Are you aware of how you treat others? Do you often reflect on your behaviour and find positive ways to improve? Perhaps you are a self-aware person.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, self-aware means “having conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings.” In other words, being self-aware means that you are mindful of your own feelings and the person you are. Self-aware people tend to be very aware of how they interact with their environment and the people they interact with on a daily basis.
In this hectic life, it is easy to get carried away with being “the best” or “staying on top”. Maybe you are just barely staying afloat. If this is the case, don’t worry! It is normal for everyone to feel this way from time to time. Sometimes, it’s best just to step back and be more aware of your relationship with your inner self and others.
However, that’s easier said than done. So, here are “10 Things Only Self-Aware People Do”, to help you take back control in your life and perhaps even live more positively.
1. Choose their words wisely
Have you ever heard of the saying, “think before you speak”? The saying is about the importance of choosing your words wisely and knowing when to not say something. That’s not to say that you should deliberate over every single word and never speak, that’s obviously ridiculous! But if you often blurt out anything that comes to mind, you may need to reconsider how you speak. Not thinking before speaking may give off the wrong impression of your character and even hurt future relationships. Self-aware people speak carefully and calmly because they know that it helps build better relationships and healthier habits. Next time you are having a conversation with somebody, slow your speech! Take your time to say what you truly mean.
2. Aren’t afraid of new ideas
People that are not self-aware often shut down ideas before they are even explained. Have you ever dismissed your friend’s belief or idea without thinking? Sometimes, this can lead to people thinking you lack self-awareness. Self-aware people are able to listen and understand people with different views. This is especially important in conversations with sensitive topics such as racism. If you shame or completely reject someone’s point of view, how will they be able to understand and adopt your perspective? Listening to opposing or different views can actually benefit you! It forces you to explain, support, and reflect on your own belief which can help you increase self-awareness.
3. Manage time well
Self-aware people are able to manage their time well. Most people often procrastinate when it comes to huge assignments or projects. But self-aware people are able to plan ahead of time and prioritize different tasks. Do you often find yourself watching one Youtube video, only to realize hours have passed? Perhaps that’s a sign that you need to improve your self-awareness! Try writing a list of tasks or using a time-management app. Time management is a crucial and applicable skill to have in everyday life. That’s not to say that it’s easy to learn time-management. It takes effort and hard work, and mental disorders can make it extremely difficult. Don’t worry and take your time to incorporate this skill in your life, or look at the other helpful things in this list!
Journaling is possibly the most important thing on this list. As mentioned in other Psych2Go articles, journaling is an excellent way to self-reflect and helps you understand your own self better. In normal life, we don’t get the opportunity to reflect on each day and speak about the things that happened. This may result in you bottling up your overwhelming emotions and being unable to express your true thoughts. Self-aware people are able to use journaling as a vent or outlet for their emotions so that they can better comprehend their thoughts. Studies have shown that journaling can help you worry less about stressful tasks and identify the causes of your unhappiness. Perhaps next time you are feeling overwhelmed or tired, journal! Using the traditional pen-and-paper method or a journaling app, it can help you refocus on what is important in life for you.
5. Practice patience
Have you ever heard of the quote, “Patience is a virtue”? It means that being able to wait for things without anger or frustration is a vital skill to have. Traffic jams, long lines, if you easily get irritated by things such as these, you can unintenionally make impulsive decisions. Practicing patience helps you have a clearer mind and be less stressed by the minor things. Patience can also apply to life and relationships: staying calm and composed under intense pressure, having patience when learning a new skill. Have you ever listened to a friend speak for a long time, or calm them down over the phone? Perhaps you are more self-aware than you think!
6. Use empathy
Empathy can be one of the hardest skills to learn if you are unfamiliar with the concept and find it difficult to practice. According to VeryWell Mind, “Empathy is the ability to emotionally understand what other people feel, see things from their point of view, and imagine yourself in their place.”. Being self-aware does not mean only understanding yourself. It also means being able to sense how your actions affect other people. Do people often tell you about their problems? Do you care deeply and think about how people feel a lot? That may be a sign that you have a strong ability to empathize with others. Empathy is important for self-awareness because it helps build social connections, emotional regulation, and compassion.
7. Accept responsibility and failures
Accepting failures doesn’t mean that you give up after you fail one time. Self-aware people accept failures so they can use it to learn from their mistakes and grow as a result. Similarly, accepting responsibility is also a huge part of self-awareness. If you make excuses for your failures, it shows that you are unable to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. It also paints a negative image of yourself as a person. People may be angered or irritated by your lack of awareness and responsibility. Do you own up to your mistakes and apologize when necessary? That is a sign of your self-awareness; understanding your own ability and striving to improve next time.
8. Act humble
Self-aware people don’t feel the need to show how confident they are in their abilities. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and don’t need to go out of their way to boast. Do you often refrain from showing off your talents unless asked? Perhaps that is a sign you are more humble than you realize! Humbleness is important because it improves self-control, leadership skills, and work performance.
9. Ask others for feedback
Are you scared at times, to show other people your work? Maybe you should consider actually showing them! People who are self-aware often ask others for feedback. Whether it’s their work, performance, or general personality. Find a person who you trust, someone who wants you to improve! Ask them about yourself? What do I do best at school/work? How should I improve this? By asking these questions you are usually afraid to answer yourself, you may actually find yourself receiving helpful feedback! This feedback can help you grow as a person as you understand yourself more clearly.
10. Talk to themselves
Talk to themselves? Now this might seem a bit ridiculous at first glance, but studies have shown that talking to yourself out loud can actually benefit you. Self-aware people are able to easily organize their thoughts and remember important events, right? Well, talking to yourself is actually related to this. According to LiveScience, saying things out loud sparks memory and helps make the end goal appear tangible. Furthermore, according to psychologist Linda Sapadin, talking out loud to yourself helps you validate important and difficult decisions. “It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you’re contemplating.”.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and learnt something important along the way! Do you now believe you are a self-aware person? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading!
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- Dean J. “8 Psychological Benefits of Being Humble”. PsyBlog
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- Kauflin J. “Only 15% Of People Are Self-Aware — Here’s How To Change”. Forbes. 10 May 2017.
- Perez D. “Why Journaling Is Good for Your Mental Health”. Evernote. 19 July 2019
- Singhal V. “Importance of Patience in Life”. Wisdomtimes.
- Tobak S. “7 Signs You’re Not as Self-Aware as You Think”. Inc.. 29 March 2013
- Vandersteen S. “Think Before You Speak”. Glenora. 02 September 2014.