As you have probably realized by now, sincerity and honesty are extremely important to me.
In yesterday’s post I wrote about the sincerity of one’s words. I believe that a person has to be sincere about their actions as well. This is equally important. It never occurred to me that there are many people who go through life doing things that they do not enjoy doing. Some actually do things they intensely dislike.
You might ask yourself, “Why would anyone do things they don’t enjoy doing?” To answer this question, we have to recognize that sometimes all of us need to bite the bullet and do things that we normally wouldn’t do, whether for our work or because someone needs our help. I think that both of these reasons are good reasons for not being true to oneself. I am sure there are some other good reasons but right at this moment my mind is drawing a blank.
I have known far too many people who spend their whole lives trying to please people by doing things that are not compatible with their own needs or even their own ethical values. This point was recently emphasized when I was watching an episode of “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix. In a new relationship, Grace was pretending to like all the things her new man liked. Then she would go home and complain to Frankie about how much she hated doing these things. Her reason was that it was a new relationship and she wanted him to like her and enjoy being with her. In my opinion, that is a horrible reason for doing something you dislike. Grace was, in essence, lying to her new boyfriend. She was being someone totally unlike herself. The woman she was pretending to be was not the woman she really was.
I know that this is a common thing when people are in new relationships. I will even say that I have tried doing some things that I thought I might not like, but not since I was not completely sure, I decided to give them a try. What I did that was different than what Grace did, was once I discovered I didn’t really enjoy the activity, I told whoever I was doing it with how I felt and stopped participating.
An example of this was early in my marriage. My husband was very involved with archery. He was an Alberta champion archer. In my desire to spend more time with him, I tried archery. It did not take long to realize that it was not my thing…for many reasons…one of which was that my chest kept getting in the way of the string when I released. That was PAINFUL! Also, I was not very good. I also realized that I did not enjoy being a spectator at the archery tournaments. This meant many weekends when Greg was away at competitions and I was home by myself. But that was okay with me. Why pretend?
Recently I was in a relationship where my wonderful boyfriend did so many things to please me that he later told me he disliked doing. I was absolutely astounded because he seemed to really enjoy doing these things. Sometimes, he did enjoy doing some of them but he really needed to be working and would later be upset that he did not just say he was too busy. It would not have bothered me if he had just said how he really felt. I have many wonderful friends with common interests to do things with and would not have been upset at all. I said as much so many times. For some reason, I was not believed. That is so sad because he spent way too much time doing things that were not in his best interest or that he didn’t enjoy, just to try to please me.
If I sound like I am complaining about his wanting to please me, I really am not. I loved that he wanted to please me. He pleased me in many ways all the time. But doing things and pretending to enjoy them and later being honest (and resentful) was not the best course of action. It was an example of “insincere actions.” It is also an example of dishonesty. It doesn’t matter that the intention was well meant. In the long run I think it is a huge part of why we are no longer together. I made sure that I was always honest about what was important to me and what was not. I am a woman of simple needs. Unfortunately, he did not believe me.
To end this post, I just want to say that if you have to do things that you are only pretending to enjoy in order to have a relationship (whether with a friend or a romantic partner) then the relationship in not REAL or HONEST and that means it is not HEALTHY! Please, don’t ever let yourself be a person who is not your own authentic self. Live life honestly, with passion and joy always!