How Relationships Reveal Our True Selves

The School of Life
15 Nov 202303:22


TLDRThe video script explores the value of relationships in self-discovery, highlighting how partners can reveal aspects of ourselves we may not see. It addresses the common issue of taking feedback negatively due to pride and suggests that love should involve honest self-improvement. The script advocates for open communication, timing, and empathy when sharing insights, emphasizing the importance of a supportive environment for emotional truths to be heard and for relationships to foster personal growth.


  • 🌟 Relationships offer a unique opportunity for self-discovery by helping us understand ourselves better through the lens of our partners' perspectives.
  • 👀 Our partners can see aspects of our personality that we might overlook, both positive qualities and areas that need improvement.
  • 🤔 The potential for love to serve as a root to self-knowledge is often hindered by our pride, which can prevent us from accepting difficult truths about ourselves.
  • 💔 A common issue in relationships is the reluctance to forgive or accept feedback, as we may perceive it as a personal attack rather than a chance for growth.
  • 🌈 True love involves being open to change and growth, contrary to the romantic notion that love means accepting each other unconditionally without any need for improvement.
  • 📚 To make the most of relationships, we should be open to teaching and learning about each other, showing care by helping each other improve.
  • 🗣️ Communication is key; sharing insights should be done with kindness and consideration, avoiding harsh judgments or timing that exacerbates conflict.
  • 🕒 Timing is crucial when addressing sensitive issues; it's more effective to discuss them when emotions are not running high.
  • 💬 Using tentative language like 'perhaps' and 'maybe' can soften the blow of difficult feedback, making it more receptive.
  • 💖 Emotional truths are best heard in an atmosphere of intimacy and safety, which is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship.
  • 💐 Relationships can provide valuable psychological insights, but they may end if the self-knowledge gained is too challenging or shared in a harsh manner.

Q & A

  • Why are relationships valuable for self-understanding?

    -Relationships are valuable for self-understanding because they provide us with external perspectives that we might be unable to see ourselves. Our partners can point out both our endearing qualities and areas that may be more complex or challenging, aiding in personal growth and self-awareness.

  • How can partners help us grow personally?

    -Partners can help us grow by giving us feedback on our behaviors and reactions, reminding us of our habits, and pointing out when we might be overreacting or making poor choices. This feedback can be a catalyst for self-improvement and personal development.

  • What is the role of pride in hindering personal growth within relationships?

    -Pride can hinder personal growth by making it difficult for us to accept and act on feedback from our partners. We might perceive their observations as attacks rather than opportunities for self-improvement, leading to defensiveness and a reluctance to change.

  • Why do some people walk away from relationships without learning from them?

    -Some people walk away from relationships without learning because the truths revealed about themselves can be uncomfortable or difficult to accept. They may prefer to maintain their delusions rather than face the challenge of self-improvement.

  • How can we improve at giving and receiving feedback in relationships?

    -We can improve by being open to receiving feedback with humility and using it as a tool for growth. When giving feedback, we should be empathetic, timing our comments carefully, and using tentative language to soften the impact, creating an environment of safety and trust.

  • What is the common misconception about love and changing in a relationship?

    -A common misconception is that in a good relationship, no one should try to change the other person. However, constructive change is a natural part of growth and development within a relationship, as long as it is approached with care and respect.

  • What should be our attitude when sharing insights about our partners?

    -When sharing insights, we should adopt an attitude of kindness, patience, and understanding. It's important to express our thoughts in a way that encourages growth and does not make the other person feel attacked or inadequate.

  • How can we ensure that our relationships contribute positively to our self-knowledge?

    -To ensure positive contributions to self-knowledge, we should be open to learning about ourselves through our partners' perspectives, be willing to engage in honest and constructive conversations, and approach feedback with an attitude of growth and improvement.

  • What is the importance of creating a safe environment for sharing emotional truths?

    -Creating a safe environment is crucial because emotional truths are best heard when trust and intimacy are present. An atmosphere of safety allows for open and honest communication, which is key to personal growth and understanding within a relationship.

  • What should be our approach when our partners share difficult insights about us?

    -We should approach these situations with an open mind, a willingness to understand, and a commitment to self-improvement. It's important to listen with curiosity and respond with compassion, rather than reacting defensively.

  • How can we maintain a balance between giving and receiving feedback in a relationship?

    -Balancing giving and receiving feedback involves being both a willing student, open to learning from our partners, and a kind teacher, offering our insights gently and respectfully. It's about mutual growth and understanding, rather than a one-sided process.



💞 The Value of Relationships for Self-Understanding

This paragraph discusses the significant role relationships play in enhancing self-awareness. Being part of a couple allows individuals to gain insights into their own characteristics, both endearing and challenging, which they might overlook. Partners can provide valuable feedback, such as pointing out repeated behaviors, unsuitability of certain preferences, or reactions to situations at work. However, the paragraph also highlights the common resistance to accepting this feedback due to pride. Many people prefer to perceive themselves in a positive light and may take offense when their partners challenge this self-image. The paragraph emphasizes that personal growth and self-improvement can be hindered by this reluctance to embrace the full potential of relationships for self-discovery and development.




Relationships refer to the interpersonal connections we form with others, particularly in the context of romantic partnerships. In the video, relationships are highlighted as valuable because they provide a mirror to our own personalities and behaviors, helping us understand ourselves better. For instance, partners may notice our habits or tendencies that we overlook, such as repeating anecdotes or not suiting certain colors.


Self-knowledge is the awareness and understanding of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires. The video emphasizes that relationships can serve as a conduit for self-knowledge by offering external perspectives that we might not see ourselves. This is exemplified when partners provide feedback that helps us recognize our overreactions or trust issues.


Pride is a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, qualities, or possessions. In the context of the video, pride can be a barrier to self-improvement within relationships, as it may prevent individuals from accepting constructive criticism or feedback from their partners. This can result in maintaining delusions about oneself rather than facing the truth.


Feedback refers to the process of providing comments or critiques intended to help someone improve or understand something better. The video discusses the importance of feedback in relationships, as it can lead to personal growth and self-awareness. However, it also notes that people often struggle with giving and receiving feedback constructively.

💡Romantic Script

The 'Romantic Script' refers to the societal expectations and ideals about how romantic relationships should function, often perpetuated by media and culture. The video challenges this script by arguing that true love should not preclude the possibility of personal growth and improvement within a relationship. It suggests that the idea of never trying to change a partner is flawed and that a healthy relationship should involve mutual growth and learning.


Communication is the exchange of information, ideas, or feelings through verbal, nonverbal, or written methods. In the video, effective communication is crucial for sharing insights and feedback within relationships. It emphasizes the need to communicate with care and consideration to foster an environment of trust and safety where emotional truths can be heard and understood.

💡Personal Growth

Personal growth refers to the process of improving and developing oneself through experiences, education, and self-reflection. The video posits that relationships can be a catalyst for personal growth by providing external perspectives that challenge our self-perception and encourage us to evolve.

💡Emotional Truths

Emotional truths are the genuine feelings and reactions that individuals experience, often deeply personal and subjective. The video highlights the importance of creating a safe and intimate environment for sharing these truths within relationships, as they can be transformative for personal understanding and growth.


Tenderness refers to gentleness, kindness, and affection in one's actions or behavior towards others. In the context of the video, tenderness is essential when sharing difficult insights or feedback within relationships, as it helps create an atmosphere of safety and trust where emotional truths can be heard and processed.


Curiosity is the desire to learn or know more about something or someone. In the video, curiosity is portrayed as a vital attitude to adopt when engaging with our partners' feedback and insights. It encourages an open-minded approach to personal growth and self-improvement within relationships.


Courage is the ability to face fear, pain, danger, or difficulty with confidence. In the context of the video, courage is necessary when dealing with the challenging truths about ourselves that our partners may reveal. It involves the willingness to confront our shortcomings and to use this knowledge for personal growth.


Relationships help us understand ourselves better.

Our partners can see aspects of ourselves that we might overlook.

Partners may point out our habits and preferences that we are not aware of.

Responses from partners offer opportunities for personal growth.

Pride often prevents us from accepting feedback from our lovers.

We tend to seek admiration in love rather than self-improvement.

Difficult feedback is often perceived as insults, leading to defensive reactions.

The belief that no one should change in a relationship is flawed.

To make the most of relationships, we should be open to learning and teaching each other.

The right time to share insights is when emotions are not running high.

We should communicate our perceptions with words like 'perhaps' and 'maybe'.

Emotional truths are best heard in an atmosphere of intimate safety.

Relationships may fail because the self-knowledge gained is too challenging.

Sharing hard insights should be done with tenderness and care.

Listening to feedback requires trust, curiosity, and courage.

Forgiveness is crucial in relationships for personal growth.

We should be strict on certain basic rules for love and self-improvement.



a key reason why relationships are


valuable is that they help us to know


ourselves better being part of a couple


can help us to understand who we are our


partners may see what we no longer can


both what's adorable and what's more


perplexing and difficult they might for


example remind us that we've told that


anecdote three times before or that


purple doesn't suit us they can tell us


that we've overreacted to a problem at


work or that we've placed our trust in


an envious friend their responses to us


give us a chance to grow slightly less


obtuse hay and


peculiar but despite the potential of


love to function as a root to self-


knowledge in practice we often walk away


from relationships with most of our


delusions intact some of our problem


comes down to Pride we can't find it in


our hearts to forgive our lovers for


catching sight of material that doesn't


Accord with what we want to be true of


ourselves we come to love hoping to be


admired they spot that we aren't always


very funny that our novel is patchy that


we're prone to self-pity that we lose


our tempers too fast far from using


these bits of difficult news as gos for


self-improvement we tend to find it much


easier to get insulted to say that a


partner is being mean or inconsiderate


and to block our ears we fall back on a


noxious but highly popular idea about


love that in a good relationship no one


should be trying to change anyone


presumably because we're perfect enough


already we're not only bad at receiving


feedback we're also very poor at giving


it we give up after only a few minutes


of measured conversation call them a


slam the door and Shout that


they're as bad as their mother or father


in order to capitalize on the potential


of relationships we should be stricter


on certain basic rules for love firstly


we should start by by insisting contrary


to the Romantic script that true love is


entirely compatible with attempts to


teach people who they are and how they


might improve the only people whom we


don't want to change are those we don't


care about secondly at the same time


huge attention should be paid to the way


we share our insights we must become the


most willing of students and the kindest


of teachers we should only strive to


dulge tricky things when we aren't


smarting from our contact with them we


need to strike always when the iron is


cold thirdly we should soften our


verdicts with recourse to words like


perhaps and maybe we should say that we


feel that they may be missing something


not that we and our therapist and our


mother are certain of their Insanity we


should remember that emotional truths


can only ever be heard in an atmosphere


of intimate


safety most relationships collapse


because in the end two people didn't


want to know more about themselves


because the knowledge was too hard and


because the way it was shared was too


tough given how much precious


psychological information every


relationship throws up we should share


our hard want insights with unlimited


tenderness and strive to hear them


always with trust curiosity and courage

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