Being Verisimilitude in Relationships

Verisimilitude (n) to be true or real; credible tweet

Developing a Culture vs. Developing Relationships

A few years back I changed churches. I went from an old school church I had gone to for over a decade to a new young and hip church.  I loved the new church and immediately signed up to volunteer. In my first few months of volunteering, I found myself being kindly corrected. The words I was using weren’t the words they wanted to create the culture for their new young and hip church.  At first, I pushed back, as the words I was using meant the same thing as theirs. To me it was semantics.

However, it wasn’t the meaning of my words that were wrong, it was that those words didn’t fit the culture they were creating for their church. Word choice is critical when you are establishing a culture for an organization. Whereas, in building relationships, the meaning and actions behind the words are far more important than the choice of words.

Actions prove who someone is, words just prove who they want to be. tweet

Like the hip and young church, Verisimilitude is the new and hip term for being true or real.  Not that long ago it was authentic. But to take it old school, both of those are the same as what it means to be credible. To be credible is worthy of belief or confidence; trustworthy.  As a result, the level of your credibility affects every relationship you have. Without trust, the relationship is unstable at best.

How to spot a counterfeit

In spite of understanding the importance of being authentic in our relationships, it is often gauged by a feeling. We feel like a person is or isn’t being authentic. Similar to when I trained tellers as a manager in the bank. Even though we had money counters for large stacks of bills, we made new tellers count by hand. Why? Because after counting hundreds and hundreds of dollars the new tellers could then identify a counterfeit just be the way the money felt in their hand.  Perhaps spotting a counterfeit (money or people) is easier felt than seen but it’s tough to gauge our own actions.

What does it look like to be inauthentic

To that end, it helps to know what being inauthentic looks like. Listed below are ten ways that we are inauthentic, lacking credibility or just plain untrustworthy. Do you see yourself in any of these?

  • Overpromises; results or benefits
  • Overstates facts; hypes
  • Lies; misrepresents; is dishonest
  • Sneaky; not forthright
  • Eager to please; needs approval
  • Pretentious; tries to impress
  • Sounds needy; desperate
  • Insincere-sounding; not real
  • BS-er; full of it; full of themselves
  • Justifies; overexplains

Generally speaking, growth doesn’t happen in a bubble. While we may recognize a glaring habit or two, it’s easier to grow in this area by involving a supporting person. So grab your journal and get started.

  1. Do you see any glaring habits from the above list that you need to work on? What steps can you take to improve?
  2. Make a note of two or three people that you are with in a healthy relationship. Show them the above list and get feedback on what suggestings they have for improving your credibility.
  3. Make a list of sincere apologies that you can use when you catch yourself slipping into one of the above habits. You never know when the authenticity of an apology will put the relationships back on track.

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