How You Perceive Others Is How You Perceive Yourself

The famed psychologist Carl Jung said, “We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.”

Imagine a random man. Now take five people from his life and ask their opinion about him. You are bound to hear five different responses. One might say he is a harsh extrovert while another might label him a kind introvert. One might note his sense of humor, while another might note his intelligence. Out of this range of responses, which one is most accurate?

If you want to be self-aware, learn one thing. How you perceive others is not about them. How you perceive others is rooted in how you see yourself. You fit people into a mold in your mind based on your relationship with yourself. When you notice flaws in others, that is because you possess them.

Your ego always wants to point the finger at another, because it is easier than rectifying the inner being.

If you were never jealous, how would you notice the jealousy of another? Your flaws are outwardly projected so you don’t have to take the reigns. Judging somebody else is ridiculous when you understand that you are actually judging yourself. Every interaction reveals more of your ego’s own faults. Faults that need to be repaired.

Simon Fuller summed this up when he said, “What angers us in another person is more often than not an unhealed aspect of ourselves. If we had already resolved that particular issue, we would not be irritated by its reflection back to us.”

Don’t despair! In noticing your reactions to those around you, you’ll have a key to becoming a better person. Find what brings out an emotional response, and highlight that portion of yourself for healing. Negative reactions are jarred by most often by two things.

First, the notion that the world revolves around you. Humans project their expectations on the world rather than taking it as it is. They want people to fit well into their scheme, but are blind to the larger scheme around them. When expectations don’t match reality, you are bound for disappointment.

Next, a negative emotional response reveals traits you hide or ignore. Humans have the tendency to push out whatever makes them uncomfortable. This includes personality traits. So that emotional response needs to be a red flag. Not that somebody else is bothering you, but that your ego is projecting itself. According to Carl Jung, “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.”

Life is more than randomness. It is more than being “in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time.” Everything you perceive is in fact related to the baser-self. That is, whatever you take from any situation is more than the situation itself, it is how you perceived it. If your lower self sees problems, these problems are a reflection of your lower traits. Then you can begin healing.

You won’t be able to heal until you are honest with yourself. The ego hides flaws behind several layers. Emotional responses are justified, which in turn leads to loving that part of the self. An angry man might say, “I had every right to react the way I did!” The next time he feels angry, he might deem the anger his right.

Seeing yourself as the problem may not be the easiest thing to stomach. There’s an old saying that goes, “When you point a finger at another, you have three pointing back at you.” Can you change the people around you? No. So why see them as problem if you have no power to solve it? Your perception is the problem, and you have control over it. Life becomes much easier by this principle.

How you view the world around you is how you view yourself. Anything that bothers you about another is a trait you also possess. This is not deflating, it is empowering. You can change the world around you by changing the color of your lenses.

See yourself in everybody you meet. This will give you an authentic relationship with the self. This is how you will find peace of mind and contentment. You’ll forgive others instead of holding grudges. You’ll cut people more slack. Everybody responds to empathy. This is how your relationships will bear fruit.

By: Thomas Feliciano

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