I would love to say…
“Take your phone off speaker, lady. I know Creole, and I am sure your man didn’t want me to hear what he just told you. Heeeeey, sexy kitten.”
“Turn down the tunes, man. ‘Baby Got Back’ isn’t super cool at 6 AM.”
“HE WANTS THE REGULAR YOPLAIT, NOT THE FAT-FREE!” I would love to scream that to the crabby ole bitty who demonized her husband in the dairy aisle at Safeway. Being self-aware, I would refrain from using the cuss words I would like to blurt.
What happened to self-awareness? Maybe it was never there. Things have gotten louder, faster, and meaner.
Your behavior and thoughts travel with you. The way you behave affects your offspring and your tribe. It becomes an embedded habit, normalized, and spawns like a virus affecting your job, relationships, environment, and health.
People are yelling at each other in public, blaring their phones and radios, and frankly, even half of the outfits worn at Walmart lack self-awareness. Wouldn’t you agree it has gotten worse?
In my opinion, self-awareness is taught! Flailing infants are trying to teach us something. Communication is simple for them. Be loud, or you won’t get fed, changed, or put to bed. They understand the assignment: be the squeaky wheel or lose your place in the line of importance. When language matures, one assumes behavior follows suit. Right? Apparently, not as often as it used to.
As mentors, we should teach our children to become aware of the volume of their voice, the language they use, and the actions they take, and that consequences arise with each decision and behavior. By preschool, children should clearly understand that screaming and kicking cabinets will not warrant positive actions.
I grew up being told, “Don’t talk back…Don’t raise your voice…Don’t look at me that way…Don’t wear that, say that, or act like that.” Oooh, I just realized my Baby Boomer mentors used many don’ts. But guess what? I learned manners, respect, and self-awareness.
Like most things in our family trees, the lack of self-awareness may be a generational curse. If one isn’t taught, how can one become a teacher? That is profound, Peggy. I know. I shocked myself with that one. But think about it…How do you know if you are not taught the difference between right and wrong? Then time passes, and you become your mother or father and raise your children to become you. If you lack manners, respect, and self-awareness, I feel you can look back generations and see the lack of mentoring.
Self-awareness can be learned and improved. When we slow down and look around, we can see what our actions or lack of are causing.
Mumbles, heated stares, and flailing daggers will come your way. You can hear and see the judgment of lack of self-awareness. The audience reacts when someone is too loud, too mean, or disrespectful. I challenge you to look around and see if you have become the center of attention for the temper tantrum you are exhibiting. If so, take a time-out. Breathe. Walk.
From a health and wellness perspective, self-awareness is a niche in and of itself. Teaching how to eat mindfully, honor emotions, and improve our habits all fall under improving self-awareness. Positive relationships and self-respect are a product of self-awareness. The expectations we have for ourselves should be so evident that the rules are billboard apparent.
There are so many games you can play to assess your level of self-awareness. First, play on the word itself. As simple as it sounds, it is about being AWARE of SELF. Awareness of how we affect ourselves and those in our path is a skill.
Ask yourself, what you are saying, doing, wearing, feeling, and more. Are you aware, in the know, of how you are affected by your awareness or lack of awareness? Are you aware of how others are affected by your awareness or lack of awareness? Our behavior affects the mind, body, and space of others just as they affect our mind, body, and space. As yourself, how and why you influence others. Are you known for your temper or your sense of peace? Do people avoid conflict with you because they fear you might embarrass them in public?
Could you improve it by practicing a higher level of self-awareness? What tips and tricks can you use to step back and assess how you might create a more positive influence and impression on others and the world?