern collaborated to study authenticity. They found that when we behave in a way that goes against our true self, we tend to feel distraught and immoral; even when our behavior would not be defined as immoral. Furthermore, researchers discovered authentic people help others to be authentic. They are able to express their true feelings and opinions. Additionally, authentic people are able to listen to others without judgment.

Perhaps that is why my grandmother was so easy to be around - you could be your true self; and express your own opinions without judgment.