Last year a friend made a comment about how I seemed to her: “It’s like you crawled out from under a rock! You’re so wide-eyed at the world and open to learning new things.” Thinking about this makes me laugh and then ponder.
Part of what the friend meant was that growing up I was isolated and chose not to learn average popular culture for a while, and now I’m getting to experience it. (Maybe it surprised her, but she was very encouraging and helped me develop in some new ways.)
Now that I’m learning more communication skills I understand more of what she meant and am seeing the gaps in how I related to her and others.
My selfishness was hidden under a “nice” front, so I got away with it for years. In the last few years I have had situations where I’ve been forced to see my selfish patterns, and I’m learning to change.
I was childish in this area of self-awareness. Children arrive: completely dependent and inward focused.
A parent’s and a teacher’s job is to break kids out of that inward focus and learn how to relate to others.
Self-awareness must be taught (and sometimes taught repeatedly to get through to some humans.) Some humans tend to be more empathetic or feeling, while others have focused on getting their own needs met.
How do you develop self-awareness?
You learn how to love and care for people by just doing it! Sometimes I lament the years I didn’t try as much, but NOW I can be tuned it, feel others’ feelings, and love people where they are at.
Self-awareness comes through having truth-tellers in your life: people who will lovingly tell you “You hurt me when you did that, and please say it maybe this way next time and it would seem more caring.”
Start picking up people’s signals/vibes/ the emotional feelings they are sending out if you care to stop and listen. Pay attention to peoples’ faces and pick up the signals there.
Let love in enough so that you can relax, forget yourself, and tune into how others are feeling.
So I’m learning to not be clueless by being willing to tune into other people’s signals, and responding in an appropriate ways. And I still am wide-eyed toward life because this is a much more life-giving way to live!