By Lorraine Glowczak
Making fun of people is not something I normally do when I get together with friends, but one day last month was an exception. My friend and I were not making fun of anyone in particular, just those few irritating people who are arrogant and think they know everything.
Still laughing and joking back and forth, I added, “You know – they say that what we judge in others, we supposedly carry that same trait in ourselves.” My friend said she has always believed that statement to be true. Our laughter simmered down. After all, we were being – well - so arrogant and all.
But the truth is, people do frustrate us from time to time. Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, a proponent of the philosophy mentioned above, stated that the irritation we may feel towards others is an experience that can teach us something about ourselves.
But he wasn’t the only individual who believed in this philosophy. Author, painter and poet, Hermann Hess has been quoted as saying, “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part yourself. What isn’t part ourselves doesn’t disturb us?”
Generally speaking, we all want to have a fulfilling and productive life – a life that comes with happiness, contentment and peace. And sometimes, we let our perceptions and judgement of others get in the way of that. If what the well-known psychoanalyst and painter have said is true, then we might have a bit more control of that rewarding and successful life we long for, despite the fact that we have little control of others and their – well – irritating ways.
Maybe it’s possible by realizing that when we judge someone in this way, it affects us and our happiness more than the other person. By being bothered or exasperated by a few - may say more about us than the other person and it shows us how we perceive the world. And perhaps, if we can take Jung’s advice and be more curious about that “irritating” feature we find in others, we can actually learn more about ourselves – which, I tend to believe, contributes to that ever-longing desire of a deeply fulfilling life. Perhaps it’s possible that by realizing we also exhibit our own irksome ways, there might be a less that disturbs us.
“You know, the opposite can also be true,” my friend replied back to me later after our initial laughter subsided. “What’s that?” I asked. “It seems it would be true that what we enjoy about others, we must also enjoy about ourselves.”
On that note - to all of our remarkable and amazing readers out there – have a great weekend!