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  • Writer's pictureJuliana

Self-Awareness Will Improve Your Relationships

Self-awareness is one of the best gifts you can give to those around you. Self-awareness can help you to recognize communication patterns, including how you express yourself and how you perceive and interpret others' messages. With self-awareness, you can adjust your approach to be more effective and considerate, leading to improved understanding and reduced misunderstandings. Self-awareness also enables you to identify and manage your emotions in a healthy manner.

In my own life, I’ve noticed how much more ease I have when the people around me are emotionally aware of what is going on for them. This doesn’t mean being at peace all the time, or never getting into conflicts. It’s okay and even expected to have unpleasant or challenging feelings and thoughts from time to time. The trick is knowing exactly why you’re upset - I.e. knowing the needs behind the feelings - and then being aware of how, when, and with whom that internal experience is shared.

Let me give you an example of my own self-awareness in a situation:

A close friend of mine is dealing with a “difficult” person at work. (“Difficult” is in quotes because it is my judgment of this person and I am very aware that this is my judgment and not an observable fact). For the protection and emotional safety of this person, I’ll leave it at that without any specific observations. Anyway, my friend has called me after work on several occasions upset, overwhelmed, and in dismay over events or conversations that have transpired with this person. Over many months of this, I noticed myself feeling angry and having judgmental thoughts around this person, even though I am removed from the situation.

Typically, in a situation like this, I would listen to my friend and give him some empathy. However, because I was also charged, I realized I couldn’t give him empathy. I was too angry, and anything I had to say would just feed off of my friend’s already existing frustration, which would likely amp him up more instead of calm him down. Since I knew he ultimately wanted to get back to connection with this person, I had the awareness to tell him that I don’t think I should respond, and that maybe someone else would be better resourced to hear him around this.

That awareness gave him ease. I know this because he told me and thanked me for bowing out. Now only was I aware of my own feelings and needs around his situation, I also considered how expressing myself would affect his well being.

And THAT is something that the people around you will deeply appreciate - sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. But when this kind of awareness becomes a habit, the people around you will celebrate more ease, consideration, and maybe even joy.

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