Self awareness is the key to self mastery
In my previous post, I discussed what self-awareness is and why you need it. We looked at how important it is to understand your emotions, feelings and how they contribute to your behavior. Now that you know what self-awareness is and why it matters, let’s look at how you can increase self awareness in communication.
As we all know, communication is the thread that holds relationships together. What we say and how we say it can break or make relationships. Whether it’s work relationships or those with our close ones, communicating the right way can help us create healthy and functional relationships.
This is where self-awareness comes in. When we bring self-awareness in our communication, we have sensible, meaningful, and functional communications.
How to improve self-awareness in communication
Understand your personality
To properly know and understand yourself, it is important that you understand your personality. Personality is a consistent set of attributes that you display over time and across situations. Your personality distinguishes you from the next person.
Personalities develop from genetics and social surrounding. This is simply saying that you were born possessing some attributes, and others you have picked along the way from your environment. I recommend that you take a personality test, identify your personality type, and use this guide to help you understand your personality.
Knowing your personality means reflecting on why you are the way you are. This way, you can understand yourself better and use this information to create relationships with others.
Part of understanding your identity is reflecting back on your childhood and upbringing. This is because how you were brought up really influences the person you are today. Your family and upbringing played a major role in shaping your identity.
For example, if your family often yelled at each other as a way of communication, you might find this normal but it is not to others.
I have provided some of these exercises on childhood experiences, family influence on your life in my self-awareness course that you can take to determine the influence that your childhood and family has had on your life and therefore know how they influence the person you are today and become more self-aware.
By seeking feedback about yourself from others
We can only understand the effects of what we say to others when we seek feedback. We may possess some traits or say some things that don’t sit well with others yet we are not aware of it.
The Johari window shows that there are some aspects about ourselves that we do not know but others do. For example, you also may be a rude person yet you don’t know your words come out as rude because you intend to be honest but that’s not the case.
Getting feedback from others helps you become more self-aware as you learn some of your qualities from another person. Through feedback, a person may tell you, “try to find nice words to express your opinions. Sometimes you can be really insensitive to my feelings”.
That way, you learn something about yourself from that person. Some could be good traits you learn about yourself that will make you appreciate yourself some more, others could be some elements that you may consider changing especially to form better relationships with others.
Write stuff down, or share with a trusted person
Most of us don’t like writing stuff down because, well, for whatever reason. Some fear that they will go too deep into their emotions, others just don’t like writing and consider it tedious. Plus there is also the chance that someone will access your journal and therefore access your deepest feelings.
Either way, find a way to express yourself even if it is talking to another person. Sometimes back, I took a class on psychology and one of the course requirements was to attend a number of therapy sessions. I never thought I needed therapy, after all, I am a well-balanced person, or so I thought.
However, I attended the sessions and simply shared simple things with the therapist, from decisions I needed to make to my daily activities and interactions with my family and friends. The more I talked, the more gained clarity over some issues in my personality and in some decisions I needed to make.
There is clarity in sharing
You really don’t need therapy sessions to share, all you need is a good friend that you can share open, honest, and intimate conversations. I have a friend who we talk about a lot happening around us and it helps gain some clarity over how I am feeling and thinking and hence increases my self-awareness a tad.
Would you like to improve self-awareness in your communication? I have addressed this in my self-awareness course. This could be just what you need!