Having awareness for our lives is very important because it makes us enjoy things, have passion for things, feel love for others as well as feel sadness when something doesn’t go right, happiness when everything seems so bright and every other emotion. It allows us to see our surroundings, take them in and remember these times; these surroundings we admired once. But, we sometimes forget about being aware of our actions and our words.
Self-aware. Being self-aware is something I myself still have to work on, and we all do at times. We all naturally forget, and that’s okay. Then, we have to remember again, and become aware again. I never realised until I thoroughly reflected and evaluated my personal actions of how they have a drastic effect on others. One example I have become aware that not only I have been guilty of on occasion, but also the people around me have, is sharing your insecurities. When we ourselves are insecure, we can sometimes project our insecurities onto others. The parts of us we don’t like and casually let others know, the spots situated on our foreheads we cover with concealer, the stretch marks we may hate on our thighs etc. But with every “I hate my spots” there is a person listening to you that didn’t notice her own acne on her forehead until you pointed out your own. Or your ‘large thighs’ you shared with your group that you hated so much, there’s a person listening to your words, absorbing them and their own mind is thinking ‘oh, maybe I need to have smaller thighs,’. We don’t realise at the time that sharing these dislikes, can be heard by ears of those who appreciate and listen, but don’t understand that it’s your personal insecurity and you’re not trying to put it onto theirs. We could be triggering very painful and intrusive thoughts by expressing our own about ourselves. I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk to someone when you’re feeling low. I’m trying to help you come to the same realisation that I did…That promoting our bad thoughts and habits, and opening up about them are two very different practises. If we constantly project negativity about our own personal selves and our own personal habits towards our friend group/ family, we may find that they become self-aware themselves, that maybe you have become toxic to them so they won wish to associate any longer. If that happens, we need to evaluate our actions and have some self-responsibility.
Usually when a friendship ends, it is both parties involved in that ending, other times it can be just one person. That doesn’t mean you are a bad human, that you can’t think about, own up, better yourself and fix your mistakes. Sometimes we just need that wake up call to remind us, and that is completely fine. Just as long as you can use your knowledge to change that habit of negative projection or internalised oppression…or whatever it may be that you find yourself doing that could be hurting others or that others could be doing to hurt you.
The danger in not being self-aware of our words, actions or mistakes (and others actions too) is that they become a habit, a dangerous habit. This habit can grow, and can severely damage our own mental health and others. In fact, without realising our words or jokes may be falling into some very dangerous terms such as homophobia or racism. These are much larger issues, so it’s vital that you analyse your behaviour and your projections or your friends/ family’s now before it is too.
It is okay to call somebody out tactfully because that is the only way they may be able to become aware. If somebody is damaging your self-esteem or your sense of worth, pride or happiness then YOU can walk away. Walk away, and explain why you did. Then whoever this is has that choice. They have the choice of whether to complete a self-development journey to improve this, or to sit back and carry on repeating the same behaviour over and over. This is a difficult topic, and I don’t think it’s mentioned enough because of its difficulty in noticing and fixing.
You may have noticed now, and picked something out from reading this that you do or a friend does that is toxic. I hope whatever that is, whoever it is, we can all become self-aware and responsible, and as people have the heart and discipline to work on improving it.
As I mention in most of my articles. You are in control. So YOU can act on this. YOU can leave. YOU can call a person out on a fault. YOU can improve your own habits. YOU can become self-aware.
Article by Young Reporter Grace
First appeared in Grimsby Telegraph 6th April 2021