How Well Do You Really Know Yourself?

the40by40 As a child, I grew up in a household that didn’t necessarily nurture individuality and independence but rather fear and insecurity. Like most children, I was sensitive, so I became very aware of what everyone else was feeling and wanted to help them in any way I could.

I hated fighting and would do anything to stop it. I quickly learned how to gauge emotions in our family dynamic and how I could diffuse any upset. I learned how to study the people around me and to create what I thought they needed, often at my own expense.

As an adult I continued that pattern. It has been a great quality in many ways. As an actor, singer and writer, it’s excellent to be able to study and absorb character traits and human emotion and as a teacher I find I am more in tune with my students.

In my relationships, it gets a little more complicated. I was so used to honing in on other people’s needs, wants, emotions and patterns that I overlooked my own. Not only did I overlook them but I became totally unaware of myself. (That’s not completely true, I was aware of my feelings, but due to old patterns, their needs became more important than my own).

In my past relationship, I could tell you a thousand things about what my ex likes or dislikes. What makes him crazy or what is important to him. I could tell you his biggest fears and insecurities, his life story…a thousand times over. I could give you in absolute detail his physical traits and his emotional triggers.

I was so in tune with him, and his needs; that mine were ignored. I really didn’t know myself, because I knew him so well.

Jogging has helped me get back to myself.

  • I now know that I don’t like eating cold salads. I like my raw vegetables at room temperature…like they were just picked.
  • I like to sleep in silk…
  • I absolutely despise littering and people who are inconsiderate.
  • I hate lying and empty promises.
  • I like to be spoiled and there’s no shame in that. (In the past I’ve been made to feel very guilty about it).
  • I like to wake up early but sometimes I like to ease into my day.
  • I mix up sayings, and I’m ok with that.
  • I like to socialize but I also like my space.
  • I love to dance but don’t do it nearly enough.
  • I like the toilet paper to roll from the top not the bottom but it’s not such a big deal I’d worry about it. It’s a preference.
  • I don’t like TV’s in the bedroom.
  • I love receiving flowers and jewelry.
  • I think if you surprise me, it meant you put some thought into it.
  • I think hand written notes are special.
  • Hugs are worth a thousand words.
  • I like to hold hands.
  • I like to be taken care of but not taken advantage of.
  • I love the smell of the ocean and the sound of the pebbles as they roll on top of each other.
  • I can’t decide on a favorite color and I’m ok with that.
  • I love raw oysters; it’s one of my favorite things.
  • I am a very expressive and passionate person and I want to be open about it.
  • I get disappointed a lot.
  • I need honesty.
  • I suck at designing.
  • I really want to travel.
  • Helping people is very important to me.
  • I like eating with my fingers.
  • I like conversations, not monologues.

I will no longer settle.

I know this sounds like a dating site now but for me it’s discovering who I am. It’s clearly defining my likes, dislikes, and preferences and understanding that I might change my mind and that’s ok too. Jogging gives me clarity and with that clarity I can see who I really am. I still want to be sensitive to others, I love that quality, but I also want to be sensitive to myself. Self-care is very important and it’s very different from being selfish.

So, what about you. Are you giving more than you are receiving in your relationships? Is it balanced? Do you know yourself better than you know others or is it the other way around? Are you nurturing YOU or just everyone around you? Are your likes and dislikes attached to what someone else likes or dislikes?

I want you to take the time today to think about what you like, what you don’t like, what works for you and what doesn’t. Get to know who you are…and then love every aspect of that…

With a smile



  1. Karen Burrows says:

    Tina – great, great, great. It is amazing to me how many women get caught up in pleasing those around us, getting to know those around us and forgetting ourselves. I remind myself everyday how important I am and how important my needs are. Then I am more successful in all my relationships. You go girl!!!

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