If you’ve ever experienced an authentic relating game night or attended one of my Seattle authentic relating workshops, then you already know how hard it is to explain what exactly “authentic relating” is… without making it sound really weird, or confusing, or both.
This post is meant to give a basic overview of my interpretation of what authentic relating is and especially why I think it’s so important for every single human being to experience.
The internet has not provided me with all the information I’ve hoped for on it’s origination, so I am not sure where to give credit where credit is due (please share if you have more info)… but here’s my take on what an authentic relating game night or workshop is all about:
In a nutshell… Authentic relating is about cutting the small talk, getting real, and really showing up as you are. It’s about saying what you REALLY feel at that very moment. It’s about letting go and being you with no judgement. It’s about letting others show up and be themselves, with no judgement, and holding space for them to also have this experience.
It can be really uncomfortable at times. It can be funny, you might laugh and giggle. It can be emotional, you might cry or uncover unexpected emotions. And in my experience, it can also be pretty damn enlightening.
Some people will read this (like me) and will think, “Hell yes! I’m in!” While other people will still have no idea why this would be something someone would want to do. It either sounds weird or just doesn’t make sense… and that’s because it is kind of “weird” — because we live in a society where having these types of conversations and experiences isn’t the norm.
We are taught to ask people what they “do” and to talk about the weather. We’ve developed defense mechanisms that prevent us from saying what we really feel because people might not get it, or it might hurt their feelings or offend them, or they may think it sounds stupid. We make jokes when we’re uncomfortable, we avoid eye contact, and we automatically answer “good” when someone asks how we’re doing.
Of course it isn’t always the time and place to dive into a story about your most private emotions and struggles, but the more we practice what it means to connect authentically, the more we can identify and take advantage of those moments when it is appropriate.
And the more we do this… the more we’ll develop deeper, more meaningful relationships. The more we’ll feel heard and understood. The more we’ll realize we aren’t alone in it all and that we can express ourselves fully. And maybe even more importantly we’ll realize that we are enough — just the way we are.
This is why I use this line as part of the Connection Catalyst workshops I host. I think if anything encompasses what authentic relating is, it’s this.
Let’s just be who we really are.
Who we really are in this moment. Let’s just show up, hold space, be present, and be okay with that — be okay with each other. Be enough.
The best part about authentic relating exercises, in my opinion, is that there is no wrong or right. As long as you show up, you’re open and respectful, and you give the most you can at that very moment… then that is all you have to do. Be you in all your glorious, shining light and let other people in so they can see it, so they can experience you.
I’m passionate about bringing people together in this way, and every single time I attend or facilitate an authentic relating workshop I learn something new. And I want to share it with the world, one person at a time.
So, join me! I host a variety of authentic relating workshops, as well as other workshop types centered around building community and tapping into your creative spirit. New workshops are announced often.
Check out my upcoming workshops and sign up for updates here.
If you aren’t in or near Seattle, check out local meet ups in your area and see what you can find. Or reach out to me and let me know where you are and I can put some feelers out there to see if others are interested and in your area.
Got more questions? Let ’em roll in the comments below or contact me directly. I’d love to hear from you!