When you have a problem with someone else do you hold a mirror up to yourself? Do you realize that when someone really annoys you it’s often about something in you that’s making you react that way?
It’s a funny thing. When we make a judgment about others we’re often making a judgment about ourselves. It took me a long time to learn this lesson. It’s one that I get to revisit on a regular basis.
Understanding your biases helps you live a happier life.
When things in others really annoy you, it’s time to stop. You want to really take a step back and ask if there’s something about the other person’s behavior you really don’t want to be doing yourself. You need to ask why is it that this particular behavior bothers you so much.
I’ve found that when I take a really hard look at what’s causing me to be annoyed it’s something about me. When it’s something about me, I can make a change. I can work on making the behavior that really bothers me go away, at least in how I live my life.
You can’t change others. You can change yourself. When you find out what your biases are you can decide whether it’s worth the effort to change. If you do, you just might find your life gets better.
It’s really hard to admit your judgments are about you.
This was a hard admission for me. I didn’t want to admit that it was my fault I had this problem. Once I did I could become more accepting of the behavior of others that was also a weak point with me. It takes work and it takes focus.
When you get around to admitting judgments that you have in your life are about you it allows you to take action. Don’t you want to eliminate those things that bother you in others? Start with yourself and you just might see a really cool change in how you view the world.
Be brave, ask my favorite question.
At first it was almost impossible for me to admit that my judgments were my problems. Then I learned a great question, “what would happen if?” This is a magical question. It allows you to suspend judgment and just think that there might be something in your own behavior you could do that would help you have a better life.
When you ask yourself this question you can always decide that it’s really not about you. Asking what would happen if this was true allows you to think about the issue that bothers you in a different way. It’s not a yes or no. It’s just wondering whether it could be true.
What do you think could happen if you admit it’s really about you?
This is the big question. If what I’ve said above is true what do you think it could do for your life? I can only tell you that in my own life it’s made a big difference. I no longer walk around the world being angry. In fact, there are very few things that make me mad.
Now when people do things I’m not especially fond of seeing, I can say, “isn’t that interesting?” Would you like to have that reaction to things that used to really annoy you? If so, start with taking a look in the mirror.
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