Saturday, March 25, 2006


just say no to pretense

time after time recently i have noticed the devastating impact of pretense. the way it separates us from each other, maintains a level of superficiality in our relationships and in some instances even disconnects us from ourselves.

webster's lists the following definitions of pretense:
1 : a claim made or implied; especially : one not supported by fact
2 a : mere ostentation : PRETENTIOUSNESS b : a pretentious act or assertion
3 : an inadequate or insincere attempt to attain a certain condition or quality
4 : professed rather than real intention or purpose : PRETEXT
6 : false show : SIMULATION

what it all boils down to in my mind is pretending things really are not as they are.

we invite friends over and when they comment on how great our place looks we shrug it off as though it's nothing - when in reality we spent the last six hours frantically cleaning things to make them just spic and span enough for company.

or a friend asks us how our relationship with our partner is and we tell them that's it's going well, things are good, ignoring the screaming match we had on our way out the door about who forgot to buy toilet paper.

you get my drift, maybe for you it's the pretense about all the perks at your great job, which you never mention your boss treats you like absolute crap at. or it's pretense about things you enjoy, you'd never tell your friends for instance that you bought the entire golden girls series on dvd.

'don't air your dirty laundry,' isn't that how the old saying goes? but my question is: if we've all got it then why not air it?

isn't the purpose of relationships to support each other through all that life brings? when we only share the made for tv version of our life with those around us how can this really happen?

what i've found recently is that when we can drop the pretense and be real with each other there is a great freedom and satisfaction that results from knowing our struggles and experiences are not ours alone.

you are not the only one who frantically cleans your place every time you invite friends over, you are not alone in having screaming matches with your partner, and we've all had at least one evil boss.

the world is a tricky place and we are all doing our best to make something of ourselves in it. why not unabashedly share our trials and tribulations along with our successes and celebrations?

what would it mean for you to chuck being 'too cool' and opt for 'too real'?

where does pretense hold you back from showing yourself completely?

i'd love to hear about your adventures in all out embarrassing honesty, post 'em here!

dream big,

Kirsten -
I agree wholeheartedly AND want to add that we can share our great stuff! all to often i clam up about feeling joyful, overly cheerful - in general, people love to grouse together but they hardly ever share what's going right, what feels good to them or when they have accomplished something. I want to be authentic in showing my vulnerabilities but also my strengths.
Great point...and one I've written about before. Check out this post: to see my take on celebrating our successes!
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