By Eric Faria
Every person you meet has something special to give you – if you are open to receiving it.
Each encounter offers you the gift of greater self-awareness by illustrating what you do and do not accept about yourself. An honest look will show you that the reactions you have to others give you more information about yourself than about them.
You can never know for sure what motivates other people, but you can learn what you are accepting or judging in yourself.
For instance, if someone makes a remark about you and it’s something you also judge in yourself, it will most likely hurt. However, if they make the same remark and you don’t have that judgment about yourself, it probably won’t bother you at all.
This point is valid for almost any interaction imaginable: Reactions always have to do with our own self-judgment and feelings of inadequacy, not the other person.
Most judgments of others stem from one of three basic causes:
- You would not tolerate the same behavior or characteristic in yourself.
For instance, you might be shy and encounter a very gregarious person. Your judgment might go something like this: What a show-off. He is so loud and obnoxious.
Because you would be embarrassed to act this way, you resent it in someone else. This type of judgment might reveal that you are not fully expressing yourself; hence, you feel put off by others doing so. Becoming aware of the root of this reaction, and how you can express yourself more fully and authentically, would result in the valuable gift of freer self-expression.
2. You display the same behavior and are not aware of it so you project your disowned behavior onto others and dislike it “out there.”
Everyone has encountered the second cause at some point. Someone is complaining about a friend or acquaintance and you think to yourself, “That’s funny. They do the same thing they are finding wrong!”
Take an honest look within to see if you share some of the characteristics you dislike in others. You may be surprised to learn that you do, even if it is in another area of your life. This is likely to offer insight into gaining greater self-acceptance and compassion for others.
3. You are envious and resent the feelings that come up, so you find something wrong with those who have what you want and end up judging them.
Someone who has attained recognition may remind you of your own lack of success in this area. You may resent their higher degree of accomplishment and then find something wrong with them in order to avoid your own feelings of inadequacy.
Since inspiration is a much more effective motivator than competition, you would be more likely to experience success if you became inspired by other people’s victories instead of wasting time finding fault with them.
Eric Faria is an Emotional Intelligence Coach. He has participated in self-development trainings since 2005, using these tools in his professional coaching. He graduated from an International Coach Federation program in January 2014. Eric lives in Connecticut, and in addition to working with private clients, he gives motivational talks. For more information, or to contact him, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.