Thursday, March 10, 2011


Anonymous asks...
Can I learn to be more sincere? Sometimes I feel fake, like I'm just going through the motions of interacting with people.
There is something really great about a truly sincere person. They inspire feelings of trust and confidence. They make us feel wonderful because they listen to what we say, and actually want to know what our major was in school, how many siblings we have, what we like to do for fun, and what book we would choose if we could only have one on a deserted island. A sincere person has the greatest power to make us feel good about ourselves, because when they say our hair looks nice, we know they mean it. Sincerity is so refreshing in this world of sarcasm, disinterest, and manipulation.

On the other hand, an insincere person who pats you on the back and acts like your new best friend while looking through you with a blank smile, nodding and agreeing with everything you say while not seeming to understand a word of it and probably thinking about how nice he's being for taking time out of his busy important day to talk to some loser like you and counting down the seconds until he can count this conversation as complete and move on to the next poor soul in need of his presence, can make you feel a little unimportant and maybe even a little angry. (Can you tell I've had experience with a few?)

What's it like in the mind of a truly sincere individual? I imagine it would be a nice place to be. Always present and focused on what's happening. Enjoying casual encounters as well as deeper connections. Never pretending, lying, or showing off. Having a powerful positive influence on others. Aware of others' feelings and well versed in the arts of hospitality and tact.  

So, is the gift of sincerity reserved for those select few who were born with the ability to put feeling and meaning behind everything they say? Not at all. It's a talent, so it can be developed like any other talent.

Be Aware
Pay attention to what you're saying. Is there any meaning behind it? Are you just saying what you think people want to hear? Are you just speaking to fill an awkward pause? Are you just a broken record saying what you always say?

Pay attention to how the other person feels. Do they seem uncomfortable? How can you put them at ease? What is it you feel they want to tell you? Everyone has something they're proud of. There's something they would love to talk about. The challenge is finding it out.

Fake It Till You Make It?
I don't know if faking sincerity is a good idea. That may even be the definition of insincerity. Instead of faking sincerity, practice sincerity. Have conversations with people, but not with the intent to seem sincere. That can NOT be your objective. You'll fail every time. Your goal is to actually BE sincere. Remember. Focus on meaning and feeling. Make sure your words are backed up by truth. Don't let your mind wander.

In summary, Anonymous, you asked a simple question that has a simple answer. Yes, you can learn to be more sincere. I hope you understand; however, that the impact of that simple answer is enormous. If you take steps now to develop sincerity it can change you entire outlook on life and how you interact with it. It will result in self-esteem, confidence, comfort, peace, popularity, and success. Go for it. It will be worth it.

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