carl jung, compare/despair, familiarity, irritation, stress, stuart smalley

Mirror’s Reflection

c. whereisben.com

I used to have a co-worker who could have been me 10 years ago. She had the same boy problems, the same work issues, the same school issues. She even had the same immature responses I did and rationalized them the same way.
It was kind of like working with my younger, stupid self and it really annoyed the hell out of me. I was cringing so much that it was beginning to interfere with my work.
Carl Jung said something I found kind of interesting.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
Or more concisely put, everything that irritates you about others reminds you of the irritating things you do. I wouldn’t have believed this 10 years ago, [even though it was no less true] but now it just seems to knock me over the head. I cannot stand to be around people who remind me both of my younger, uninformed self; likewise, my potential for doing ridiculous things.
In fact, I think the problems in our society have less to do with our differences, and more to do with our similarities. If someone is completely different than you, there is little basis for the whole compare/despair notion. [Props to Stuart Smalley on that term].
I’m willing to bet that the things that irk you the most about your co-workers, friends, and especially your family, have but the teeniest shred of familiarity to you. And that is why you have such a passionate reaction to it.
I have a friend who complains incessantly about the annoying things her mother does. The thing she doesn’t realize [and far be it from me to point it out to her] is that she is just like her.
So be gentle. The annoying persons we once were turned into the awesome stars we are now!! 


c. 2012

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