Why Being Fake Is Bad For Your Health
Research has shown that people who are more comfortable being themselves reap a ton of benefits from being authentic.
Authenticity is a growing area of research among psychological researchers. In basic terms, an "authentic" person behaves in a way that is consistent with their beliefs and identity. They adhere to these principles and values no matter what the social scenario. They do not compromise these beliefs or modify their behavior just to cater to their surroundings. People who experience social anxiety tend to struggle with this concept, feeling the need to limit how they express their values in social settings-if not outright avoid social interaction altogether.
There's some research that indicates authenticity can have a host of benefits for a person, including lower rates of depression and social anxiety. A study published in the Journal of Health Psychology asked participants a series of questions evaluating them on feelings of authenticity, happiness, and loneliness, among others. Lead researcher Jennifer Bryan found that authenticity can mitigate negative feelings of loneliness. Bryan explained that authenticity may encourage people to feel more comfortable in who they are and feel no need to adjust or hide their personalities. It's a good sentiment to keep in mind.
2 Essential Ingredients of Authenticity (Psych Central)
"Authenticity involves a sincere effort to go inside ourselves and uncover what we're actually experiencing, and then communicate that. True authenticity requires that we pause and check in with ourselves before responding, rather than sloppily venting emotions in a reactive way."
To Thine Own Self: The Psychology of Authenticity (Huffington Post)
"One of the core principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12-step addiction-recovery program, is authenticity. At least two of the steps emphasize the importance of honest moral inventory, and the AA "chip" -- the medallion handed out to commemorate periods of continued sobriety -- reads, "To thine own self be true.'"