Self-Awareness concerns knowing one’s internal states (feelings and emotions), one’s resources (strengths and weaknesses); one’s preferences (drives, values, prejudices) and one’s needs and impact on others. When working in the field of democratisation and anti-radicalisation it is extremely important to understand values and prejudices and how they affect our feelings and emotions and our behaviour.
Disadvantaged young people who have experienced difficult phases in their lives and/or border violations often have little contact with their own feelings. They have ‘locked away’ a part of their own feelings and cut off access to them (often a necessary survival mechanism, as the feelings would have made them unable to act and live)
In practice, this often manifests itself as follows: if you ask these young people about feelings they know, they will answer for example: normal, good, bad – they cannot name other feelings even after further inquiry. When working with them, it is important to deal with the topic of feelings in a variety of ways.
Those who learn to feel and name their own feelings more easily can also develop empathy and recognize, resonate and empathize with their own feelings.