The quality of being self-aware undoubtedly has its advantages when dealing with other people. It keeps you in line with social norms, allows you to make sure those around you feel comfortable, and can help you strategize how best to interact with others.
In a recent set of studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and highlighted by Scientific American, psychologist Erika Carlson of the University of Toronto Mississauga explores the nuances of self-awareness, particularly when it comes to the impressions we make on others. In two of the studies, close friends and romantic partners answered surveys rating their friend's or partner's level of self-awareness and the quality of the relationship.
Couples who had been together for decades rated their relationships as better when their partner was more self-aware. This did not hold true for short-term relationships. "In romantic partners, rose-colored glasses are often preferable in the beginning," says Carlson. A lack of self-awareness may even make navigating the beginning of a relationship easier, as the participants may be less hard on themselves, but with time this shifts. "Although we may not value a self-cognizant date in the short term, over the long term it might just make or break a relationship," notes the story's author, Roni Jacobson.
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