Personal relationships mirror our relationships with ourselves.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. Most of us experience various versions of relationship tension on a somewhat regular basis. We have power struggles with our kids, resent our bosses, feel taken for granted by our beloveds, have misunderstandings with friends. We’d like all these interactions to be pleasant and smooth, but things don’t always seem to work out that way. When issues do arise, we may be puzzled about why they cropped up. It certainly isn’t what we’d want, is it?
The concept of psychological projection goes a long way toward explaining why these tensions may be occurring. Basically, we recreate any inner conflict within us in the outside world, with our loved ones, friends, and coworkers playing the role of some part of ourselves. If we feel vulnerable, we may make someone the victim of our bullying. When we feel another person disregards our needs, it may be because we don’t do a good job of honoring our own needs. A hypercritical friend or boss may be showing us that we don’t deem ourselves worthy.
Today’s message reminds me to mine any personal conflicts for clues about myself. If I’m conflicting with someone’s attitude or behavior, I’ll want to figure out how it exists in me. When I shift the attitude or behavior in myself, I may be surprised to find I encounter it less in my relationships. As within, so without.
How about you? How do you evaluate your personal conflicts?