Interpersonal awareness is the ability to show a true understanding of yourself and others, and having a deep knowledge of your own thoughts and feelings. Interpersonal awareness is a cornerstone for social/emotional learning, and it’s a skill that helps us get along with others.

When you think about social skills, you probably automatically think of how a person interacts with others. However, what most people don’t realize is that social skills start with an understanding of self. The ability to relate or get along with others will always be an important skill in developing emotional intelligence.

Interpersonal Awareness

This is the group of skills that allows us to get along with others and has been the subject of much study over many years. One truth in all of this research is that while interpersonal awareness is not always easy to learn, that is is well-worth it. Strong interpersonal awareness leads to stronger relationships, better work performance, and a better sense of fulfillment.

Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance

Acceptance of yourself is very important to improve interpersonal awareness, and it demands that you believe that you are good enough to be accepted by yourself and others. You must learn to like yourself before others can like you. Once you have learned the skills of self-awareness (being aware of yourself and your feelings) and self-acceptance (liking yourself), interpersonal awareness can be developed.

In the next three sections, we highlight ways to understand your emotions, grow your self-awareness and your self-acceptance. Positive affirmations and becoming self-aware are apart of the process to grow your interpersonal awareness. We provide several resources to help you grow including a video, a printable, and step-by-step instructions to help you.

Part 1

Staying Positive

You may feel a lot of different emotions. Anger, frustration, stress, worry, nervousness, and disappointment are just a few of the emotions you could feel. These emotions all have a negative effect on your mood, so it’s important to try and stay positive. Watch the video below and then answer the questions that follow. This exercise is designed to simulate what you might see or feel in the workplace.

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I Accept
  • Explain what this situation has to do with staying positive
  • What are positive thoughts?
  • Why are positive thoughts important to staying positive?

Part 2

Positive Affirmations

An affirmation is a strong, positive statement that something is already so. – Shakti Gawain

Just as Gawain says, an affirmation is a gentle reminder of something that’s already so! You’re simply reminding yourself in a positive way.

How Do I Use an Affirmation?

Each day, say your positive affirmations out loud to yourself. Find a quiet, private space and quietly say your affirmations to yourself. Some people are comfortable standing at the bathroom mirror. It may seem very strange at first, but give this several days to get used to it and notice the benefits. Print this resource out and have it handy. Read the affirmations to yourself and read the quotes on this page.

Every time we say Let there be! In any form, something happens. – Stella Terrill Mann

Self-Awareness Positive Affirmations

  • I have many friends.
  • I am well-liked by others.
  • I am a friend to all.
  • I understand myself and my feelings.
  • I am at ease around others.
  • I understand others’ thoughts and feelings.
  • I like others.
  • I have many close relationships.

Daily Positive Affirmations

We’ve left two bullet points empty for you to add your own positive affirmations.

  • I am a good person.
  • I am a good listener.
  • I am empathic to others.
  • I have drive strength.
  • ______________________.
  • I work hard.
  • I am a professional.
  • I have good communication.
  • I am resilient.
  • ______________________.

Affirmations are like prescriptions for certain aspects of yourself you want to change. -Jerry Frankhauser

_____________________ Affirmations:

We’ve included this section for you. You can use it to create your own affirmations for something specific in your life or as a catch-all for any positive affirmations you may need.

  • ____________________________________________.
  • ____________________________________________.
  • ____________________________________________.
  • ____________________________________________.
  • ____________________________________________.
  • ____________________________________________.

Download Affirmations

Part 3

Becoming Aware of Yourself

The best way to improve self-awareness is to become aware of your feelings and emotions. The psychologist John Mayer said that self-awareness means being aware of both our mood and our thoughts about that mood. If we feel we are in a bad mood, we are already on the road to changing our bad mood. Mayer says that people have three styles or ways for dealing with their feelings and emotions.


This is the highest state. In this state, people are aware of their moods as they are having them. These people are in good mental health and tend to have a positive outlook on life. When they get in a bad mood, they can get themselves out of it more quickly than others.


This group of people often feels that their emotions rule them. They feel their moods have taken charge, but they are not very aware of their feelings. As a result of a basic lack of understanding, they feel that they have no control over their moods. Rather than realizing the emotions they feel, they simply feel “out of control.”


These people often seem to know what they are feeling and also accept these feelings without trying to change them. This pattern is found among depressed or sad people. Being self-aware and using positive affirmations will help these people deal with their feelings and emotions in a healthy way.

5 Steps to Improve Your Self-Awareness

  1. Remove Your Mask– Sometimes we wear a mask to hide ourselves so that others cannot see us for what we really are. Our actions toward others become directed by what we think we should be rather than by what we are. Remove your mask and start being your true self. After you remove your mask is when you can truly learn and grow.
  2. Develop Yourself– There are two forces driving us. One pushes us to play it safe and take no risks. The other forces us to take risks and develop our abilities. Take risks! Take a class, read a personal development book, or try something new. Always be learning.
  3. Know Your Feelings– Learning your true feelings seems scary, but is necessary in order to grow. Learn to understand your true feelings. Get a notebook and write down thoughts and feelings every night before you go to bed. It can be as simple as 5 bullets. After a few pages of your notebooks are full, look back at what you wrote. Are you complaining? Happy/ Angry? Use this new information to understand your feelings and how you can grow.
  4. Learn to Accept Change– Learning new behaviors involves a process of unfreezing old behaviors, changing to new behaviors, and, finally, freezing new behaviors. This process allows old habits to be replaced with new habits. Use the positive affirmations from above and create some surrounding change. Learning to accept change is a process, but creating affirmations will help you grow.
  5. Listen to Your Positive Self-Talk– All of us have inner thoughts. In order to increase self and interpersonal awareness, positive or good self-talk must replace negative or bad self-talk. Our self- image is our basis for the type of person we are. All of our actions, feelings, behavior, and abilities are tied in with our self-image. If we want to improve our self-image, then we must change the way we think about ourselves. We act according to the self-images we have built up in our minds over the years. This may be a correct or an incorrect way of looking at ourselves. To improve self-image, we must learn to see ourselves as happy, well-adjusted people.