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The Importance of Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection.

You might have begun to consider your own early childhood experiences throughout this topic and what attachment style you have a tendency to display. These following exercises give you further space to reflect on how you relate to others and why that might be. This might be an easier process for some than others. If you find this brings up a lot of difficult feelings for you then it might be helpful for you to explore with someone else you trust. You might want to think about finding a counsellor or therapist who can talk these experiences through with you and help you make sense of them.

Take a piece of paper and a pen. Respond to the following questions trying not to censor yourself. This is only for you to read as you develop your self-awareness around how you relate to others and why this might be.

  • What was your childhood like?
  • What was your relationship like with each parent—and were there other people with whom you were close as a child? Whom were you closest to and why?
  • Think of several words that described your early relationship with each parent or caregiver, and then a few memories that illustrate each of those words.
  • What was it like when you were separated, upset, threatened, or fearful?
  • Did you experience loss as a child—and if so, what was that like for you and for your family?
  • How did your relationships change over time?
  • Why do you think your care-givers behaved as they did?
  • When you think back on all these questions, how do you think your earliest experiences have impacted your development as an adult?

This Attachment Styles Test is an interactive learning tool to help you gain insight into your own attachment behaviours and tendencies.

When completing this questionnaire, please focus on one significant relationship – ideally a current or past partner as the focus here is on adult relationships. This does not necessarily need to be a romantic relationship but must be the individual with whom you feel the most connection. 


Self-awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence was a theory developed by Salovey & Mayer who defined it as

‘the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.’

Mayer & Salovey, 1997

Working to develop these key components of emotional intelligence is important if we want to work to support children’s emotional and mental health. It allows us to understand ourselves, manage our own feelings and show empathy in our interactions with their emotions.

Which particular component of emotional intelligence would you most like to focus on and why?

  • How might you develop in this particular area? For example, if you are wanting to develop your self-awareness you might want to commit to times of self-reflection. This could be done through mindfulness or journalling.