"Unfortunately, sometimes we have to be who we need to be and not who we are." Niel and I were discussing the fact that much of what we do on these fundraising trips is very... not us. I asked him if he thinks it's unauthentic for us to spend so much time engaging in activities that are against our nature. That's when he made the statement that sometimes we have to just be who we need to be rather than who we really are.
It left me feeling as though we are being disingenuous in some way.
- When I have lengthy small-talk conversations, am I wrongly giving the impression that I naturally enjoy that sort of thing?
- When I speak in a church, am I painting an artificial portrait of what I feel comfortable doing?
- When I spend more time talking in one day than I normally would in a week, am I being insincere?
I guess I've been pondering where the line is between a lack of authenticity and doing what needs to be done.
My conclusion (so far) is that it's not so much that I'm being artificial as it is that I'm emphasizing certain areas of my personality as needed. My friendliness and warmth aren't fabricated; they're just being expressed more often and in ways that don't come natural to me.
What do you think?