I love genuine people. People who are true to who they are… who know their strengths and weaknesses… who are vulnerable… who ask for help when needed… who are honest about their lives… and who share what’s really going on. I am drawn to these people. Oh, you had a fight with your husband… me too! Oh, you can’t quite get your life together right now… me neither! Oh, you don’t shower everyday… me neither. Oh, your extended family drives you crazy… me too!
Sadly, we have too many FAKE people in this world. I can’t quite figure out who they are trying to fake out… others or themselves? Most people realize that there is NO way that someone’s life can be perfect. Why do we pretend we always look put together, our houses are spotless, our marriages are perfect, and our kids never misbehave? But, in reality… we all deal with communication issues, children who don’t behave how we’d prefer them to, and health issues for ourselves and folks we love.
Many people feel that portraying an image that they WANT to be is better than being who they actually are. Personally speaking, this is a friendship turn-off for me. I want honest friends. People who are vulnerable and know that no matter what they say, I will still be friends with them. I love friends who share more on social media about their children than just the fake-perfectly-posed family photos. I love friends who talk about how hard it is to be a mom, share when children are sick, or share work frustrations.
To me, one of the most important characteristics in a friendship is being vulnerable. Sharing the part of you that is the least “pretty” in the conversation is usually what brings you closer together than any other surface discussion could. When someone shares something vulnerable with me, I see it as an opportunity to be real in return. How can I share my past experiences to possibly help them? Or maybe, I just need to shut up and listen. Obviously, I don’t know all the answers and “just” listening is ok too. But, recognizing that someone is being vulnerable is the most important thing in the conversation. Be respectful of not repeating it again and checking in with them after the fact to see how it’s going. Many people have a hard time opening up… so when they do, you want it to be a positive experience. Lift the person and situation up in prayer to God. Text them when they pop in your mind. Stay in contact and let the relationship build. We all need deeper, stronger relationships.
I encourage you to be less fake and more vulnerable with friends. Be open to what kind of support and growth can happen as a result of your honesty.
In an effort to be more vulnerable myself, you can see my “best foot forward” pic on left and my “didn’t even turn on the blow dryer” pic on the right. Hopefully it will encourage you to be more honest too… instead of always sharing the best. If not, at least you can have a good laugh at my expense 🙂