When you express yourself you are highly likely to express your “self”.
Recently I was in a very crowded pub where I watched a woman pushing a man around, she had him by the collar of his shirt and was shouting “you’re pushing people you’re drunk, you’re knocking people over, you’re being a dickhead”. She appeared very drunk as she pushed him into the crowd of people behind him and started knocking people over as a consequence. Almost to the word, each of her criticisms applied to her as equally as they might have him. His only response was to try and laugh it off but the woman, who I’m not sure he knew, then stormed off furious at the man’s response shouting “I fucking hate people like you, you’ve no consideration for other people, you never listen to what they say!”. There, with almost perfect symmetry, was the idea I’m about to try and explain with this blog entry.
The first time I noticed criticism often tells you more about the critic than the criticised I felt like I’d unlocked some kind of weird cheat-code to life. If I can convince you of this truth with this little blog entry and you look out for it over the next few days I believe it’s a revelation that genuinely could change your life for the better, forever.
It will be demonstrated over and over again to you once you become aware of it. When people express themselves, about anything, they tend to express their selves in the process. So, when you speak, your words say something about you.
That’s what you’re looking out for and once you spot it there will be a period where you feel like EVERYONE IS A HYPOCRITE…
Notice, for example, that it’s the fat and lazy person in your office who is always the first to complain about someone else being fat and lazy. The friend of yours in your social group who ‘hates liars’ usually has issues with telling the truth themselves. Ever noticed that homophobic people often seem to have issues with their own sexuality? This is because they are often gay and often hate themselves as a result. The preachers who rant about immorality in society only to be caught hunched over a whore with a bag of cocaine in their hands? Same deal.
More than a few times I’ve met local ‘hardman’ who put over their side of the story by saying: “I just hate bullies”. Gasps of surprise from victims who see him as a bully but the criticism has revealed the critic. He knows all about bullies and how awful they are because he is one, whether he recognises that quality in himself or not.
Recognition requires previous experience and the more familiar you are with something the more you will recognise it.
It’s this mechanic which allows someone who is addicted to drink or drugs to be the first to spot someone else who suffers from the same problem.
So, the first possible use for this little rule is, if someone argues with you and criticises you, try turning their words back on them, you’ll be surprised at how useful that can be. Assume their criticism of you might fit them also and work from that hunch.
Secondly though, list all the things you often criticise other people for, handy list of your own faults, right in front of you.
This idea is very old and people often claim it is embedded in the classic phrase “judge not lest ye be judged” from The King James Bible. I’ve been told it’s part of the ‘secret teachings’ of ‘ancient mystery schools’ and that it has been guarded and obscured by occult groups over the ages. That seems a little silly to me. Thoughts?