Editor’s Note: Since I love quotes and like to interpret them for my readers I thought this article was a great response to a very good question from a reader. The article is by Chris Cade, a man I really admire and have come to respect for their approach to personal development. I hope you enjoy the article.
Please leave a comment in the comment section below.
The Real Reason Why People Upset Us
By Chris Cade
On Facebook I often post quotes A while back on Facebook, somebody asked about a quote I posted:
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding about ourselves.” – Carl Jung
Chris – I don’t understand, can you help please?
After typing almost a complete response, I realized it was long enough to be an email… and so I decided to do exactly that – share my answer with you. I hope you enjoy… 🙂
Dear [Name Removed],
I hope I can help… but this is a deep understanding that really takes personal exploration to understand. Candidly speaking, I’m always discovering more about this with each passing day.
The simple version is: As long as somebody else’s words or actions can upset you, then that means your own enjoyment of life is dependent upon other people. Therefore, your happiness is never your own, but rather, ‘belongs’ to the people who upset you.
In order to move past this difficulty, we must choose to become self-aware… even at the most difficult times. Therefore, every time we are upset by somebody else, it would help us to ask ourselves, “Why does this upset me?” And then when we have an answer, again ask “Why does that upset me?”
The intention is to discover the root cause of why that person’s behavior upsets us.
For example, if a partner leaves their cups around all the time, we might be upset. But why? Well we say “It’s disrespectful.” Is it really? Why do we believe it’s disrespectful? We might discover that it is what one of our parents did as a child. And then we may remember all the fights our parents had over the exact same issue.
By understanding that, we then see that the real reason we are upset by our current partner leaving the cups out has nothing to do with disrespect, but instead, it is a reminder of all the past arguments from our parents.
That’s a *very* brief and limited example… and I hope that you will discover your own answers through this exploration.
Just remember from now on – every time something upsets you – just pause and ask yourself why… because you’re usually not upset because of what’s happening in the present, but because of something that happened in the past.
Another example: Your partner comes home late. You’re upset and say they’re disrespectful. But when you feel your body, you notice you feel -scared- so you ask yourself why. What you discover is that somewhere inside you, there is a fear of being abandoned… and when they come home late, it makes you worry they might be leaving you. And maybe you discover that’s because as a child you never knew when one of your parents would come home, or perhaps your parents divorced, or perhaps one parent left for a regular routine trip and never came home (died, ran away, etc).
And so you discover that your partner coming home late upsets you not because it’s disrespectful, but because you have a fear of being abandoned.
This logic is true of ALL things which upset us.
It happens to varying degrees… some smaller than others. Sometimes it’s so minor we won’t even notice it, such as us being frustrated that a little child has stepped on our toes again or defied our seemingly simple request. Or maybe it is a huge issue, one which has come up in a relationship (personal, or professional) many many times and is never resolved.
Whatever it is, if you want to experience more peace in your life, just be like a child again… remember to ask “Why?”
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