Personal Mastery: People
  • Do you want to enhance your current relationships be it with a partner/family member, boss or colleagues?
  • Have you noticed recurring patterns in your relationships e.g. you have had similar bosses, colleagues or partners?

Relationships, often troubled ones, are there to reflect who we are. Other people serve as mirrors for our blind spots. The reason that we get agitated or frustrated with others is that they show us aspects of ourselves that we have denied, hidden or forgotten.  When these parts are brought to light through others, we project our anger and judgment externally to the other person. What we need to do instead, is to first acknowledge and accept these traits as parts of ourselves and then work on them.

For example: you have a colleague that you cannot stand as this person lies or falsely represents himself. Do you lie? If your immediate response is, ‘Of course not!,’ pay attention to your defensiveness. You may be going out of your way to be an honest person today, but do you perhaps tell ‘white lies’ in some situations?

Say someone gave you something that you did not like. Would you tell this person that it’s great and smile or would you tell them that you do not like it? Pretending to like it is a lie. Once you acknowledge and accept this aspect in yourself, you will no longer judge your colleague and will start viewing him with more compassion and understanding and your relationship will improve as you are no longer in superior, judging mode.


Exercise

You can do this with all your relationships. Note what characteristics of the other person annoy you and then pay attention to where they show up in your life i.e. how and when are you displaying the same characteristics? If you cannot find anything, look again. This is a challenging exercise, for us to acknowledge those aspects of ourselves that we do not wish to see.