It has been said that the qualities in others that irritate us the most, are qualities that we ourselves have, although we may be unaware, or in denial of their existence. It is so much easier to see what is “wrong” with others, than it is to see our own shortcomings.
An interesting exercise is to make a list of the characteristics you dislike in your partner, relative or offspring. You could even add a section where you list the new behaviors that would make you like this person better.
The next step is to look at the first list, and to honestly acknowledge the part of you that may be capable of those same characteristics. Next, look at the second list, and again, honestly ask yourself how many of those desirable behaviors you consistently embody.
This exercise makes us realize that the people in our lives are mirrors, reflecting back aspects of ourselves. That is why “difficult” people can be our best teachers. Much as we would like to deny any aspects of our own reflection and blame it all on the other person, this is choosing to remain unconscious.
We all have positive and negative aspects, but with mirroring, we can change many situations simply by changing our own behaviors, rather than focusing on the other person. When we decide to act from the highest, wisest, most loving part of our being, there is a good chance that the other person will reflect that back, in his or her own responses.
This might not happen the first time you try it, but if you stay consistently in that place of higher integrity and loving kindness , no matter how irritated you might be, you will change the dynamics of that relationship. It is a powerful process, and well worth the effort, as it forces us to take responsibility for our own words and actions, regardless of what others are doing.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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