Am sure pretty much everyone has come in contact with people who lack congruency. These are the type of people who say one thing but behave differently. Congruency is the balance or harmony between what one feels and what one does or expresses.
Being congruent is linked to a certain transparency both internal (of a person with himself) and external (in which what one reflects is what one IS). A congruent person is the person who shows nothing but his or her truth; without camouflages or masks. To be congruent we got to be willing to expose ourselves with all our shortcomings; light and darkness…it is accepting the reality that no one is perfect and the ability to stop pretending that we are.
To live in congruency we need to learn to accept that we as human beings experience a wide range of emotions and to stop hiding all those emotions we may think others may label as “negative”; it is the ability to stop pretending in order to be liked.
People who lack congruency are those who generate headaches for both themselves and others as they lack the ability to be trustworthy. No matter how popular or agreeable they may seem, they know they are not living according to the image they protect. They are often unhappy people who like to disrespect the genuine happiness of others. They spend time searching for happiness but can’t find it because they only expose the masks. They play victim when they are the aggressors hence putting the responsability of their lives on someone else. These are people who are so disconnected from themselves they have moved away from who they really are, often behaving differently than how they feel or how they think. More often than not they hurt others quietly as not to have their reputation affected.
People who are congruent understand the value of “character” and “authenticity” over “reputation” and “image”. Most congruent people aren’t as popular or as easy to get alone with as “agreeable” people are. This comes down to the fact that people who are congruent seek to live life in a manner that makes sense internally instead of seeking external validation. They often express what they think and feel even in times where those feelings, opinions or actions may not be “approved” by the majority.
A congruent person understands the real difference between being “positive” vs. ” “negative”. They understand we are all positive or negative at various times. They also understand that what most may qualify as “positive” or “agreeable” can actually be “toxic”. They know that in order for a person to be truly “positive” that person must have experienced the negative side of things and survived them.
Recently at a conference the topic of what entails to be positive vs. negative was addressed. Many people who preached positivity may be shocked to learn that they are actually “toxic” because they are denying their own shortcomings, labeling natural feelings such as anger and fear as “negative” . Often they make people who are experiencing those emotions yet are working on themselves feel as if they don’t have a right to live or share their experiences; in their ignorance they label those emotions “toxic“.
Many people who have been considered “negative” may actually be surprised to know that they are actually “positive” because they do not hide their emotions, they don’t ran away from them. They confront their lives head on, taking responsability for their lives instead of expecting others to solve all their problems. They expose themselves for who they are therefore helping others give themselves permission to do the same; in this way they are promoting not just their own healing but that of others which is a positive thing to do.
There is nothing more destructive than passive aggressive behavior. Nothing more detrimental than those who profess one thing when others are watching but behave differently when they no longer are the center of attention.
We then can define congruency as the balance which exists between one’s most visceral state (what one feels in his “guts”) and the externalization of what one does in behavior; both verbal and nonverbal. One is congruent when there is no lack of harmony between what one feels and what one externalizes.
Congruent people often build very small circles because the prefer quality over quantity. They are not perfect and like everyone else they make mistakes but often learn from them instead of making excuses for themselves. Those who get to know them understand they can trust them; since they do not show a different face than how they really feel, nor do they strive to pretend or disguise their internal state. They know how to listen to what they feel inside and are able to accept it, without deceiving themselves or others. They show themselves as they are, without giving others false ideas; if they are having a bad day or are hurting you will notice it; however they also don’t like to play victim, so more often than not they keep their troubles to themselves or to very close to them.
Since we live in a society in which we have not been taught precisely to show what we feel, people who choose to drop the masks and live congruently are brave people. Since childhood modern society tends to often encourage us to hide our true emotions, to mask them, to pretend nothing is wrong with us, to always have a smile no matter what is happening….that isn’t bravery that is cowardice; that is a sign of a very ill society.
Either extreme is bad…a person who chooses to go around complaining about life but does nothing to better it, is no more or less toxic than the person who goes around smiling at everyone while internally they don’t even like those they surround themselves with. Surely you have met someone who seemed very happy and always seems to look at the positive side of life. More often than not that person fears to look in and confront his or her own darkness as such would rather focus on trying to impress people to make up for their own shortcomings. They don’t seem to understand that life has ups and downs and it is natural to have thoughts, feelings of a denser nature such as anger, jealousy or fear. Those emotions are not negative, they are here to teach us where we need to heal; but one can not heal what one is not willing to look at. More often than not these people will accumulate their own repressed emotions and let them out in ways far more destructive than those who allow themselves to simply be.
There are people who have a “sunny” disposition. More often than not these are the ones who have integrated their shadow or are working at it without hiding it. They don’t preach “positivity only” “stay away from those who are negative” ” that person is too angry and should be avoided”.
Truly positive people offer solutions because they have seen the other side of the coin; they don’t go around promoting people to segregate themselves from anyone who is having a hard time, which really means that person is just being human. With all that said let me make clear that congruent people or those who are truly “positive” know and understand boundaries. They understand the difference of helping others vs sacrificing yourself for others. They don’t ran away but they don’t allow themselves to be used or abused for the sake of seeming “agreeable” or “good”. A person who is congruent, who loves his or herself understands there is a time to let go of anything or anyone who hinders their growth. There is a time and place (after having tried) to let go of those who only seek us when they need something; more often than not if their needs are not met they blame others for choices made in their own lives.
We also talk about congruency when we refer to that harmony which exists between our actions or behaviors and our way of thinking. We all have experience non-congruency, however that doesn’t mean we lack congruency or are hypocritical….it comes down to motivation. One can lack congruency by chance, it is rare but it happens…we all make mistakes. We may have found ourselves acting in a way that opposes our thoughts and values; in a person who seeks congruency such behavior produces a mixture of strangeness and shame. Having had the courage to look in the congruent person then seeks to learn from that experience in order not to repeat it. On the other hand a person who is used to living hiding behind a mask, will dismiss his or her soul’s unique way of telling them they are not living authentically and will transgress on others time and time again but blame those on the receiving end.
If I presume to be tolerant, patient, friendly and positive, but then at the first chance life I disrespect someone in order to get attention, I belittle someone because they think differently, I maliciously gossip, I use others whenever is convenient for me, or am simply incapable of apologizing for my part in things, then I am not living in congruency. I would need to re-evaluate my life in order to change it; since I say one thing but do another.
The problem lies in the false reasoning that all things can be kept hidden. Truth and reality can not be kept hidden for life….eventually who we really are will express itself and the masks will drop; when that happens all that those who live lacking congruency will have achieve is the knowledge that they are not to be trusted. It’s hard to trust someone who acts differently than how they portray themselves to be. It is hard to trust someone who shows you in actions the opposite of what they say they feel.
Intuition can shows us who is being congruent with us and who is not. There are very intuitive people who are able to perceive these dissonances; these people are usually people who have lived a hard life but have chosen not to hide their pasts and their own shortcomings. They have worked hard but they don’t forget where they came from and more often than not can read someone’ bullshit quite accurately. On the other hand psychology tells us that people who have a high level of intuition and can read people, more often than not are loners as they can make others feel uncomfortable just by being around them. People can often feel uncomfortable around an intuitive person because they know that particular person “can see past the mask“. Those who do seek to grow or who seek people who won’t hide who they are, more often than not welcome the intense energy which emanates from a highly intuitive person.
It is very important to continue working on knowing ourselves without fears or qualms about observing that which lies inside of us. If we accept who we really are; no matter how different or strange that may be to others; if we accept what we feel at every given moment, then we won’t need to live hiding or denying ourselves. Living with a mask can be far more exhausting than working on oneself; the first offers no solution while the second can be tough at times but offers a permanent solution to our internal conflicts and helps us create authentic relationships
Finding the balance between what one feels, thinks and does takes work, but it will be our greatest achievement as it offers us the opportunity to love ourselves authentically and to develop real bonds with others. More importantly it will make the relationship between our mind, body and soul much more authentic; after all the relationship with ourselves is the one that matters most as it is the only relationship we will have from the moment we are born to the moment we leave this particular plane of life.