Is being reactive and angry the same as being authentic and unfiltered?

Some folks say that Trump – and others like him who are reactive, angry, blaming, and so on – are authentic and unfiltered, and they like them for that reason.

For me, it looks a bit different.

AUTHENTIC ABOUT OUR REACTIVITY

Yes, in a sense they are authentic and unfiltered. They are authentic about their reactivity.

And this is good if it comes as a kind of noticing and confession. (“I notice reactivity in me”, “I notice a part of me is reactive”.)

And it’s often harmful if it comes out as acting on and fueling reactivity, and it takes the form of compulsive anger, blame, bigotry, and so on. (Although anger can also be a part of a natural healing process, especially if we are coming out of a freeze response.)

WHAT’S MORE AUTHENTIC?

So what’s more authentic? What’s more unfiltered?

Very often, behind reactivity is fear. We are scared. And meeting and confessing to that fear (at least to ourselves) often takes the energy out of the reactive dynamic.

We find what’s more real and honest for ourselves.

WHY DON’T WE ALWAYS ADMIT TO WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON?

Why can it be difficult to arrive at this?

Mostly, because we are trained to stay with reactivity, at least to some extent. We learned it from others. It feels familiar and safe. We may be so caught up in the reactivity that it’s difficult to notice where in us it comes from. We may not have the tools to explore it. We may not feel we are in a safe environment to explore it.

And that’s why we may find it easier to initially explore this in a more safe and supportive setting like therapy or a training or workshop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.