Feelings and Mirrors

Note to my future self…

“How you feel about other people is reflective of how you feel about yourself.”

The other day I was having a conversation with one of my close friends and I made a comment about how I didn’t like someone because of how the conducted themselves (a nice way to put it honestly) and what followed were some of the wisest words that I’ve heard in a while. He said and I repeat:

“How you feel about other people is reflective of how you feel about yourself.”

In an instant I was transported back to all those instances where I knew I had felt an borderline unconscious anger or disgust towards someone for no apparent reason and started to think – why? You know who I am talking about. If you’re reading this you can definitely think of one person that you don’t like but can’t really say why. There’s just something about them that puts you off. But why?

I think that in my case those individuals share a common characteristic and it’s that they demonstrate a weakness that I myself have but that I try to actively distance myself from. For example, there’s this particular individual that I don’t like because he’s socially awkward in a very particular way. I think that his behavior reminds me of how I don’t want to be perceived so my superficial reaction is to simply reject the whole person.

This is messed up if you think about it but it’s true and we have to deal with it. If anything these strong feelings of aversion can serve us as a useful tool to identify blindspots within ourselves that we need to work on. Strong feelings that are so visceral are a much better signal than any other higher-level thoughts that we might come up on how to improve ourselves.

This is a work in progress. I will report back with any updates.

Now back to work…