10 Ways To Better Understand Your Behavior

Do you ever wonder why you do the things you do? Have you ever said or done something that left you feeling surprised at yourself afterward? If so, you may be struggling to understand why you behave a certain way.

To gain a better understanding of your behavior, use these ten strategies to better understand why you choose to act the way you do.

Spend A Day Paying Close Attention To Your Behaviors, Routines, And Habits

To begin understanding your own behavior better, it helps to understand what behaviors, routines, and habits you are exhibiting. Many people move through their lives under a sort of “autopilot” mode. They make decisions, follow their routines, and perform usual habits so often that they don’t really even notice that they’re doing them – and you likely don’t notice some of yours, either.

Take An Inventory Of Your Emotions After You Do Something

After you make a choice or act a certain way, take an inventory of your emotions afterward. Pay close attention to what you’re feeling and allow yourself to really feel and process those emotions right then. 

You are likely experiencing more than one emotion – taking time to feel them all and understand what is happening inside of you can provide great insight into better understanding your behavior. Sometimes, behaviors and actions are driven by emotions; acting a specific way can be a reaction to a specific feeling.

Think About What You Are Trying To Communicate To Others With Your Behaviors

Behavior is often used as a form of communication, and you may not even realize that you are trying to tell someone else something by the way you are acting.

For example, if you live with your partner, you may behave in a way that is cold and silent if they say something that upsets you. In this example, your behavior is communicating that you are upset with them. 

In examples like the one above, it’s crucial to remember that this form of communication isn’t very clear. You would be better off explaining to your partner about why what they said upset you through clear, open conversation. Take a look at your behaviors and consider whether or not you’re performing any of them as a makeshift way of communication with someone.

Get A Grasp On Your Personal Values And Beliefs

Your personal values and beliefs sit at the very core of who you are. Take some time to gain a stronger, better understanding of what your values and beliefs are. Once you understand them, you will likely notice some strong connections between those core values and beliefs and why you tend to behave the way you do.

People use their core values and beliefs as a sort of blueprint for action and making decisions – you will likely notice some strong correlations between your own behaviors and the values you hold closest.

Make Connections Between Your Behaviors And Certain Events In Your Life

A common explanation of certain behaviors can be tied to other life experiences. Think about some of your common habits and routines – there is likely a reason why these actions became a solidified part of your behavior pattern.

For example, if you experienced a bad car accident on a busy highway, you may choose to avoid driving on highways altogether after the fact. This is a clear connection between an event (the accident) and the behaviors (doing whatever you can to avoid driving on a highway again).

Know What You Really Want Most Out Of Life

Think about your specific hopes, goals, and dreams for yourself. Whatever you aspire toward in your future can tell you a lot about your behaviors. If you are working toward specific goals – whether they are long term or short term – they can really influence your behavior patterns.

Pay Close Attention To Who You Spend Time With Most Often

The company you keep plays a huge role in your behaviors. Think about the people you spend time with most often. Are they positive, supportive, and upbeat people – or do they tend to be more negative? After you spend time with them, how do you feel? 

Hanging around too much with the “wrong crowd” can have a huge negative impact on your behavior. In contrast, spending time with positive folks can have a huge positive impact on your behavior. If your behavior seems off, or if you feel like you aren’t quite acting like yourself, look toward your companions for some possible answers.

Look Back Into Your Childhood For Hints And Clues

Your childhood experiences can tell you a lot about your current behavior patterns. Even if you are a grown adult well past childhood, any experiences during those formative younger years can make a huge impact on the way you behave now. Look back into your childhood and be honest with yourself: did you experience anything that informs the way you act today?

Think About What Motivates You Most

Your motivations are a huge window into why you behave certain ways. Think about what motivates you most in life – all people have different sets of motivations that drive them to move through life by behaving in certain ways.

For example, if you are motivated by career growth, you likely exhibit professional behaviors. If you are motivated by social status, you likely exhibit friendly, welcoming behaviors. 

Consider Whether Or Not You Are Choosing Certain Behaviors Because They Are Helping You Interact Or Integrate Socially

Sometimes people behave in certain ways to help themselves interact or integrate socially. This means people use specific behaviors to do things like fit in with certain social groups or make themselves seem more appealing to specific people. 

Think about whether or not your behaviors are helping you do this. Are you only acting in certain ways because you want to become friends with someone or fit in with a certain social group? Sometimes this is the case and can explain certain behavior choices.

10 Ways to better understand your behavior.