Relationships are a great way to build trust and intimacy with someone else. But have you ever thought about how relationships help you evolve into your best self?
Did you know that relationships are one of the most powerful containers you can use to enhance your self-awareness.
Relationships really are your greatest teacher. Even if you’re already someone with a high level of self-awareness, you can still learn a lot about yourself by the way you relate to the person you’re closest to.
Relationships offer a unique opportunity for unconscious behaviors to come to the forefront. They allow you to see yourself in new ways creating aha moments of self-discovery that lead to new realizations.
In turn, you can access new insights and ideas that inspire your best self to thrive.
Keep reading to discover five powerful ways that your relationship will help you become your best self.
1. Relationships serve as a mirror.
Experiencing yourself through the eyes of someone else illuminates your strengths and also highlights opportunities for change.
What we admire or dislike in others is often what we admire or dislike about ourselves. Everything we see in the outside world is being reflected back like a mirror. This enables us to do some intense detective work on our own character.
In turn, we get to dig deeper to unveil the unseen ways we are thinking or acting.
The self-discovery that comes from mirroring can be one of the more challenging parts of a being with someone. It’s not easy to acknowledge how your partner is reflecting back a quality you want to transform.
But face this realization with radical honesty, and you unlock the opportunity to truly grow as a person.
It can feel uncomfortable at first. But the results are worth it. This mirror effect offers a level of self-reflection that isn’t available when you are on your own. It allows you to grow in ways that only relationships can offer.
2. Relationships highlight your unconscious ‘bad’ habits
It’s natural to fall into habitual patterns. Being in a relationship requires sharing your time, space, and human-ness with another person.
Running on auto-pilot is easier. It takes less energy. Relationships make us aware of the things about ourselves that we don't consciously notice.
With someone else around to witness your habits and default behaviors, you may begin to see opportunities for improvement!
Maybe you have a habit of leaving your dirty water glasses all over the place. Or only answering one question in a text message when there were two. You might be someone that tends to leave important details out of group plans.
It may sting for someone else to be so aware of the way you operate - especially when they draw your attention to them, but this also opens up an opportunity for dialogue and offers a level of self-awareness you didn’t have before.
3. Relationships illuminate your reactions
A lot of our behaviors are unconscious reactions to external triggers. Have you noticed how you can respond without thinking - especially when confronted with an uncomfortable or stressful situation?
In a new relationship, your partner will get to experience your reactions - giving you the chance to see how you react through their fresh eyes. For example, how do you respond when you’re meeting new people, finding your feet in new situations, combining schedules, and making changes to your daily routine?
Changes often cause reactions, and reactions may cause triggers. Your reactions reveal what’s really going on inside your psyche.
Through your partner’s feedback and observations, you get to decide whether you like the way you show up - or whether there’s a ‘best self’ version to be discovered and embodied.
Thanks to your relationship, you get to work on transforming your default reactions which is another valuable tool for self-growth.
4. Relationships encourage you to be better
Chances are your partner may have habits or behaviors that you want to adopt. This doesn’t mean you have to be at the gym together for two hours each day! It can be as simple as your partner's positive outlook on life motivating you to see things in a different light.
The proof is in the pudding. If the person you are closest to displays habits you want to embrace— it will be easier for you to change because you’ll have a role model to follow.
When you put your best foot forward for yourself each day the people around you are motivated to do the same.
5. Relationships make you feel appreciated
Your relationship is also an opportunity to see and own the things that others love and appreciate about you.
For example, maybe you didn’t know your smile lights up a room. Or perhaps your partner appreciates how thoughtful you are. Nothing is better than feeling appreciated for the small things you weren’t even aware of. This will lead you down the avenue toward a deeper love for yourself.
The more positive reinforcement you receive from your partner about what makes you special— the more likely you are to embrace these parts of yourself, too.
Feeling appreciated motivates us. And when you feel appreciated you are more willing to go the extra mile for yourself and in your relationship.
Better self-realizations render better relationships
Life often gives us relationships that serve as mirrors for our ultimate growth. Begin to recognize the mirror effect and you’ll have a better view of where you could work on yourself to step into your best self.
If you choose, your relationship provides an opportunity to be a witness to your behaviors, reactions, and triggers - empowering you to take control of the things that were once unnoticed.
When your partner is there to do the same, you both get to experience growth. And the best part is— you can do it all together.