Bringing out our worst/best
Thursday, January 03, 2013
I have finally come to the conclusion that the the reason certain people irritate me the most is because they are expressing qualities that I have overcome or am working on overcoming and haven't quite succeeded yet. This is why family members can be so vexing—we see ourselves in them, and vice versa. This isn’t always true, of course, but when it is, like it was earlier today and over something that wasn't even worth the effort of argument, it’s a real opportunity for growth if we can actually stop and take the time to acknowledge it, because it is infinitely and definitely easier to change ourselves than it is to try to change the other person, which is never a good idea. That is why for example, if we have a family member who continually engages in negative behavior, like complaining or trying to control everything, and it pushes our buttons we should take the time to look and see if we ourselves carry those traits.
We may have to look to other situations in our lives to see it, because we behave differently in different environments. Maybe we aren’t controlling outside the home, but we’re used to being in control at home, we feel so irritated not to be in control. Even if we look and find that we are not engaging in the same behavior that we see as negative in others, we can still learn from what we are seeing in this person. The truth is, human nature is universal, and we share many of the same tendencies. What we see in others can always help us to understand ourselves more deeply.
Having the ability to see something in another person, and automatically bring this observation back to ourselves, is like having a built-in system of checks and balances that enables us to be continually engaged in self-exploration and behavior change. When we see behavior we don’t like, we can make a concerted effort to weed it out of ourselves, and when we see behavior we do like, we can let it inspire us to engage in imitation. Through this process, we read our environment and let it influence us to bring out the best in ourselves.
Ode to joy, to live in a perfect world, right? Maybe not so perfect but far more tolerable and passive aggressive rather than aggressive