If you find yourself having the same issues in your relationships – intimate or platonic – it’s not a coincidence: It’s a lack of self-awareness.
People with self-awareness know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and they know how those weaknesses affect others.
You have opportunities on a daily basis to learn about yourself, to gain valuable insights from the world so that you make new mistakes.
If you can’t rattle off 5 of your biggest weaknesses within 2 minutes (I just tried to confirm that’s a reasonable timeframe), it means there’s a way you’re moving through the world that’s keeping you from coming face to face with reality.
Your exes have all the data you need to come face-to-face with your issues. Unfortunately, there is no exit interview at the end of relationships.
Even if there were, you’d most likely reject even the most informative data at that point because of where you are emotionally.
Your friends won’t tell you. They’re looking for a fun evening – or at the very least a night devoid of conflict. It’s easier to simply take some space from you. And because they don’t live with you day in and day out, they can get enough distance from you to remain in the relationship without needing you to change.
Your parents don’t see you objectively. And even if they did, they most likely lack the skills necessary to communicate your flaws to you in a way that you’d be able to hear. Also, your flaws don’t bother them as much as they did when you lived under their roof, making you tolerable in small doses.
You’ve decided that your problems are the result of others. That’s why you keep changing partners, jobs, apartments, friends, geography.
You haven’t been in therapy, or if you have, it’s not been with the right person. Your shrink cares more about getting through the hour with you than calling you out on the behaviors that would undoubtedly result in a power struggle between you.
You’re not inquisitive about how you come across to others, and the people in your life sense this. They don’t want to provoke defensiveness in you, because again, see number 3.
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