Self conscious emotions, Empathy & other essential Social Skills

Self Awareness/ self conscious emotions

The concept of  being self conscious describes our ability to know our true self :our weaknesses, strengths; our desires; beliefs; likes and dislikes; motivations etc.


Why is Self-awareness Important ?  

There are many benefits associated with being self conscious:

  • At the very basic, having a strong sense of awareness will help you  to understand your character better and establish an influential personality. 
  • Developing self-awareness also helps you determine the important things in your life and puts you on the way to building a life worth living.
  • Self-awareness is considered as an important mechanism of self-control and emotional intelligence.

Basically, when we perceive ourselves more clearly we are less likely to be distracted. We make informed decisions, communicate effectively and build stronger human connections.In leadership and management literature, the ability to be self conscious and to act consciously is ranked among the most important leadership capabilities. In other words, a great sense of  self-awareness is a strong predictor of overall business success and provides the basis for cultivating leadership qualities like openness, authenticity and leading with a purpose.


The 4 Self-Awareness archetypes 

Psychologist and Harvard Business Review (HBR) author, Dr. Tasha Eurich  is convinced that “self-awareness isn’t one truth. It’s a delicate balance of two distinct, even competing, viewpoints.”


According to the New York best selling author,there are two categories of self-awareness; internal self-awareness which defines our ability to “see our own values, passions, aspirations, fit with our environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others” and external self-awareness (the ability to understand how others view us).  


Eurich also writes about the “4 self-awareness archetypes” ;

  • The Introspectors
  • The Aware
  • The Seekers
  • The pleasers.  

Self-awareness


How I can be more Self conscious  

The key to a greater sense of self awareness is observing  yourself and accepting who you are — not who you think you should be. Dr. Eurich asserts that you need to actively working on developing both internal and external self-awreness.


But she also warns against falling into the trap of valuing one more than the other. Thus, 

Leaders who focus on building both internal and external self-awareness, who seek honest feedback from loving critics, and who ask what instead of why can learn to see themselves more clearly — and reap the many rewards that increased self-knowledge delivers. And no matter how much progress we make, there’s always more to learn. That’s one of the things that makes the journey to self-awareness so exciting.


Empathy

Empathy describes our capability to be sensitive to other people’s  problems.  It is the ability to imagine yourself in another person’s situation and be concerned as much as they are.

Psychologists Paul Ekman and Daniel Goleman identify three categories of empathy:

  • “Cognitive empathy: refers to our capability to understand the feelings that someone else is experiencing and what they might be thinking.
  • “Emotional empathy (also known as affective empathy) is the ability to share the feelings of another person. Some have described it as “your pain in my heart.” This type of empathy helps you build emotional connections with others.”
  • “Compassionate empathy (also known as empathic concern) goes beyond simply understanding others and sharing their feelings: it actually moves us to take action, to help however we can.”

Of course, you’ll never be able to imagine exactly how another person feels. But trying will get you a lot closer than you would be otherwise if you just ignored their situation.


What is the Difference between Empathy and Sympathy ? 

Empathy and sympathy  are related closely, yet they have different connotation. On the one hand, the concept of sympathy may describe:

 “feelings of loyalty” or “unity or harmony in action or effect,” meanings not shared by empathy. In the contexts where the two words do overlap, sympathy implies sharing (or having the capacity to share) the feelings of another, while empathy tends to be used to mean imagining, or having the capacity to imagine, feelings that one does not actually have. 

Both empathy and sympathy are associated with the broader concept  of compassion i.e; sympathetic understanding of other people’s pains and having the desire to help them.


References:

Definition of EMPATHY. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathy