Can I Trust You with Your Own Opinion?

It’s a matter of trust: All of us, at some point, have 1). adopted popular trends 2). joined the opinion bandwagon 3). mimicked the behavior of someone we perceived as better than us as a way to feel “cool.”

Usually, with maturity, we set down these awkward social attempts – eventually realizing others can sense when we are “faking it” or “trying too hard.” and, internally, understanding that these practices are not fulfilling. Yet (prompted by today’s Insta/FB/tweet culture) many continue to habitually posture and prove in this way.

Can I trust you with your own opinion?

Masking our true selves is a symptom generalized mistrust: We fear others’ views will somehow hurt us or confirm our own insecurities, so we campaign to emotionally protect ourselves – often complicating social interactions with our attempts to corral people and manipulate public perception.

Sadly, by displaying only what we assume others will applaud, we diminish enlightenment-inducing opportunities that come from allowing others to formulate and express their genuine opinions of us and for us to consider this information as we move toward personal betterment.

Why a ‘Perfect 10′ is a Lie

We believe and trust that if we are perfect, we are judgment-proof and, therefore, avoid the slings and arrows of non-endorsement. Yet, the truth is people really can’t relate to perfection, anyway. Objectified people are often admired but they are rarely befriended – in fact, these paragons are routinely gossiped about in attempts to bring them down to everyone else’s level. Isn’t it ironic that our need to be admired often sets into motion a perfectionism that ultimately ostracizes us?

Although uncomfortable, catching our inauthentic posturing goes a long way in paving smoother existences. Through trust and awareness, we can let situations unfold without stacking the deck and we can learn to tolerate the possibility that others may notice our imperfections.

It is pivotal to understand that our failings do not automatically make us vulnerable to attack and exclusion – rather, our missteps often bind us together. During his decades-long Tonight Show tenure, Jay Leno famously admitted to purposely telling one bad joke during his opening monologues: He did so to trigger the audiences’ compassion, which he believed led to interaction and a better overall outcome.

The Awareness Soul-ution

Many have never developed accurate opinions of themselves. Psychotherapy helps to safely reveal one’s essence, establish esteem around this, and then guide this truth into being. In session, the goal is not to change clients, rather, the intention is to help them unveil their uniqueness’s often hidden behind maladaptive defenses and judgments of self and others.

Effective living involves less self-involvement and more curiosity. Powerful people are more interested than interesting: Yes, they know and acknowledge their abilities but, most importantly, they are invested in finding ways to contribute to the collective betterment of all. Well-being (aka Being-well) is about unselfconsciously raising our hands, and using our fingerprints: It is our unique contributions that are collectively good for all of us – and will get you endorsed even without a publicity campaign attached.