9 Deep Questions To Ask Yourself: Why Knowing Yourself Can Improve Your Relationships
Updated March 17, 2020
Reviewer Laura Angers
Using self-care and self-discovery as coping mechanisms after a relationship has ended is not uncommon in our society. In fact, we are surrounded by depictions in media that encourage self-development after a breakup. If you look at many of the stories that precede these breakups, however, you learn that many of these individuals could have benefitted from self-awareness long before they went through the relationship that led them to major change.
While we often consider ourselves to be single when we are not with another person, that doesn't mean that we are still not in an intimate relationship. The longest and most important relationship you are ever going to have is the one that you have with yourself. Much like you can impact the lives of others, you can hurt, love, and change yourself in your own self-relationship. If you are someone who does not know yourself well or care about your personal relationship, you are going to have a much harder time adjusting in relationships with other people.
When we do not love ourselves or know who we are, we open the door for people who will often have the same traits. This is why we can see these types of individuals in abusive, neglectful relationships where they only realize the truth of their relationships when they gain more confidence and awareness. Some people will have to learn this lesson the hard way and will have to learn it time and time again. Others may do the hard work before they start engaging in relationships.
No matter which individual you can relate to, you can always learn how to build your own relationship. To get you started, here are 9 deep questions to ask yourself that will help you develop a stronger relationship with yourself and with others!
1. What Do I Feel Like I Am Missing in My Life?
Adulthood is hectic and filled with responsibilities. With work, house chores, cooking, and other necessary parts of daily life taking up the bulk of our time, it can be hard to figure out what we really want to be doing, especially if we are not aware of these things. One great question to ask yourself that can open up the door for change in your life, is what do I feel like I am missing? What are some things that I would like to be doing that I am not? Do I feel like there is a hole anywhere in my life? How can I fill it? Some examples of things you could be missing are a sense of community, a spiritual path, or even just free time where you can do some of the things that you love. Asking yourself this question will give you more insight into who you are and what you want to be doing with your time.
2. What Are Some of My Long-Term and Short-Term Goals?
Without goals, our lives can begin to feel lifeless and repetitive. We can feel as though we are getting nowhere because we're not sure of where we are trying to go. Although it can be easy to think that we do not have any direction when we fall into this cycle, the truth is that everyone has something that we want to accomplish in our lives. What are some things you want to accomplish in your own life? You should think about your short-term goals first as these will be easier to implement and track. Your short-term goal list could look something like this…
- Purchase a new wardrobe that makes me feel great about myself
- Learn to play the guitar that I haven't touched
- Create a meal plan that is healthier for me
Once you've come up with goals that you can accomplish daily or weekly, you should turn your focus over to your long-term goals. Some long-term goals could include…
- Map out a career path
- Sign up for university
- Get a bigger apartment near the city
Long-term goals are goals that you are going to have to chip away at over time. So, what do goals tell you about yourself? Put simply, goals give you a sense of direction and help you learn more about what matters in all aspects of your life. Remember, however, that you should never pursue goals that aren't true to you. This is your life!
3. What Are Some of My Passions? How Could I Pursue Them?
There are things that we enjoy doing and then there are activities that absolutely light our soul on fire. Some people manage to build their careers around these passions, but others may choose to only pursue them as hobbies. Regardless of where you are on this spectrum, it is important to remember that there are some things in your life that you should not compromise on. Including these activities in your life will positively impact your well-being and will give you a reprieve from the demands of life. Ask yourself, what are my passions? Do I actively have these in my life? If not, how could I begin to make sure they are being involved? Some common passions that you could come across include making music, painting, or helping others. Whatever it is that makes you beam and feel light inside, this will give you a better idea of who you are as an individual and what you should include more of in your life.
4. What Are My Values? Beliefs?
Everyone has personal values and beliefs. Some people develop these at a very young age and resonate with them throughout their lives while others will need to develop them as they navigate life. That said, there are some universal values that will not need to be brought into question. For example, one value that is held amongst almost everyone is honesty. When you begin evaluating your own values, you should take a closer look at what drives your actions. Do you value family? Do you value money? Do you value excellence? Your values are important because they are the foundation upon which your life is built. If you don't have any developed values, it can be easy for you to swerve along your path and make choices that aren't right for you.
Beyond values, we also have beliefs. Of course, this could be referring to religious beliefs, but it doesn't necessarily stop there. Beyond the scope of spirituality, beliefs are more like action statements for values. A value is a trait, but a belief is a statement regarding that trait. For example, you may believe that everyone should tell the truth, regardless of the consequences. Understanding your beliefs helps you to gain a better sense of how you should be interacting with others as well as yourself. When you are aware of your values and beliefs, you understand the core of who you are and what drives you.
5. What Is My Purpose in Life?
There are some people who can live their lives without a purpose while others thrive on having a reason behind doing the things that they do. If you belong to the latter category, this purpose serves to drive your actions. For example, let's imagine that someone has struggled extensively with mental illness in the past. Now that they have learned how to conquer it, they have found that their purpose or their calling is to help others who have struggled with the same issues. From here, they know what their passion is and they can then use it to figure out what they should be doing. They could be a therapist or a life coach. Perhaps they want to write books for people who need help in certain areas. Keep in mind that this is just an example and that your purpose may be vastly different. What is your purpose? What do you want to be doing with your life? How can it serve you? Others? Your purpose is often something that you will pick up on as you continue to grow and explore. However, once you find it, it will be something that you will want to do all the time!
6. What Are Some Things That I Love About Myself?
We all have qualities that we love about ourselves. Whether these qualities are physical or personality-based, they stand out to us and they make us proud. However, not everyone is as focused on the positive, which can contribute to a depressed mood and make you feel as though you do not have as much worth as other people. The truth is that you are amazing. You just have to figure out which parts are your favorite and build yourself up from there. What do you love about yourself? Do you love your eyes? Do you love your laugh? Are you constantly falling for your work ethic? Do you like the fact that you are loyal to your friends? No matter who you are, there is at least one thing that you love about yourself. Make a list of these things as they will help to build your confidence and help you to establish a better relationship with yourself.
7. What Are Some Things I Would Like to Change?
In the wake of the recent waves of self-love and self-positivity, there is this false belief that you shouldn't want to change anything about yourself. Although you should always accept yourself, there are some things that you will want to change down the road. Again, these things could be physical aspects, or they could be things that you want to change within your life. Whether you want more piercings or you want to make more money, there are always going to be things that you desire. What are some things that you would like to change in your life? Learning more about what you would like to change can show you some areas of your life that you may be neglecting or suppressing. You should never be unhappy with the way that you are. If you can change it, do it. If you can't change it, figure out what you need to do to embrace it and accept it.
8. What Am I Looking for in My Relationships?
Jumping into any relationship without boundaries or expectations can lead to friction down the road. Keep in mind that these are not limited to romantic relationships but to friendships and familial relationships as well. For example, some people may want others who are constantly in their lives while you will want a friend or a partner who has their own life separate from your own. Perhaps you are someone who needs someone with your same values, or, on the other hand, you could be someone who can get along with people who are exact opposites of who you are. Knowing what you want in your relationships helps you to better understand who you are as an individual and who you are compatible with. Setting these standards ensures that you engage with people who are better for you and leave if they are not the right match!
9. How Could I Take Better Care of Myself?
It's an overly-used refrain in our society but it is so important to emphasize when it comes to improving your own relationship. How well you take care of yourself determines how happy you are in your own life. While many of us may engage in a bit of self-care here and there, many of us don't know how to make sure we are having our needs met physically and emotionally. Are you taking care of yourself? Are there areas where you could improve? If so, how could you take better care of yourself? To give you a better idea of some focus areas, here are some of the most common self-care tips.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly
- Drink plenty of water
- Take time to unwind during work and afterward
- Exercise and eat healthy
- Spend some time outside
- Practice meditation and other mindfulness exercises
Just like you want to be there for a partner, you need to be there for yourself. Not making time or paying attention yourself will always be detrimental to your well-being. Explore your current self-care plan and you will learn more about where you could improve.
Knowing yourself gives you the opportunity to cultivate better relationships that leave you feeling happy and satisfied. Although this is a short list of some of the many suggestions out there, the 9 questions above will help you start your own path to self-discovery. Are you struggling with these suggestions? Do you feel like you need support in learning more about who you are and creating change in your life? If so, you should visit Regain!
Regain is an online counseling platform dedicated to providing you with the best relationship counseling advice possible. If you're ready to learn more about how you can improve your personal relationship, just click on the link above, answer a few questions about yourself, and connect with a certified therapist who can help you with these questions today!