Self awareness is valid for building and maintaining relationships, staying positive, and achieving your goals. Being self aware involves being mindful of yourself, your feelings and the feelings of others within interactions. It is being able to manage how you present yourself in the world and make others feel. But for various reasons a lot of people find it difficult to be mindful and self-aware which can get them into big trouble!
Once, after spending many days alone, I was caught up in the need to socialize and get a change of scenery that I let a date go on longer than it should. I was not attracted to this person at all but I was so focused on "doing everything right"and being likable that I forgot about myself and missed a few risk factors. I ended up accepting a puff from a blunt that put me out of my wits and agreeing to go back to this strangers house which was far away from my own. I didn't even have taxi money or knowledge of the area. In fact, I had no idea where we eventually went. I was so high and paranoid. Even though I knew weed didn't work well with me I didn't care when I initially accepted the blunt. I was too caught up in being a "good date." Although it makes no sense now as again I wasn't even attracted to the person.
In retrospect I could see how risky this could have been. It was late at night and I didn't know anyone in this stranger's town or even a number to dial for a local taxi, if I had the money anyway. His father was home and the place was a hoarders dream, which is to say that it was a mess. I had a creepy sensation and didn't know how I had gotten myself into the situation or how I would get out. I ended up having to repeatedly ask "the date" to bring me home. It was dark and late by time I got back home safely and I felt stupid and angry at myself for days. Here I was, a grown woman at 28, making teenager decisions. I ended up being safe in this scenario but for a lot of folks tiny hiccups like this have ended darker. So what created this lapse of judgement outside the obvious such as mind-altering substances.
The lack of self-awareness tend to come in episodes for people. Based on any underlying medical reasons sometimes it's in most situations or isolated to when they are experiencing periods of stress, anxiety or over excitement. They may react to situations inappropriately or overreact. Some people who've experienced trauma may even act like a different person entirely as they have described feelings of being outside their bodies. While we can't cover self-awareness techniques in one blog posting, below is an acronym that you may keep in your notes to help yourself when in need.
S- soothe tension with following breath or with touch, taste, smell etc.
E - evaluate what people are saying or doing and any risks
L - let yourself be but within the boundaries of your values, beliefs, and
F - follow your intuition and gut
A - ALLOW mistakes but try to be APPROPRIATE
W - weigh all options
A- appreciate positive things
R - respect yourself
E - eliminate things that cause tension/stress or that can alter reality
N - what are you NEEDS?
E - embrace the opinions of others
S - say less than you observe
S - singular things in the moment
Think of each phrase attached to the letters in self awareness. Right now consider how you can apply each to wherever you are. Make a visual representation of each and either print it out or draw it out in a small booklet form for you to go back to whenever you need.