Authenticity at work
So here’s the thing - authenticity is risky behavior at work unless it’s performative.
Wanna secure ‘the bag’? Try performative authenticity
It may be one of the most overused buzzwords of the 2020s, but authenticity is fundamental to real connection. But it’s also really ‘risky’ behavior - only effective when ‘done right’ (aka putting on an authentic show).
Because let’s face it - most people can’t stomach it when friends, family, colleagues, or neighbors are their actual selves. We struggle to handle people when they aren’t pretending to be nicer just to get along with others. It’s uncomfortable being part of a conversation with someone who has no interest in keeping their unpopular opinions to themselves. We all just want to get along - shallow waters are easier to tread, after all, right?
The workplace is one of the easiest environments in which performative authenticity thrives. Companies saying “We value honesty and integrity” is code for “No one wants to work with a shameless liar - but convincing ones are mostly okay”. But how many times does company culture punish people who don’t hide behind corporate facades of niceties and half-hearted good wishes?
What’s authenticity then, you may ask? It’s simple - being what you say you are. It’s when people walk away from an interaction with you with no question about its genuineness. When you are experienced with honesty and truth.
Does anyone have ‘navigating corporate for the empath’ hacks?
Honestly - I have no life-changing perspective or advice here. I need ya’ll to comment or DM me your life hacks with this one. Because this has been one of the most difficult growth points/experiences for me.
Corporate environments aren’t fertile soil for cultivating authenticity. No one’s shares give substantial returns because Susan at accounting has decided to live with unashamed authenticity. Capitalism doesn’t give a shit how deeply you feel displaced by the fake-nice way your colleagues treat you. I’m tempted to say you shouldn’t give a shit how people behave at work because the open secret is that no one is ever truly themselves in professional spaces. But that would be horribly inauthentic of me, now wouldn’t it?
Because despite how hard empaths try - we just never run out of shits to give. It’s how we’re wired. Yeah, you can go ahead and mentally berate me for being honest about my humanness. Whatever, I’ll just pretend not to care even though I do and I think we all should care to enable others to live authentically.
Otherwise, how are we to really connect with each other? Give it a think, won’t you? I’ll be waiting for those life hacks in the meantime.
Adieu, for now.