6 signs you have more self-awareness than the average person, according to psychology

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You already know you’ve got a good level of self-awareness but you’re wondering how you stack up compared to others, right? 

Being self-aware means you’re conscious of your feelings, thoughts, and actions, and how they affect you and others. It’s not just about knowing yourself; it’s also about constantly growing and making positive changes in your life. 

Self-awareness is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Experts have done a lot of research and it turns out highly self-aware people tend to do certain things that set them apart from everyone else. Are you one of these people? 

Let’s find out together: we’re about to explore 6 signs that show you might just be more self-aware than the average person.

Take note of how many of these hit home for you.

1) You’re open to constructive feedback

When someone is highly self-aware, they see feedback as a gift, not a threat. They understand that constructive criticism is a key tool for personal growth, rather than something to be defensive about.

Tasha Eurich, organizational psychologist and author of ‘Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life’ suggests that one way to develop self-awareness is to ask a ‘loving critic’ for feedback. 

Being open like this shows a high level of self-awareness because it means you’re admitting that you don’t have all the answers and that there’s always room for improvement.

Most people only want to hear feedback when it’s good. If you’re the type of person to embrace constructive feedback, it’s a sure sign you’re highly self-aware.

2) You know your strengths and weaknesses

Most people think they can easily list what they’re good at and areas where they need to improve. But the truth is, being externally self-aware like this is not as easy as you might think. 

Research shows that on average, people overestimate themselves and their abilities. So just because you think you’re strong in a certain area, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. 

Truly self-aware people know their strengths and weaknesses. But they don’t just go on what they think themselves, they also sense check it by asking for feedback from others. This helps them to confirm their strengths and avoid the trap of overestimating their abilities like most people. 

According to well-being expert, Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., knowing your strengths and weaknesses is directly linked to self-awareness. “By spending some time thinking about your strengths and weaknesses, you might get to know new things about yourself.”

It might sound simple, but if you truly know your strong points and areas for improvement you’re already way ahead of most people in the self-awareness and personal growth department. 

3) You’re aware of your own biases

We all have biases, right? Those automatic preferences we lean towards without even realizing it. It’s pretty common to have these biases, but what’s not so common is being aware of them. 

“Most people are hesitant to see themselves as participating in bias,” as noted by researcher Clara Wilkins. That’s where self-aware people stand out. They know they’ve got these biases, even if they can’t always put their finger on what they are or how they work.

Wilkins and Lai, another psychological and brain sciences researcher at the University of Washington, say that for people “who want to behave with less bias, being aware of your bias is the first step.”

If you’re someone who gets that you have these unseen biases, it’s a big deal. It means you’re really paying attention to how you think and feel, and you’re open to understanding more about yourself.

If this is making sense to you, and you’re nodding along, then you’re probably more aware of yourself than a lot of people out there. And that’s a pretty cool place to be.

4) You’re in tune with your emotions and the need to regulate them 

Ever noticed how little kids can go from zero to meltdown in no time in places like grocery stores? That’s because they’re still figuring out how to handle their big feelings.

And guess what? This doesn’t just happen to kids. Adults who aren’t that self-aware can lose their cool too. They might not throw a tantrum in the cereal aisle, but they can definitely let their emotions get the best of them and react in ways they might regret later.

Emotional intelligence is made up of both self-awareness and self-regulation (along with motivation, empathy, and social skills). The two are linked but they’re not the same. You can’t emotionally regulate without first being self-aware.

Think about it: being aware of the emotion is one thing but self-regulation goes one step further, “It helps us manage our behaviors better so that we’re more in control” explains clinical psychologist Melanie McNally, Psy.D.

That’s why being able to keep your emotions in check is a big sign you’re self-aware. It’s about recognizing when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed which requires self-awareness and doing something about it before things get out of hand, which is self-regulation. 

5) You’re always working on yourself

Are you one of those people always looking for ways to be better tomorrow than you are today? Always trying to better yourself like this shows you’re very in tune with yourself and your abilities.

It’s like you’re on a never-ending quest for learning and improvement. This relentless drive toward personal growth is not just about smashing your goals; it’s about understanding and overcoming your limitations.

I’ve always been super focused on personal growth. And up until a few years ago, I had taken this aspect of my personality for granted assuming everyone was the same. Finally, someone helped me to see that constantly working on yourself is a sign of high levels of self-awareness.

I was completing a sales programme and as part of that, I did a sales simulation and roleplay with an expert. He gave me great feedback and said that I was in the top 10% for my level of experience. But I just wanted to be better and asked what I’d need to do next. 

He laughed and commented that it takes someone very self-aware to brush off positive feedback and immediately ask for more constructive suggestions to improve. I guess he had a point. 

If you can relate, then your love of personal development and growth is a dead giveaway that you’re more self-aware than the average Joe.

6) You set boundaries and maintain them

When it comes to setting boundaries, it’s all about knowing where you draw the line with what you’re cool with and what you’re not.

And you know what? Being good at setting and keeping these boundaries really shows you’ve got a solid handle on who you are.

Here’s the deal: the only way you can make these rules is if you really know yourself—what works for you, what doesn’t, and how you want to be treated. That right there is a big part of being self-aware.

EQ expert, author, and speaker Justin Bariso says that his self-awareness is what allowed him to set boundaries and enjoy work again, “Once you acknowledge your feelings and emotions–and work to understand them–you can start setting boundaries to protect yourself.” 

This simple yet powerful example from Justin shows that being clear about your boundaries is a sign of emotional smarts and self-awareness. It’s about recognizing your needs and making sure you’re respecting yourself, and that takes some real self-knowledge.

You might take it for granted but if you’re setting and maintaining boundaries that help you to stay emotionally and mentally well, you’re ahead of the pack in terms of self-awareness. 

The bottom line

There you have it, a rundown of what being more self-aware than the average person really looks like. How many of them resonated with you? 

If you’re seeing a lot of these things in yourself, that’s something to be proud of. Embracing your self-awareness isn’t just about knowing yourself better; it’s about using that knowledge to navigate life more smoothly and build stronger relationships. 

So, keep leaning into that self-awareness. It’s one of the best tools you have for shaping a life that’s not only fulfilling for you but also enriches those around you. Keep it up!

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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