1 minute 39 second read
It can be too easy for us to get ourselves bent out of shape about what the behaviours of others. They were rude, they were inconsiderate, they were thoughtless or selfish. We label them with our judgement.
No doubt there have been a lot of times you've heard yourself say (with great indignation), "How dare he do something like that?!"
And we allow ourselves to become upset by their words and actions, often while stewing over the offending behaviour.
It has been said that the things that irritate us about other people are behaviours or aspects of ourselves that we don't like. When I first heard this, I was very young and absolutely disagreed without thinking about it. But as I aged, I began to discover that although it wasn't always the case, there were definitely more occasions on which that was the truth than I wanted to admit.
The beauty in that, however, is that once I was willing to look at it, I could see the gift in it because it allowed me another layer of self-awareness. I could see that there were times I'd been upset with others for doing a version of something I had done, too.
The more I paid attention to my reactions to events that I found to be upsetting when I was on the receiving end, the more I was able to find room for improvement within myself.
It is also true that not every occasion was about one of my own behaviours. In some cases, whatever it was that I found to be upsetting was a trigger, reminding me of a past incident, something that still stung. Often, there wasn't anything particularly rude or disrespectful in the behaviour; it was merely my interpretation because of my own issues.
The gift in this was in discovering wounds that had remained unhealed. This was especially helpful when I'd thought an issue had been resolved but apparently, there was another layer lurking and interfering with my life in some way.
Now, if I find myself feeling irritated by the behaviour of someone else, I ask myself why I feel that way. I take a good look to see if there are ways in which I am exhibiting the same behaviour. If I'm not, then I dig into why I feel triggered by the event.
At the end of the day, unless the behaviour of others impacts me directly (e.g. someone hits me or trashes my home), it's none of my business. I can choose not to react. I don't have to feel anything one way or another. Their behaviour is no reflection on me, unless I choose to make it about me. I can just observe and move on.
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