Self-Awareness: The New Buzzword
Self-awareness is the new buzzword in the business world–aimed especially at guys who wish to be leaders in their fields but find themselves lacking the leadership skills they have to work. Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist, tells us self-awareness is now the latest business management buzzword for good reason.  When we look at ourselves clearly, we’re more confident and more creative–creating sounder choice, communicating better, and building stronger business relationships.
Jennifer Porter, a managing partner in a leadership and staff development company, has a terrific take on self-reflection, which is how we can become more self-aware:
…The most useful reflection requires the conscious consideration and evaluation of faith and activities with the intention of learning. Reflection gives the brain a chance to pause admist the chaos, untangle and sort through experiences and observations, consider multiple possible interpretations and make meaning. This meaning becomes studying, which could then inform future mindsets and activities. 
If self-awareness is so crucial in our business relationships, why not in our romantic relationships? Advice about self-awareness in romantic relationship frequently suggests setting aside time on a regular basis to get a self-assessment regarding values, daily tasks, life goals, etc. Guys, particularly, will withstand this route toward self-awareness, using a bias toward action rather than contemplation; not seeing how this method contributes to a better connection, relying on”facts,” valuing intellect over feelings, not following through on a plan to meditate, etc..
We are in need of a new spin on the call for the type of self-reflection that generates the desired self-awareness.
What Are Your Triggers?
Rather than approaching self-awareness by some overall strategy about life preparation, how about a situation-specific plan –a way to recognize situations which are”triggers” to be self-reflective as opposed to reactive.
In supportive, intimate relationships disagreements and differences are often handled through a negotiation process which starts with”putting things on the table” so that the spouses can see where the gaps are. The top negotiations lead to”win-win” results such that each spouse’s wishes and desires are heard and honored from the outcome. 
They often begin as a request, a remark, a difference, a debate. However, soon you aren’t speaking to each other–you’re yelling, averting, speaking over each other, etc. When this occurs, issues won’t be resolved because you’re making assumptions that are concealed and the ideas and feelings you are strong and negative.
The first clue that you’re setting yourself up for a battle with your spouse/partner is how you’re feeling. If you are feeling angry with your partner, you’re set to blame her, e.g.,”I am angry because you aren’t doing your fair share.” In this circumstance, something she did (or failed to do) has”induced” one to be mad at her. You think that it is”normal” for you to be mad because she didn’t do what she’d agreed to do.
This scenario of believing your partner caused you to be mad (or fearful or hurt) and describing this as normal is actually your role in creating a battle. While this angry reaction may be”reflexive,” calling it”normal” simply justifies your response.
The best way to solve conflict is for every individual to become self-reflective and personally accountable for his/her role in the breakdown of the interaction available. Here are the steps you can take to raise your self-awareness to be able to prevent completely or resolve conflicts in your romantic relationship.
Boost Your Emotional Intelligence. You know that anger and dread prepared you for a fight or flight response. Daniel Goleman, who introduced the concept of emotional intelligence, perspectives such emotions as a “quick response system” that compels you to respond without proper reflection on what is happening.  Remember that anger and anxiety are related to the discharge of epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine, and dopamine, all of which ready you to fight or flee.
Psychiatrist David Viscott describes all the ways we camouflage our anger by expressing it as being upset, miffed, teed off, irked, annoyed, angry, enraged, and burnt.  Stress can be expressed as being fearful, edgy, jittery, nervous, stressed, helpless, insecure, uptight, nervous, having cold feet, and getting the shakes. These are the words we use generally to avoid copping to being angry or fearfulto divert.
Developing emotional intelligence means being aware of your own”fast response system.” You have to own it.
Understand Your Personal Take on the Circumstance. Goleman states that due to this”quick response system,” you may make a fast interpretation of what is going on between you and your partner. This will be a personalized interpretation based more on your own history than on the present situation. We all bring our personal histories (painful and happy ) with us to our union. Whenever your personal history influences your view of this circumstance, you may describe your spouse’s actions in perspective of what it means to you personally rather than clarify it.
Say you come home for work one day, ready to fix dinner with your wife. You find out that she’s not gone grocery shopping on the way home as she had agreed to do. She would like to go out to eat! Your fast response system goes into action and you say,”I am so mad that you aren’t doing your fair share of the work.” You might even add something like–“You’re such a shirker!” Your partner will seldom, if ever, experience her actions in precisely the exact same manner that you describe it. She just changed her mind! The feeling of”unfairness” in this instance is the personal experience of this circumstance.
Characterizing an action isn’t the exact same thing as explaining it. Characterizing is not about the event–her not going into the store–it is about a private selves! And, characterizing your spouse’s action will certainly excite her counter-reaction and counter characterization (“You’re such a bully!”) . Now, it’s a full-fledged conflict!
Here are some examples of the distinction between describing what occurs and characterizing what happens.
|WHAT SPOUSE DID||HOW YOU CHARACTERIZED IT|
|She didn’t attend me in how I wanted||She ignored me|
|She spent money on things that she wanted||She’s selfish|
|She checked her phone when we were speaking||She’s so self-centered|
|She wants to have sex more often than I do||She’s a sex-addict|
|She didn’t consider my view||She treats me like a second class-citizen|
Being accountable means using your self-awareness to communicate better with your partner — acknowledging that you’re reacting not interacting. Being accountable means knowing that your words and actions have a direct impact on others, on your partner.
Self-awareness will build a stronger connection with your spouse if you are able to recognize when you’re angry, irritated, peeved, hurt, angry, or angry at her–recognizing that you’re reacting reflexively. Know that without reflecting on what’s occurring, you may quickly and automatically characterize her as with some negative trait that caused her to behave badly toward you (she’s selfish, lazy, bossy, cluttered, inconsiderate, emasculating, and on and on). She won’t ever agree with such a characterization!
What’s the Payoff?
Self-reflection helps you determine the issue at hand. The self-awareness attained by self-reflection leads you to describe your concerns to your partner instead of characterizing her actions or lack of action. Characterizing is never positive once you’re reacting–it’s always negative–and likely to provoke a reaction-in-kind. You may negotiate a debate or difference about what happened when it’s described. You don’t negotiate conflict! You retaliate for a perceived personal salvation!
Like our company consultants point out, when you see yourself more clearly–recognize when you’re reacting instead of interacting–you’ll make sounder decisions, communicate better, and do your part in building a more satisfying relationship with your spouse/partner.
- Self-awareness in company help leaders become optimistic, communicate better, and build stronger relationships.
- Self-awareness has the identical effect in your intimate relationship.
- A fresh approach to attaining self-awareness is to identify your trigger scenarios by paying attention to if you’re angry, anxious, or hurt.
- Self-reflection permits you to describe a issue not characterize your partner in negative terms.
- Characterizing your partner is provocative.
Harvard Business Review.