Let's Get Real. Or Not!

05 November 2013

How many times do we hear people commenting on other's character by saying things like, "I really like so and so because they seem really real" or "I'm not a fan of so and so because I don't think they're real enough"?  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've uttered those words a few times myself. It seems that the more people act like themselves, their true selves, it enables a liking factor, whether or not we are similar to that person or can actually relate to them at all.

Even in this blogging world, we hear phrases about "being real" thrown out there with every touch of that publish button.  Take for instance the list of blogging tips that are offered by extremely successful bloggers. Being real and being yourself is always listed right at the top (along with making sure you document every glass of wine or latte that gets placed in your hand).  But what they're saying is one hundred percent true, because I know for me, most of my favourite bloggers are ones that come across as genuine. They're the ones that no matter what it is they have written, I'm always so interested because I've become invested in them and their lives (as creepy as that may sound).
But if you actually stop and think about it, what is it exactly that results in a person having this "real" factor? Could you pin point or even explain it?  Would you say it is someone who completely puts themselves out there without any hesitations?  Is it someone who says what they want or how they feel and do not have any barriers or filters?  Or is it consistency?  As much as I can feel when someone is genuine, putting it into words seems a lot more difficult.  For me, I find it so much easier describing the opposite definition; the more obvious, stereotypical "fake" qualities.

The reason why I'm actually trying to put this topic into words, or even bringing it up for that matter, is because a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a blog post which said that bloggers who "ride the fence" are ones that don't come across as being genuine.  Maybe the majority of you would agree with this, but for me, I was so mesmerized by this comment that I could not stop thinking about it. After beating that sentence to death in my head though, I can sort of see what she was trying to say. As a blogger, all you have are your words, and if often times those words happen to sway back and forth or if your opinions are coming through as a little wishy washy, then you might not come across as seeming like yourself. Question though, based on what I just said, would I be seen as "riding the fence" and therefore, not genuine because although I may not fully agree, I see and understand both sides to that comment?

To be honest, that's me.  I'm like that. I'm pretty sure I ride that fence all too often (I can thank my mom, or Switzerland as she should be called, for that quality because she's famous for this). I usually see and agree with two sides of a story, and I usually never have strong opinions about certain things to just lay it all out there.  I have hesitations.  The majority of times I can't make up my mind so I love asking for other's opinions. I'm pretty sure I would be described as a people pleasing person, and there are many, many times that I come across differently in different situations.  But again, that's just me.  Although I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be considered fake based on those qualities, would I come across as someone who doesn't seem genuine or real, or even as far as someone who is putting on an act?

Take Todd, for example. Anyone who knows Todd will say that what you see is what you get with him (unless he's had a few too many drinks and then he's a little bit more than what you'd normally get). But it's so true. If Todd is going to swear, he doesn't care who is around. He's going to do it in front of me, my parents, complete strangers, children, and the list goes on and on....and on. Me?  Even though sometimes I may curse like a sailor, never in a million years would I ever swear in front of strangers, and even to this day I still feel a little weird when I drop the f-bomb in front of my mom (maybe because I'm still picturing that look I would get when I was younger).  So, would we be placed in two different categories?

And sometimes I try to be funny (with the key word here being try). I do not consider myself a funny person by any means, but I love trying to be funny.  I love it when I actually say something once in a blue moon that makes people laugh.  But it doesn't come naturally to me. The same goes for meeting new people. I try really hard to make conversation and sometimes I may even compensate too much and end up in the complete opposite direction. But if I happened to give in to my awkward social skills, then I would probably never speak nor look at another stranger in the eye for as long as I live. I get nervous, and sometimes it shows, and I really can't help it. So, although I'm trying in all of those instances, would you consider this as me not acting myself?

Maybe I'm gone so far out to lunch here (see, again with the wishy washy comment) but I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that sometimes the definition of being real may not always be so cut and dry, and sometimes riding the fence is not necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure we all have different personalities and sometimes those personalities may shine through differently at different times.  I mean, even here in this space of mine. One minute you could be reading something that actually makes you laugh (fingers and toes crossed), and the next day you could be reading something, well, like this.  Just know that it's all me, and it's just how I'm feeling at this particular moment in time.




Would love to hear your thoughts!