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  • Writer's pictureReflective Resources


Updated: Nov 28, 2022

In the words of Popeye: “I ‘yams whats I ams, and dats all that I ‘yams”.

It is really refreshing to surround ourselves with people who are consistently simply what they are and are not chameleons changing to suit their environment.

The acronym WYSIWYG (pronounced "whizzy wig") is a term from computing (referring to the ability of the computer screen to display an accurate rendition of the finished page) and stands for What You See Is What You Get but it can equally be used to describe people.

WYSIWYG people refers to those who are authentic; real, present and sincere without pretensions. Usually these people are those who have spent time to get to know themselves and their ‘truth’ and their actions are consistent with their beliefs. Living a WYSIWYG life is good for your mental and physical health because you do not waste time and energy trying to portray something you are not.

The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends and family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.

We all sometimes put on masks consciously or subconsciously because of fear and a concern that people will not like the “real me” ; when we are more concerned with thoughts about protecting our view of ourselves rather than allowing ourselves to be authentically present. A mask can be a protection but it also covers your real identity and when we wear ‘emotional masks’ we can actively harm ourselves and others by not being our authentic selves.

In order to live to our full potential and have meaningful connections with others, we have to drop our masks. We need to bring all of who we are; our personality, creativity and skill-sets to our relationships and what we do.

It is exhausting trying to live an inauthentic life and is detrimental to our health because one would have to be constantly change masks according to the scenario that you are in, risking forgetting what you have told who and worse still you would start forgetting who you really are in the process.

Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.” Brené Brown

Others may ‘look’ perfect, or seem like they’ve got it all together, but that is just your interpretation. Under their appearances of perfection, they too have their own internal struggles. Each one of us is imperfect, in our own “perfect” way.

To make the most of life, we need to show up as our selves and it is beneficial to favour spending our time on others who also show up as their perfectly imperfect selves.

We all need people in our lives that we can take at face value, they say what is on their minds and speak candidly.

Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity.”

Janet Louise Stephenson

WYSIWYG people are transparent and speak honestly and openly, preferring to say what they think and risk rejection than live a life of dissonance in contrast with their values. They are fair, don’t take things personally, open to different perspectives engaging and communicating with the others in an effective and respectful way so that all can access meaning, even if they do not necessarily agree. WYSIWYG people are consistent with everyone and therefore it brings a level of confidence and trust.

Find the courage to be authentic. Not everyone will like you, but no one can if they don’t get a chance to know you.” Lori Deschene

Think how different the world would be if each and everyone of us were WYSIWYG people in all our roles of life rather than WYSIWIWYTS (What You See Is What I Want You To See). ?!

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