“Be mature enough to understand that you have toxic traits too. It’s not always the other person.”
I saw the above quote while lurking on the ‘Gram, and it was a gut punch.
We have become so accustomed to blaming the other party at the demise of a relationship, that we completely overlook what we may have done or didn’t do. And that can be attributed to a number of factors which include, but are not limited to:
- Victim mentalities
- Lack of self awareness
- It’s simply easier to blame someone else
While all three can go hand in hand, for the purpose of this post, I want to focus on lack of self awareness. But don’t worry, I will be dissecting victim mentalities at a later date.
Self awareness is a conscious knowledge of yourself. It’s knowing who you are and what makes you tick. Your strengths. Your weaknesses. Your flaws. It is essentially knowing and understanding your personality and all the things that make you, you.
Self awareness is the acceptance of all things that go into who you are. The good. The bad. And the not talked about.
When it comes to relationships, self awareness is holding yourself accountable for all things that have happened. It’s acknowledging the things that went right, as well as left, and taking ownership of them.
It’s also knowing and loving yourself, so that your partner has a clear understanding of what that looks like.
Because the reality is, we cannot expect for our partners to love us wholly, when we are only displaying that love to a fraction of ourselves.
Self awareness and self love are forever linked to one another. In order to practice self love, you can’t pick and choose the parts of you that need it the most. You cannot ignore the parts of you that are crying out for attention meanwhile telling everyone who will listen how much you love yourself. You cannot go around displaying love to everyone with a pulse, wanting to be their shoulder to cry on, and wanting to hold them to a certain standard, when you have not first acknowledged your flawed areas.
Signs of a lack of self awareness include:
- Emotional distance
- Being difficult
- Downplaying yourself
- Overcompensating for yourself
- Overly opinionated
- Overall, being a bad judge of character. Yours and others.
When you lack self awareness, you’re pretty much operating at your most inauthentic self. Which is simply unfair to you and everyone you come into contact with.
Because practicing self awareness varies from person to person, there is no one right way to do it. But, some of my go-to’s have been:
- Apologizing to myself
- Apologizing to others
- Reciting positive affirmations
- Quiet time
- Saying no
- Being honest with myself
- Seeing things from all sides
- Owning my personality
Back in the day, I was notorious for saying, “His loss” when things didn’t work out between me and whoever I was dating. After my fifth time saying it, I sat back, thinking about everything that had gone wrong, and realized that I was the common denominator. There was something that either I was doing too much or not enough of, that was contributed to my relationships going left.
And that’s not to say that all of the guys were saints, because Lord knows that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
But I had to acknowledge truths about myself that could have altered the way that things played out. Whether good or bad. I had to own up to the fact that I wasn’t the best at practicing self awareness. And that was due to the fact that I didn’t love all parts of me.
I buried the not so favorable parts of myself, and only displayed what I wanted people to see. Which always ended up backfiring.
It finally came to a point where I had to place dating on the backburner to practice some much needed self awareness, and get to the root of why I had never done that before. I had to acknowledge and love the parts of me that were hidden, in addition to what was on display. So that the next person that comes along would see how I want to be loved, based on how I love myself.
Sister my sister, own who you are. Own your flaws. Own your not so perfect ways. Be aware of yourself. Of ALL parts of yourself. And them love them. Love them so fiercely that you future forever bae can’t help but to love them too.