TED Conversations

Alison Whitmire



This conversation is closed.

What does it mean to be authentic?

Authenticity has an illusive quality. It's like 'Blink", you know it when you see it, but can you describe it? How is it you know when someone is being authentic? Is it because of how they are being or because of how they are NOT being? Is there such as thing as being too authentic? If not, what's meant by TMI, too much information?

Is authenticity showing up with no filters? Is that wise? Don't we need our filters? Is it OK to always be authentic? Is it always safe to be?

As you can see, I'm all questions and no answers. I look forward to yours. :)


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 15 2011: In its best and most functional sense, authenticity is to know yourself, feel comfortable in your own skin, and show parts of yourself that are appropriate to the situation. To be genuine and sincere and not lie even for the sake of social nicety. Of course that can be risky. We all know authentic people who aren't the most insightful, or are not at peace with who they are in the world, or over-share/ transgress social conventions. In my work as a service provider, I can't tell you how useful it is to have a background in acting. I will end with a question lobbed back at you :-) How does it feel when you are at your most authentic with non-intimates and is that a state you want to further cultivate in your professional milieu?

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.