Self-reflection, learning from relationships
In a relationship, you will experience beautiful, exciting, sad, tense and emotional situations together with your partner. You go through thick and thin together, mastering the ups and downs. But have you ever asked yourself what you can really learn about yourself from your relationships? The keyword here is self-reflection, a very valuable tool for personal development and self-growth. You have certainly heard a lot about reflecting on your own behavior. But to what extent can you learn more about yourself from a relationship? Find out in today’s article.
Before we look at what a relationship or our behavior towards our partner says about us, we would first like to turn to self-reflection. What does it mean? What are the benefits of reflecting on yourself? We will also show you some exercises that you can use to reflect on yourself.
Self-reflection – what is it?
Self-reflection is a conscious way of noticing and observing ourselves. We look at our habits and behaviors, analyzing our feelings, thoughts and own behavior in order to better understand ourselves. The focus is on the question: Who am I? To really find out and grow personally, here are some questions that will help fully understand what we are getting at:
– What are my goals in life?
– What drives me?
– What is important to me?
– What have I achieved so far?
– What are my strengths and weaknesses?
– Why have I behaved the way I have?
– What can I do better?
– What would I like to change?
Reflecting helps you to learn from your mistakes, to understand your feelings and to avoid impulsive reactions. In addition, you direct your attention to your successes and become more aware of them. When dealing with failures, it is important not to condemn yourself for them, but simply to admit them honestly and to deal with them critically.
The insights you gain from this will help you to deal with future situations. For example, if you have recognized that you often acted rashly in the past, which you regret in retrospect, you can change this in the future and develop further.
What are the benefits of reflecting on your own behavior?
As already mentioned at the beginning, you can develop yourself personally with the help of successful self-reflection. By analyzing what you feel, think and do, you get to know yourself better with all your strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to use your strengths to deal with fear and difficult situations.
Using your strengths
Let’s look at an example: You’ve been on a first date for a long time and you’re incredibly excited about it. Of course, this is completely understandable. However, your strengths include casual small talk and your friendly manner, which are extremely useful on a date. Because once the ice is broken, nothing stands in the way of a nice evening! Thanks to successful self-reflection, you know your strengths and can therefore calm down a bit before the big day. A part of residual nervousness remains on such an occasion, of course 😉
Know the effects of your behavior
A major advantage of people who reflect on their behavior is that they can estimate in advance how other people will react to a statement or action. Thus, they are able to consciously decide for or against a certain behavior and, for example, avoid conflicts. Therefore, self-reflection is also enormously important for interpersonal behavior, such as in a relationship. For example, you may notice that your partner is pleased and feels valued when you choose an outfit for a special occasion that he or she likes a lot about you.
– You learn from your mistakes and experiences.
– You can get rid of false assumptions.
– You understand what is good for you and what is important to you.
– You recognize your problems and can tackle them.
– You live more consciously and are therefore happier!
Exercises for self-reflection
Now we present to you some ways to reflect on your behavior. Just choose the one you like best! One more tip: be patient with yourself and find your own routine for successful self-reflection.
Make time in the morning or the evening just for you to write down what is going on in your mind. Write down your thoughts and feelings to experience how relieving it feels. Methods such as journaling are great for gaining insight about yourself. By emptying your mind, you can organize your thoughts and understand your feelings. In the evening, you can ask yourself what your greatest success was today or what you are grateful for.
In meditation you will center yourself and get to your deepest desires, dreams, but also worries. This is the key to overcome them and find solutions.
It may sound trivial at first, but when you are in nature and let your mind wander, you may become aware of important insights about yourself. A small time out can sometimes work wonders!
The partner as a reflection
We can also learn a lot about ourselves from our relationships – firstly about what we look for in a partner and secondly about how we behave in a relationship.
The choice of partner
Which person we choose as a partner for a relationship can tell us a lot about ourselves. Ask yourself why you chose a certain person. Are you looking for security and stability in him or her? Why is that? Maybe you lack stability in other parts of your life, for example if you have a very turbulent job where you are constantly on the go. What do you want from your partner? If you answer this question for yourself, you will find out what is really important to you.
You can also learn from your past relationships through self-reflection. For example, have you always been with partners who mainly talked about themselves and paid little attention to you? Of course, there is not only one reason why this may have been the case, as people are individuals and can be very different. But one possible explanation would be, for example, that you are too nice and pay more attention to others than to yourself, which is why you tolerated the behavior of your ex-partners.
Your behavior in the relationship
Your partner can be an important reflection of your actions and reactions. In the course of a relationship you observe how you react differently in the same situations. This can serve as a reason for you to analyze your behavior in these moments. Why did you act that way? What made you do it? What did your behavior lead to? Your partner can be an inspiration for you to deal with certain things in a different way, if you realize that your own behavior has not brought you any further. Because he shows you other ways to react.
In addition, you can apply the method of self-reflection to your own behavior towards your partner and thus develop yourself further. Questions you can ask include: How do I behave in an argument? What do I think when they make me angry? Do I over react in certain situations? How do I show them that I love them? It is very important that you answer the questions honestly, because only then can you understand yourself and your feelings better.
Every relationship can contribute to self-reflection
From your choice of partner to your behavior towards your partner, you can learn who you are and what you want in life. You will find out what really matters to you in your relationship and in other areas of your life if you reflect on yourself. To do this, use one of the exercises we have presented to you and ask yourself the questions listed above. With the help of the insights you gain, you can use your potential to develop yourself further and become the person you want to be and can be. ❤️