Do your relationships promote the actualization of your potential?
Do your relationships result in identifying your talents and abilities and developing them to the fullest extent possible?
Your answers are an important indicator reflecting the quality of your relationships.
Self-actualization is the drive to actualize your potential and take joy and a sense of fulfillment from being all that you can be. You discover what your talents and abilities are in your interpersonal relationships. How other people respond tells you whether you can sing, paint, act, run quickly, learn quickly, or understand difficult concepts. Once you being to actualize your potentialities, you need to be time competent and autonomous.
To be time competent
To be time competent is to tie the past and the future to living fully in the present. The self-actualized person appears to be less burdened by guilt, regrets, and resentments from the past than is the non-self-actualized person, and the self-actualized person’s aspirations tend to be tied realistically to present goals.
Neither inner-directed nor outer-directed
Self-actualization is also dependent on being autonomous. Autonomy is the ability to understand what others expect in any given situation and to be free to choose whether or not to meet their expectations. Autonomous people have internalized the love, support, and acceptance of others so they can apply values and principles flexibly in order to act in ways that are appropriate to the current situation. They are neither inner-directed, that is, controlled by a small number of values and principles set early in life that are rigidly adhered to no matter what the situation is like, nor outer-directed, that is, controlled by others’ expectations and pressure to conform.
Respond in flexible and appropriate ways
In making decisions concerning what behavior is appropriate in a situation, autonomous people tend to consider both their own internal values and the expectations of other people and then respond in flexible and appropriate ways. Autonomy is the result of the internalization of values derived from previous caring and supportive relationships (internalized values provide guides for appropriate behavior and self-approval) and the acquisition of social skills and social sensitivity (which provide accurate understanding of others’ expectations for one’s behavior).
In addition to interpersonal effectiveness and self-actualization, interpersonal skills are keys to living a happy and healthy life – a high-quality life.
David W. Johnson (2014) Reaching Out: Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self-actualization. Boston: Pearson. P.63.