Difficult relationships. Problem or chance?
Once in a while you’ll meet them, those people that seem to know how to push your buttons or really know how to irritate you. And you might ask yourself, why is this happening to me? Why are those people so annoying? Well, those people aren’t always annoying. They mirror you. They show you where inside you there’s a part that you’re not showing to the world. A part where you can expand and grow. And that’s, what irritating. There is a different way how you can deal with this though.
It happened to me as well. I kept ending up in the same situations. At first I wasn’t really aware what was going on. I felt agitated, got angry and didn’t know what to do with it. But after a couple of months the same happened again, now with someone else. And again. So annoying… why did this keep happening to me? Why did these people act like this? It all changed when I started to look at it in a different way. These people aren’t a problem. They are a challenge!
At those moments I felt I was asked to do something I wasn’t keen on doing. Something way out of my comfort zone. Something that left me anxious and afraid. That irritated me and I projected my anger onto the other person as if they were the one causing this. I didn’t want to leave my safe and comfortable zone! It felt good being there. Unfortunately life has sometimes other plans.
Life wants us to grow and expand. To become more of our authentic self. The self without our limiting believes that we’ve collected during our childhood and the years following.
Let’s say, you meet a very extroverted person. It might feel intimidating to you and you start feeling resentful. But maybe you are courageous enough to stand up for yourself, but you lack some confidence to do this.
Or you meet someone sensitive and open, someone who’s sharing his or her feelings with you. Perhaps you think it’s soft or weak and you feel the urge to judge them, but somewhere deep inside you admire this person for it and you secretly wish you could be like this as well.
At the right moment we’ll meet the right persons who will challenge us on those parts of ourselves we’ve tucked away. And that’s what’s irritating us. We’ll meet these persons in relationships, in friendships, at work or within our family. We will keep on meeting the ones who will challenge us on the same parts of ourselves (i.e. annoy us) till we become aware what’s going on. Till we start responding in a different way.
When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change ~ Paulo Coelho
What I do now when I meet one of my mirrors and feel confused about what is being shown to me? I imagine that I walk away from it. Not in real life of course… I visualize it. In my mind I walk away from the situation and when I’m at a safe distance I climb on an imaginary fence. It’s as if I’m looking at what happens from a distance and from on high. By doing this I give myself a different perspective.
At such a moment I don’t try to think about what I see. No, I stay away from my head. And it’s not that I actually see something, but it does work for how I feel. It really feels as if I’ve separated myself from whatever is happening. Just by imagining that I’m on that fence, helps me to get a different perspective and helps me to let things go. The moment I start doing this, insights will start to pour in and I understand at which part I’m challenged.
Now that I’ve given myself a new way to look at these things, they don’t irritate me anymore. More often they make me smile and I say to myself ‘ah, another one of those lessons from the universe’. I just climb on my fence and wait till it gets clear. And I thank ‘the annoying person in front of me’ (well, just in my mind hey) for bringing me one step closer to the real me.
What you might experience as difficult doesn’t always have to be a problem. Get a different perspective or look at it from a different angle and ask yourself, what can I learn? Which part of me is provoked and why? Which part of me have I tucked away, but given the chance I would love to show to the world?
Take a look in the mirror that someone is holding up for you and allow yourself the opportunity to show the real you.