Becoming Real: The Practice of Authentic RelatingFeb 27, 2023
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
"Real isn't how you are made. It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
-- The Skin Horse from The Velveteen Rabbit
In a world where we are constantly bombarded with stimuli, it can be hard to find ways to truly connect with others. We often put up walls, both figuratively and literally, to protect ourselves from being hurt. However, this does not lead to lasting or meaningful relationships. The authentic relating movement seeks to change that by providing techniques and games that allow people to connect in a more genuine way.
The authentic relating movement is based on the belief that we are all connected and that we can create deep, meaningful relationships with others by being our authentic selves. One of the primary techniques used in authentic relating is known as "noticing." This involves paying attention to the small details in interactions with others, such as body language and tone of voice. It also involves being present in the moment and observing one's own thoughts and feelings. Another primary technique is sharing impact, which means being honest about how our actions affect others. This requires a willingness to be vulnerable and open to feedback.
Another key element of the authentic relating movement is staying in the here and now. This means being aware of our surroundings and sensations in our bodies. It also means being present with others, without judgment or assumptions. When we can do this, it allows us to create connections that are based on understanding and empathy. Finally, the authentic relation movement emphasizes the importance of bringing awareness to bodily sensations. This includes noticing the way our bodies feel when we are around other people and during different activities. By doing this, we can learn more about ourselves and what makes us feel comfortable or uncomfortable.
Photo credit: Amy Vann @Unsplash
Many games can be used to practice these techniques. Some examples include:
The Compliment Game: In this game, participants take turns giving compliments to each other. The goal is to give sincere compliments that focus on specific qualities or traits.
The Object Game: This game is designed to help people notice small details and pay attention to their environment. Participants take turns pointing out different objects in their surroundings and describing them in detail.
The Emotion Game: This game helps players practice sharing their feelings with others. Players take turns asking each other questions about their emotions and experiences.
The Body Game: This game helps players focus on their bodily sensations and learn more about what makes them feel comfortable or uncomfortable. Players take turns asking each other questions about their bodily sensations, such as "What does your heart feel like right now?" or "Where do you feel tension in your body?"
The authentic relating movement is based on the belief that we are all connected and that we can create deep, meaningful relationships with others by being our authentic selves. The primary techniques used in authentic relating are noticing, sharing impact, staying in the here and now, and bringing awareness to bodily sensations. These techniques can be practiced through games such as the compliment game, the object game, the emotion game, and the body game. By practicing these techniques, we can learn more about ourselves and create lasting relationships based on understanding and empathy.
Photo credit: Everton Vila @ Unsplash
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