How To Be More Thoughtful Toward Others Through Self-Awareness

Updated February 21, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Self-awareness is the ability to be cognizant of your habits, thoughts, and emotions, as well as how others may see you. Many of us may not always see ourselves clearly, and we may not always notice the things we do that may bother others. However, you can take steps to become more aware of how your actions may impact others and treat others more thoughtfully through cultivating self-awareness. In this article, we’ll explore three ways to do this. 

Understanding How Your Behavior Affects Others Can Be Hard

Using Self-Awareness To Be More Thoughtful 

Self-awareness is often important for nearly any kind of self-improvement. To address our behaviors, it is often important to become aware of them first. Here are some ways to become more thoughtful toward others using self-awareness: 

  1. Ask Others For Feedback

Developing self-awareness doesn't have to be a thing that you do all on your own. You can enroll friends, family, and co-workers to help you become more self-aware. This can be especially helpful if you don't know what you are doing that may be bothering others. Because discussions about one's shortcomings can be tense, you could ask for innominate feedback if that feels more comfortable. Another option is to ask a couple of people directly for their feedback. Before you begin, remind them only to give critiques about features you have control over, and you can even request that they offer a suggested solution if possible. You could also ask for the positive attributes they see in you for a more balanced look at how others perceive you.

  1. Pay Attention To Your Interactions

In addition to asking others for their feedback, you can also pay attention to any unspoken feedback people may give during your interactions. If you pay close attention, you may be able to pick up on certain things through their body language and speaking patterns. For example, if they seem to be unusually curt or frustrated in a conversation, you may consider if there was something you could have said or done that could have prompted that shift. Or, if they are fidgeting more than usual or avoiding eye contact, you may consider if you are talking to them at a bad time. 

  1. Take Steps To Become More Thoughtful

Once you've gotten feedback and started to be more aware of how people around you respond to your behaviors, you can start to take steps to address those behaviors. We can all do things that may bother other people sometimes—none of us are perfect, so try to be kind to yourself. You can use the feedback from others and look at it as an opportunity for personal growth and stronger connections. You can tackle one habit at a time and work toward becoming the kind of person you want to be. That said, also keep in mind that you should only work on habits that seem important to you. You don't have to be who everyone else wants you to be. 

You can talk to a licensed counselor for support to help with cultivating self-awareness, addressing bad habits, strengthening relationships, and other concerns. There can be many different dynamics at play that may impact how you treat others and how others perceive you, and research has shown that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person sessions for a range of concerns. 

Discussing how others view you and areas you want to improve on can feel very vulnerable sometimes, so it may feel easier to discuss these topics in a space where you feel most comfortable, such as your own home. With online therapy, you can speak with your counselor from wherever you have an internet connection, such as the coziest part of your home.


We may not always be aware of how our actions and behaviors impact others, and sometimes, we may be doing things that bother others that we would like to change. If you are aiming to be more thoughtful toward others, you can try using self-awareness to address your behaviors. For further support with cultivating self-awareness and addressing negative habits, online therapy can help.

For additional help & support with your concerns

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started