To be human is to be perfectly imperfect. I was listening to a podcast recently about the role that self-awareness, particularly being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, plays on your overall well-being. It was directed at individuals but got me thinking about how these concepts apply to awareness of ourselves within our relationships.
Self-awareness allows you to take a look at what is going well in your life and which areas you would like to improve on. For some it can be difficult to look inward and freely focus on the things not going so well. For others, it is where they spend a good amount of their emotional energy-seeing only their faults.
For the person who is more naturally inclined to see only his or her areas of strength, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Embracing that confidence and security can very well get you closer to your life goals but when it gets in the way of truly hearing your partners needs or being able to listen with an open mind to how they are experiencing you, you may be missing out on key opportunities to connect with your spouse and your relationship may eventually suffer as a result of it.
Consequently, for someone who goes through their days with the voice of doubt whispering in their ear that they aren't good enough, they likely struggle to put a name to the things they do well. Not only is it difficult to feel proud of your personal accomplishments, you may find it difficult to acknowledge what is going well in your relationship. Likewise, you may focus on your spouses flaws over their good qualities-simply because your mind has been trained to look for the negative.
When I talk about improving your relationship through self-awareness, I'm not thinking about weighing out your strengths and weaknesses as they are reflected in your marriage or dating life. When we're open to exploring and expressing our emotions with our spouse we're able to better understand some of the areas of emotional vulnerability that we bring with us into our relationships. These areas of vulnerability not only effect how we perceive ourselves but they also serve as a lens for how we view others' behavior toward us.