Those with whom I do not feel a requirement exists for pretense – from them or from me.
I started to say “family and friends, duh”. But there’s some family and friends who expect me, or seem to think they need, to always enter enter the room a certain way.
– Be the Tigger to their Eeyore. I can be pretty melancholy, so I just can’t always be their Tigger.
– Have it right. But I know I’m not always right. Why can’t they just let me be? Why must they always be right, even when they’re clearly wronging me with their rightness??
– Keep it real. Sometimes you really don’t want my real! You want a certain idea of it. Not the real real.
Even when I am insecure, anxious, or an ass, when people can allow me to be pretenseless, then I want to be around them. And when they are the same with me, I enjoy them the most! Part of that enjoyment comes from calling me out when I’m not being myself, and allowing me to do the same for them.
Another way to say it might be: people who can sincerely enjoy the sincere me and allow me to sincerely enjoy them are my go-to people.
Yes, I checked. Pretenseless is a real word. But I was ready to let it stand even if not!