And this time, it’s true – At least according to Carl Jung (one of the grandfathers of modern psychotherapy). His theory suggests that we project the disowned (read: unappealing) aspects of ourselves onto others. Jung referred to this as our shadow archetype… don’t worry I’m not going to go all psycho babble on you now. Basically, though, what he said is that the unfavourable qualities we react negatively to in others are really just our own issues that we do not identify with or recognize, but possess nonetheless.
In other words: The things that bother, irritate, get under our skin, and drive us crazy about other people are more often than not, our own disowned, unacknowledged, or rejected issues. This is a tough one to swallow and might even sound a little hooey.
Before you reject his theory of trait rejection all together, have you ever wondered why something will drive you absolutely nuts about someone, but your friends may not even notice it, let alone be even mildly irritated by it? Why are we irritated or put off by some things other people do or say, and not others? And why isn’t everyone put off by the same things? Something to think about…
I’m not sure if this theory applies to every situation and I was pretty sceptical when I learned about this concept, but once I started paying attention to it in myself, good goodness, it was true more often than I am comfortable admitting.
The up side in all of this though, is that we can use our reactions toward other people to indirectly (or maybe quite directly) show us what we might be struggling with and need to address and work through.
Free insight? I’ll take that.