“Everything that irritates us about others
can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."
— Carl Jung
[Classic post from 9-24-11]
I’m sure we all have people we know that irritate us, and generally, I would imagine that avoiding them is our normal productive response. Maybe we also talk about them to a spouse or a friend to share the unpleasant experience.
After I saw this quote a few years ago, I began thinking about this and trying to see beyond the initial impression to see if there is more behind that demeanor. As I do this, I also ask myself, ‘in what ways do I act in this way?’ and ‘do I demonstrate any of the things that irritate me about this person without being aware of it?’
If we see someone who is arrogant, there may be times where we are arrogant as well. See this person and observing them being arrogant can be helpful to see how that might feel to others if it were coming from me, and it can also instruct in a different way by seeing what I don’t want so that I can more clearly focus on what I do want.
Sometimes people act a certain way as a defense mechanism or a learned response and are not really aware they do it.
Some people that irritate us are easy to avoid, and others may be in and out of our lives regularly because they are associated with our business or are vendor reps, or even relatives and so we really cannot avoid them entirely, though we may choose our opportunities with more care.
It can be beneficial to bring it to their attention how you are responding or reacting to their behavior. I think that is a great way to say that because it is ultimately us feeling our own feelings and our own reaction rather than something someone is doing to us.
I remember one time when I was a very young sales manager at a Chevy dealership. The factory rep would come in about once every two to four weeks. This one rep was a young guy and he was rude, arrogant, and generally unpleasant. I hated the day that he came to the store. Well, one day, as he was standing in the doorway to my office, I just told him that I didn’t like him and why. I told him he was rude, took no consideration of my valuable time, and was unpleasant to be around. I didn’t care how he would react to that because I was tired of it.
Well, it took his breath away. He was shocked that anyone would talk to him so straightforwardly and he immediately (I mean that second) changed. He apologized, and from then on was a pleasant person and easy to enjoy his company. We even became friends and I was invited to his home even. Isn’t that interesting how that worked out by my bold communication?
I’ve also had a couple of people speak to me in a similar way and it was equally helpful to me and the relationship. I started paying more attention to my own communication with others.
What Irritates Us About Others Can Be Very Instructive.
Spread Some Joy Today–Joy doesn’t always come from a pleasant experience, and yet it is always a pleasant experience. Interesting, don’t you think?