Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Whatever we judge in another is something unresolved within ourselves. Believe it or not?
Relationships are our mirrors to get to know ourselves. This happens by seeing the repetitive relationship patterns in our lives; the people we attract to us, the way we treat people and the way people treat us. It all stems from us.
If we think others are treating us poorly, it means on some level we’re demeaning ourselves. If we attract the wrong people to us, it means we don't value ourselves. If we criticize and judge others, it means there’s something within ourselves that we’re putting ourselves down for.
Research has shown that children act out the unconscious of their parents. As adults we also act out the unconscious of the people we interact with. We pick up each others’ energy unconsciously and act it out.
For instance, a client, John, had an adult son working with him in business. John complained that his son was too aggressive with clients and they often argued about it. “He’s always in their face. He says it as it is with no holds bared.”
I asked him, “How do you treat clients?”
“Oh, I’m not like that,” he answered. “I’m nice to clients. I listen to them, and give them what they want. I’m calm and reserved.”
“And what are you feeling inside when they give you a hard time?” I asked John.
He raised his hands, put them on my shoulders as if to shake me and said jokingly, “I want to scream and wake them up.”
“And what does your son do?”
“He gets in their faces to shake and wake them up.”
He took a deep breath and shook his head. “I got it. He’s acting out what’s going on inside me – like my alter ego – my anti-matter – my demon. And my lesson is that I have to learn to be more assertive rather than giving into people and clients all the time. And to stop judging my son.”
I agreed. “Everyone in our lives is a reflection of some part of ourselves that we often either won’t admit or see about ourselves. And it’s often varying degrees of the opposite of how we show ourselves or react to the world around us.”
“How do we know whether that person is reflecting us or being him or herself?” John asked.
“If we have an emotional charge, the constriction in the body which is usually caused by judging or criticizing the person, or feeling judged or criticized by that person means there’s something in us that isn’t resolved.”
I explain further that the mirroring effect that may not be resolved is not always the exact mirror.
Here are some other mirrored effects:
We’re like that person and don’t like what we see.
We may be just the opposite and go overboard to counteract it.
We may have been like that person at one time and still feel guilty or embarrassed for behaving that way.
We may want to be like the person and be jealous that we’re not.
We may be frustrated with the person and down on ourselves because we can't control or influence him or her – or even help, which makes us feel inept.
We may just be judging the other as an avoidance of looking into our own feelings and processing them.
"Remember," I explain to John, "If there’s no charge, then we’re in our own truth. What another person does now we still may not agree with but it won’t bother us. We’ll have more compassion – allowing the others to be who they are and be true to themselves.
“So it goes back to those damn charges,” John said. “I gotta remember to keep releasing them. That way I’ll have an open heart.”
To get to know yourself, notice what you're judging in another and see what's going on in thoughts, beliefs, feelings, speech and actions about yourself and change them to truth, peace and love.
Much love, peace, passion and purpose,
Penny Cohen, LCSW
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