1. What your ugly looks like.
There are few times in our lives we are uglier than fresh after heartbreak, so that’s a good place to start. We’re reeling and hysterical and compromising every conversation with the news of our failed romance. We are selfish and pathetic and quite possibly the worst version of ourselves. Watch yourself when you’re at your ugliest. Understanding who you are isn’t all about noting all of your positive qualities, although that is important too. You have to understand yourself as a whole person, the good, the bad, the ugly.
2. What you do when you’re upset.
Do you quietly calm yourself without telling anybody? Do you take it out on other people? Do you act out physically or violently? These are all signs of what’s brewing underneath your surface, or more so, your grasp on self control.
3. How you treat others who can do nothing for you.
We’re all kind and generous to the people who can do something for us in return. But what about the people you don’t really need in your life, who you don’t know, or who can’t do anything for you? See how much love and kindness you have for those who won’t or can’t return it. How often do you do things for the sake of goodness, not for the sake of appearing to be a good person, improving your reputation, or getting something in return? For most people, it’s unfortunately not very often.
4. What you do when you’re alone.
Notice of what you do, or what you want to do, when nobody is watching… when you’re not trying to live up to someone’s expectations or prove something. See who you are when nobody else is there to influence you.
5. The similarities in people you choose to date.
I am so sorry to bring this quote up, but you really do accept the love you think you deserve. You associate yourself with the people you believe you deserve to be associated with. What do the people you surround yourself with, or you choose to get into relationships with, tell you about how you feel about yourself?
6. How often you admit to your own mistakes.
There is a certain grace that comes with being vulnerable. There is also a certain insecurity that becomes apparent when someone is completely unwilling to admit that they are, indeed, just human like the rest of us. See how honest you can be with yourself.
7. …And what those mistakes are.
I know there are some organized religions that believe that all sins, regardless of severity, are equally wrong. Meaning, you should be condemned for lying just as you should be for committing murder. However, this isn’t a rant about organized religion– my point is to say, you should note whether or not your sins are lies or murder (hopefully not literally on the latter).
8. How you handle someone else in need.
How selfless you are willing to be at any given time is very telling of who you are. It’s especially crucial to note when you find yourself helping others, and if doing so yields any benefits for you. See #3.
9. Your favorite songs, books, photos, authors.
Simple, but something you can’t neglect. Your tastes say everything about you. I once heard someone say that if you forget who you are, just look around. Look at the people, things, jobs and loves you’ve surrounded yourself with. On even a more basic level, look at the things you’ve collected around your home or apartment; they’re all telling of who you are.
10. What you consider your greatest failures to be.
Note what you consider to be success and how that aligns with what you’ve been taught and how you’ve been conditioned. See where the two overlap, so you can also see what you actually believe to be your failures.
11. What you’d do with your days if money weren’t an issue.
I’d be writing in a little country home and raising children… so I guess I’m 1/3 there. If all of your finances were taken care of indefinitely, after the novelty of being able to travel and do other exciting things wore off, what would you do with the rest of your time?
12. What comforts you.
The things and people that comfort you in times of need are things that are deeply embedded in your soul, or they resemble or reflect those things. It’s crucial to note what makes you feel at ease. It’s another way of realizing what you love, and isn’t that what understanding yourself is all about regardless?