What is the relationship between sensitivity to others and authenticity to self? When I first came to that question, I used to frame it in an either/or way – like if I thought it enough, pros and cons, eventually one would emerge or I would find a set protocol to govern it. The eventual resolution came in understanding polarities (opposing poles/energies) and that this is a polarity to be managed, not a problem to be solved. You can also think of it like the polarity of truth and harmony. Harmony without truth is sickly and false; truth without harmony is harsh and unattuned. Think about MLK and what he said about love and power.
In the world of radical self-honesty which is an important part of the personal evolution journey, the pendulum swings to, in gross generalization: I will own and speak my truth and you can handle the impact of it. Better than that is: and I will also be available for the impact on you. Better than that is: and with love and not going to sleep on myself I will calibrate my response to the updates you give me. In the world of being conventional, we often go quiet on our true selves or distrust our experience to give the facade, fit the system, keep the social mores. Better than that is: I will speak my truth as long as it harms no-one.
I want to suggest that true discernment in managing the polarity of truth and harmony is more skillful than all of these. It includes the full spectrum of say everything, say something, say more (as you attune to the unfolding) and say nothing depending on what is in front of you, how you are attuning to the person and situation, and what your self-system guidance is giving you. There may be no good use of attention and energy in giving your full truth to someone who has no capacity to hold it. And if you know your tendency is to under-deliver on the truth you experience for sensitivity to not hurting other people (or not fully revealing yourself), you may want to work that edge.
As always, life is fluid, dynamic, beyond protocol.
My edge is towards truth. Often reflexively if someone asks a direct question, I may minimize my truth or misdirect in my answer so as not to be pinned down to something or fully own something which I may perceive they *may* have an issue with. It’s a clever little defense and deflection (take note Enneagram 2s, 7s and 9s; Fs in Myers Briggs and Artisans [Higher Alignment typing]) – and I usually only catch it after it’s happened and sometimes I lack the courage to name it retrospectively.
Where’s your edge?
What do you need to pay more attention to in the way you manage truth and harmony in your life?