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Why Self-Awareness Always Makes You Feel Bad

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    Why Self-Awareness Always Makes You Feel Bad

    woman with head in hands being self-critical

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    Healthy self awareness is one of the most impactful factors in the success of your relationships. Critical self-awareness is a relationship killer. This includes every type of relationship from family to friends, work, and romantic.

    When you understand how someone else experiences a relationship with you, you’re able to bring balance to your actions and communication. Self-awareness allows you to identify the parts of yourself that bring people closer and push them away.

    It’s an important tool in helping people improve relationships and getting emotional needs met.

    Understanding how other people judge you is what makes you an emotionally safe person. People who understand that they’re not the only judge of themselves create emotional safety in their relationships.

    Being self-critical can lead to self-sabotage, feelings of unworthiness, and self-sabotaging behavior.

    Self-Awareness Can Be Overly Critical

    What you think matters, but what they think matters too.

    Knowing the importance of self awareness allows you to incorporate other people’s perception of your actions and communications. Focusing too much on other people becomes codependent. Not focusing enough leads to dismissive and defensive behaviors.

    A healthy balance requires you to be open to feedback but also see the good parts of yourself. Acknowledge your strength and forgive yourself for unwelcome behaviors.

    Being overly self-critical without seeing your good and desirable qualities leads to low confidence, low self-esteem, and self-sabotage.

    Undervaluing yourself or allowing negative communication, especially from yourself, sets you up to accept toxic relationships or behave in toxic ways yourself.

    Bring Awareness to the Good

    While self awareness is meant to help you discover your shortfalls, it should also give you a clear perspective of how you attract and strengthen relationships.

    Awareness shouldn’t be predominantly self-critical, or skewed toward negative perceptions, but remain balanced.

    As you discover weaknesses in communication or relationship building, it’s helpful to speak to yourself gently, with kindness.

    Practicing mindfulness help you both discover more about yourself and be cognizant of how you speak about those discoveries. Journaling is a great practice to find awareness around the qualities that make you shine, build strong relationships, and feel whole and worthy.

    Each person has the capacity to pull their best qualities forward. If you default to noticing your worst qualities first, and minimizing your best, you can balance your self awareness by listing your strengths in your journal.

    Building a Caring Community

    It’s so important to have healthy relationships with trusted partners who can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses from a different perspective. Self-awareness cannot be achieved alone.

    The more you evaluate your interactions, match your evaluations with trusted partners, and maintain balance in your self-awareness, the easier it is to get your emotional needs met through fulfilling relationships.

    You won’t discover all of your amazing qualities alone either.

    Being self-aware instead of self-critical allows you to find the right people to join your care community and help you learn more about yourself.

    Self-critical communication impacts your self-worth and self-care. Feeling unworthy of personal care and attention underlies how you will feel in regards to other people’s time and attention.

    Develop a healthy long-term relationships with yourself first, there you will gain the tools to operate in a healthy long-term relationship with others.

    Evolve Your Boundaries

    Establishing healthy boundaries depends greatly on your needs are and what makes you feel emotionally validated and safe. Healthy boundaries create healthy relationships by protecting you from unwelcome behaviors as well as self-sabotaging ones.


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    Learning to grow in relationships will lead to changing boundaries.

    Depending on what you discover about yourself and your needs, you may need to set strong boundaries in a relationship. You may need to bring some boundaries down to grow in other areas of your life. These are things you will discover as you work on healthy self-awareness.

    Holding on to the knowledge that humans are ever-changing beings leaves space for the evolving boundaries that are inevitable within all of your relationships.

    Knowing everyone changes eases up that critical inner voice to make space for compassion.

    Accept the Growth

    When you know your emotional needs—how you feel love and validation and how you communicate love and validation—you can communicate healthy boundaries to facilitate strong, lasting relationships.

    The only way toward strong, lasting relationships is through accepting the growth that happens along the way. You’re not a perfect being but you are a worthy one.

    People change and grow. Be prepared for the growth that inevitably brings both good and bad discoveries and seek out confirmation of both. When you know you have weaknesses to discover, you look for them.

    Knowing you have developing strengths leads you to seek those out as well.

    Avoid Self-Rejection

    Being self critical leads to self-rejection. It’s easy to mistake criticisms for awareness. Understanding how your awareness makes you feel and what kind of pattern that creates allows you to break the negative patterns to create healthy relationships.

    Speaking kindly and gently about your weaknesses, balancing them with your strengths, and embracing your needs as a whole person creates expands your emotional capacity and strengthens your emotional mass.

    Relational success depends on your awareness. Your full objective awareness includes intimately knowing, not just your flaws, but all those really amazing parts about you too.

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