Ever wonder why the specific behavior of another creates such an emotional response in you? Are there times when you become agitated in response to another and deem their performance unacceptable?
All of us have this experience from time to time; the reason for this lies within us and not them.
We all have parts of our self that we choose to suppress. Behaviors we would rather not accept.
When another engages in this behavior it brings up something in us we can identify with in a negative manner and it doesn’t feel good.
The behavior does not require an exact match; it only has to exist on a continuum. Meaning, if you are noticeably irritated by another’s display of extreme jealousy then you know what it’s like to feel jealous.
Additionally if it really bothers you then you probably don’t like it when you feel jealous and have a judgment about this. Others sometimes act out parts of us that we do not like.
We see in others what we can identify in ourselves. Therefore, when we are irritated by another’s behavior it is an opportunity to look at something unresolved in us.
Our frustration with the friend that is jealous of others good fortune is really an opportunity for us to see envy in us. When this happens the only requirement is to accept this in ourself and in the other person because we can identify with how uncomfortable envy and jealously can feel.
The other side of the coin is we admire in others what we can identify in ourselves. When we witness generosity between two individuals and are emotionally touched by the interaction, this is because we, too, posses generosity.
This is an opportunity to vocalize our appreciation. Compliment what you are witnessing.
By doing this you are also validating and acknowledging your own generosity.
The world around us is a mirror of who we are inside.
What we see is what we are able to see in ourselves. Many times it is good and peaceful. Other times it is upsetting and a chance to look into our core self.
Cultivating a relationship with the self is truly the most rewarding experience we can hope for.
When we like who we see in the mirror, every other relationship in our life is enriched. We smile a little more.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist intern. She can be reached at 450-6632.