You know how in some superhero movies before an action event happens, time freezes, and the protagonist is able to synthesize his or her surroundings fully and make the optimal decision? Wouldn't it be cool if we had that power? I mean, arguments within relationships would get a hell of a lot easier if we knew the optimal response and didn't let emotions run amok. Unfortunately, we are only human, but we we do have the next best thing – awareness. And it's one hell of a superpower if we're able to flip it on.
The next time we argue, whether in a relationship, or with a friend, about our life choices (or anything at all, for that matter), we should force ourselves to become aware of what's happening: zoom out and view the situation in third person before letting emotions run its course. Objectively, what is going on here? Why are we acting the way we are? How are we feeling?
We often get emotional when the conversation hits a soft spot – whether it's questioning our love or job change or even favorite sports team. It hurts because the convo is triggering an insecurity buried deep within us. It sucks to feel the emotion but the silver lining is these are perfect opportunities to learn more about ourselves. Each time we feel a sore spot, become aware of them, and the feelings we associate with them. Then, later, take time to reflect on why we felt the way we did. It oftentimes isn't because our significant other forgot to wash the dishes again that bothered us but something deeper, or a confluence of smaller things coming together.
Lastly, with awareness, we need to be vigilant about being honest with ourselves and recognize we can sometimes be shitty people. We shouldn't be afraid of admitting our vices. Don't try to cover up a desire or insecurity with a noble reason; e.g. "I want to make the world a better place" vs. "I want to make a shit load of money," because we're only deluding ourselves and we'll end up selling ourselves short when opportunities arise to truly root out insecurities. Noble is a relative term.
The more we practice awareness, the better we get to know ourselves and spend time doing things that truly matter to us.