However, authentic communication--unfortunately much less common
--is ideally the goal to strive for, especially in our closest relationships.
There is an important distinction between those words.
Consider an exchange of people passing in the hallway.
"How are you?"
"That is good."
This interaction is predictable and known by all. Just see what happens if the other person responds, "Terrible." The response, "That's good." may still be the same. This is not because the questioner is uncaring or insincere. Rather he is listening to a pre-programmed dialogue in his mind, which has always been perfunctorily the same, and not an actual response.
By contrast, authenticity means the inability to predict what the response will be.
Sincere behavior is an important and totally appropriate social lubricant. But, authenticity of expression is the the desirable goal in our closest relationships.
To be authentic means to be willing to tolerate an uncertain response, allow for the unpredictable, and really listen. We approach our significant relationships with unguarded intimacy when we cannot entirely predict the other persons' responses. There are no pre-recordings in such interactions. Being uncertain of what will be said creates anxiety, and only when we are willing to tolerate this anxiety do we become authentic.
William Allen White commented, "I am not afraid of tomorrow for I have seen yesterday, and love today." In saying that he has seen yesterday, I believe he means that he has understood what was, as well as what was not, and has achieved peace about both.
By "love" I believe he means being open and willing to experience the unpredictable with vulnerability--uncontaminated by fear of helplessness.
This is, after all, the only way one can love.
Breaking Free - Kardener & Kardener