The Value of Authenticity with Linus Lu (Inter-Intellect)
Sincerity: exterior behavior corresponds to internal experience.
Authenticity: what you’re doing also relates to an immutable True Self.
Do we have immutable selves?
How squishy is it?
True vs. perceived authenticity. When do I feel authentic? vs. When do others think I am being authentic?
Friends: Chasing people I admire who charge the batteries, who I run to keep up with, want more of. Withholding from people I am very fond of who still exist in a power imbalance, drain me. I’m keeping them at arm’s length.
“I think of my true self as the things I’m most curious about.”
So many people on this call are working in tech!
The privilege of intellectualism. Who has the time to ask these questions?
Being authentic as a source of energy?
What recharges me?
Is performance always draining?
Influence of others, spending time with new people can sway our selfhood.
Personhood vs. persona.
“How can I build a safe space for the people I trust with my work?”
Is authenticity a function of performance? For example: am I being more authentic by staying off social media? See also: performative abolition (Ashon Crawley) vs. performative allyship.
“How do we handle other people’s expectations of our own authenticity?”
Who decides what is authentic?
Authenticity as currency. What does it get us? Friends, trust, influence.
The crisis of inventing the self.
Current generation, liberated from religious and traditional career paradigms, now has immense pressure to invent selfhood from scratch. Relationships, careers, everything is up for grabs.
Freedom comes paired with stress.
Tiktok and the cult of personality on social media replacing religion? Or rather, fragmenting it. Is social media a polytheistic religion?
Big G God vs. little g god.
A more modular sense of morality and self.
Room for paradox.
“Confidence is establishing and expressing your own boundaries.”
Personality traits vs. personality states.
Good moment to go back and explore how my values list breaks down along axes of community and self—values that apply to different realms of being.
“Vulnerability between people is a negotiation.”
As with COVID and safety conversations: should we operate according to the person with the highest safety concern? What does it say if we push our (more lax) safety practice or (more intimate) conversational register? Believed superiority?
Does authenticity help or hinder aspiration?
The self is a moving target.
Reflected best self exercise: 15-30 people send in stories of you at your best. You receive them all in a packet and read through them as an antidote to Imposter Syndrome.
Are we who we are perceived to be?
See Woolf and Sarton on solitude and freedom.
Robin asking whether preferring to watch films and cry alone is a me problem or an other people problem.
Consider cultural fit regarding compliments and oversharing. Callers from Ireland and Germany saying that they’re less keen on this performative or open mode. Feels alien.
“The problem comes when we try to turn feeling into action. Empathy makes you more aware of other people’s suffering, but it’s not clear it actually motivates you to take moral action or prevents you from taking immoral action.” —The Limits of Empathy, an article in the New York Times
“Sympathy focuses on awareness; Empathy focuses on experience; and compassion focuses on action.”
Consider that movement role chart and the cycle of in/action. Compassion has no room for paralysis. Danielle Coke (@ohhappydani) drew this diagram that replaces the numbness and apathy of overwhelm with proactive, compassionate action toward a more just future.
It’s all a muscle.
Next time: what is laziness vs. effort in training?