Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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It is Probably You...

Are there times when a situation or a person really bugs you? It just gets under your skin and rankles your nerves? Have you ever asked, "why does this situation bother me? what can I do about it?". The good and the bad news is that the root of the issue is you and yourself. I say this will little interest in the blame game of life. I say this in the spirit of healing those things that can be healed, and laying down those things that just are.

Before I start into what it could be about you, allow me to state the exceptions to these generalizations I make below. #1, there are evil nasty mean people in the world. They are very bothersome, irritating, and generally not good to have around. Being bothered by this kind of situation is a reasonable reaction to external stimuli. #2, there is irritating stimuli in the world, period. These include beeping horns, smelly stuff, soggy clothes, bad lovers, etc. The litmus test is the question, "would most people find the following behavior/situation as irritating as I am finding it?". If the answer is a "yes", than you are probably reacting to the external world with no inner triggers involved. Society, as a whole, has probably set up some controls to avoid the same situations. If the answer is "no", the roots of conflict below may apply.

There are two ways the personalized roots of conflict are created. These mix and match, sometimes becoming indecipherable from each other.

The first root of conflict is an emotional memory. An event in the past creates an emotional association with a person, attitude, or arrangement. An example of this would be a person is bullied by large boys. The emotional stamp of this would cause issues with adults of similar stature. The person who had a difficult childhood with a redheaded mother may have instant animosity with other redheads. Yes, external things do happen to you. They do leave emotional imprints in your behavior. It's shitty and not fun, but it is your stuff. The redhead is not your mother and the "built like a jock" boss is not a childhood bully. While emotional memories are quite powerful, they can be owned by the individual. If the current redhead truly acts like your mother, than fine, call her on it. If the boss is a bully, than ok, you can react like you did in childhood. BUT, if the only similarity is on the surface, an informed insight into the emotional triggers can short-circuit behavior that is not appropriate in the present.

The second root of conflict is behavior projection, aka psychological projection. Very simply, this is where you take issue with other's behavior in the same area that you consciously or unconsciously condemn your own behavior. Some other definitions of this phenomenon include:
** "Projection is the opposite defense mechanism to identification. We project our own unpleasant feelings onto someone else and blame them for having thoughts that we really have."
** "A defense mechanism in which the individual attributes to other people impulses and traits that he himself has but cannot accept. It is especially likely to occur when the person lacks insight into his own impulses and traits."
** "Attributing one's own undesirable traits to other people or agencies."
** "The individual perceives in others the motive he denies having himself. Thus the cheat is sure that everyone else is dishonest."
** "A man harboring attractions for a woman would perceive other men as having the same attractions for her."
** "People attribute their own undesirable traits onto others. An individual who unconsciously harbors his or her aggressive/sexual tendencies may then imagine other people acting in an excessively aggressive or sexual way."
** "An individual who possesses malicious characteristics, but who is unwilling to perceive himself as an antagonist, convinces himself that his opponent feels and would act the same way."
I am presenting this as an option because I very much believe that it is in play more often than people realize. I often shock myself when I find that projection is the cause my "having a beef" or finding issue in somebody. While the detection of this internal conflict root is not difficult, it does take a large amount of personal honesty. The dissolving of the hate/condemnation/dislike/judgment of the other person is often replaced with a like call upon ourselves. If you are not ready to do this, and the mirror is turned back on you enough times, the admittance of projection becomes impalpable. It becomes easier to point out the splinter in another's eye instead of addressing the log in our own.

There are big benefits for those who are willing to own their own logs. IME (in my experience), the admittance of a personal flaw softens the heart to the flaws of others. It takes a "how dare you!!!" attitude and turns it into a "so you have it too???" frame of mind. The trick is to get past the self-judgment. Self-discernment is a better path. The proper acknowledgement of an undesirable trait allows for work on that trait. While complete elimination of a trait does not happen overnight or even in a lifetime, gradual improvement is possible.

I mentioned earlier that the two roots can mix. This can make for inappropriate reactions who's roots are difficult to find. The emotional memories can both create and augment traits that are undesirable. Let's say that mom, the redhead, was abused by father. The emotional memory of scorn may be applied to redheads, while a compulsive desire to control the environment was created by the abusive environment. Let's say that the person than, years later, has an office mate who is a red head who also seeks to control their environment in extreme ways. All the danger flags would go off. The red head triggers the emotional memory of the mother. The controlling nature of the office mate triggers a psychological projection of the self-inherent need to control. The result is an instant hatred of somebody never met before, and for "no good reason". Like a complex knot, somehow the two issues, hair color and projection, are later untangled with the childhood as the root cause.

The "probably you" reactions of life can be quite frustrating, and quite frankly, destructive to the life of the person with these reactions. The identification and resolution becomes important for the sanity and quality-of-life for those afflicted and affected. I write about these because I am dealing with these modalities myself. I blog for myself, to put myself on paper, and later articles will touch on these behaviors. Feel free to add anything to these observations!
Tags: dislike, emotional memory, healing, projection

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