“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung …
It is quite surprising–or perhaps disturbing–how much understanding I can gather about myself from the things that irritate me about others. The reality of my strong emotions and reactions to the things that others do and say, or the ways in which they act, are largely rooted in the fact that I do and say very similar things, and act in similar ways, and am bothered by that. The truth, however, is that I would much rather admonish and scold others than to deal with those issues in my own life. <!–more–>
I was recently talking with an individual who would not let me get in more than a word or two. Of course, I was a bit aggravated by his rudeness, and quickly left the discourse upset and annoyed. However, not even a few hours later, I found myself doing much the same when I was speaking with my wife. There I was, going into much greater detail than was necessary, cutting her off, and hardly leaving her much time to speak. Luckily, since I was reflecting upon this at the time, I was able to stop myself from doing it further, for the time being.
The things that irritate us hold perhaps the greatest potential to help reveal things about ourselves that are bothering us. All that it takes is a healthy attitude and perspective, and the irritations we experience can become tools for positive growth and development–offering us helpful insight that can reduce the amount of irritation and negativity we experience and enrich our lives. Perhaps this is where the term “pearls of wisdom” originated.
Be aware of the ways in which you might be irratating those around you.
Questions to consider:
Why is it so easy to be judgmental of others when they do things that irritate us, but not of ourselves when we do things that irritate others?
How might we go about finding out just what we do that irritates others?
Why might we dislike in others some of the very same traits that we share with them?
For further thought:
“Therefore what you notice and what irritates you in others can teach you important things about yourself, things you may not be aware of. In a way, people can be like a mirror for you, a mirror that can help you to learn more about yourself, what you fear and how you may be fooling yourself.” ~ Henrik Edberg