How do you know what you don’t know about yourself? You listen to others. We all like to think that we have good knowledge about our reactions and emotions about all things. However, we all have things that we are unaware of, which would make us better partners, business people, friends, and parents. The feedback that can help you identify these things about yourself can come from people who are close to you, or those who don’t know you very well at all. The information they present and the reaction that you have to this information is much more significant. This is where you can learn about yourself.
If you find that you are feeling defensive about their outside observations about you, then you are likely dealing with something that is called the Blind Spot. We all have parts of ourselves that remain in this area. These are those things that other people can see about ourselves, but we can’t see them for ourselves. Someone might indicate how you react to information. You might be called sensitive or controlling. Others might talk about your behavior. They might mention that you drink too much or you do too much of something else.
The mere mentioning of these things does not mean that they are in your Blind Spot. You have to pay attention to your emotions that are surrounding the feedback from others. If you feel angry, irritated, or agitated about this feedback, you want to calm yourself so that you can actually get more information. This openly up to feedback will help you walk through your emotion by opening up a part of yourself that you likely were aware of.
When we are faced with someone pointing things out about ourselves, our natural reaction is to flee. We don’t want work through our own emotion about the behavior or reaction because we likely are going to have some painful realizations. Instead we just respond to the defensiveness that we feel at that moment. Rather than responding to the emotional reaction of the moment, you are much better off to take some time to reflect on what is happening within you. What does this emotion mean? What are you defending? Why are you defending this?
Then you can open up a door to ask for feedback. This information can give you an understanding about a problem in your life that you never knew was there before. This will help you grow and learn, and live a better overall life.