What is it that most bothers you about other people?
Is there one person who does something that really bugs you?
Are there a number of people who do things that irritate you in some way?
Take a moment and think about it…
Pause a few moments while you reflect on this…
Now tell me…what was the most bothersome thing that anyone other than you did?
When I thought about it, here is what I found:
One person who I had dinner with didn’t stop talking about their most recent health discovery. The whole dinner it felt as if I couldn’t get a word in edgeways…
Another person spent half an hour explaining a system they had set up that I had zero interest in.
Two other friends disagree with me on a topic and I felt belittled for having an opposite view.
Yet another instance: someone is upset with me for something I didn’t do.
Ok, by now you will likely have at least one thing that someone has done or does that bothers you in some way.
Did it bother you that someone is a murderer?
Tamal Dodge asked this question from a room full of folks.
Then he asked why no one said it bothered them that someone is a murderer?
There were many complaints about what others did, but no one complained that murder took place.
Murder was not the number one thing that bothered anyone in that audience.
It wasn’t for me and I bet it likely was not for you either.
Tamal’s point is that what bothers us in others is what is in us.
What we see in others is a mirror of what is going on in us.
You and I are not murderers so we don’t see that in others.
We only see what they mirror back to us.
To go back to my examples.
I tend to go on and on about my most recent health discovery. So when others do it, I see me reflected in them.
I enjoy tinkering with organizational systems in my life. I love to organize my investment patterns for example. I can get excited and prattle on about it. When someone else does it, it bothers me.
I can be judgemental of others. So when someone is judgemental of me, it triggers me.
But I am not a murderer so it did not occur to me that murder is something to get more upset about than someone bending my ear for an extended period.
What this can do for me is just be aware of what bothers me in others…then look inside and see how I am doing that.
My job? To use the mirror others hold in front of me to fine tune my actions. Actions that may get under someone else’s skin.
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