What You Dislike In Others Is Just a Reflection of You

judgment, envy, side eye, Sophia Loren

It isn't healthy to envy or judge others, but everyone does it—even you.

What You Dislike In Others Is Just a Reflection of You


It’s ok to admit it—we all look at other women and think about how they measure up to our ideals. Sure, it isn’t “healthy” to envy or judge others, but the fact is it’s perfectly normal and everyone does it. Even you. So, once we have accepted our fate as self-involved gawkers, we can move on to the more interesting part of the discussion—the why. Once we identify why we do it in the first place, it’s easier to manage those disquieting feelings and file them away where they belong—out of your mind. All you need to remember is it’s about you. It’s always about you. Like the famous mythological figure Narcissus, everything you see is just a reflection of yourself. You can love it, you can hate it—no matter. But if you listen to it, you might just learn something.

We Think We “Get” People


The woman standing in front of you at the post office is carrying a $2,000 handbag—she must be one hell of a horrific snob, right? So what if you also eyed this fabulous purse online, albeit with a dreamy look rather than a purposeful one? She actually bought it. You momentarily comfort yourself with her misguided choice of color, but it doesn’t help much because she has won a quiet battle you didn’t even know was happening. Just through the simple ownership of this pricey purse, her life is laid bare before you. Obviously, she never worries about money, she takes fabulous trips with her adoring children, and probably has a mind-blowing orgasm every single time. Her bag screams, “I am perfect!” and you believe it. And for one brief, startling moment, you hate her—that is until you dismiss her.

Just like a wicked Saturday Night Live skit, let your reaction to this woman be a comedic reminder that you, my friend, are triggered. By what? That’s up to you to find out. Ask yourself, “What is it about that bag that set me off?” Maybe you wish you had more financial freedom? Perhaps deep down you believe expensive accessories make you more valuable, powerful, or worthy in the eyes of others. It certainly worked on you. Maybe this bag is really just a symbol of your deep insecurity at not being enough. Just keep asking yourself why, don’t let yourself off the hook, and before you know it, you will be first in line.

We Put Our Own Insecurities On Others


While working out at the gym, you notice a woman rocking out on the elliptical machine with her headphones blaring. She’s really going to town—smiling, swinging her arms around, and working up quite a sweat. Why is she so happy? You look her over closely for a clue to her obvious elation. Doesn’t she realize her workout top is too small for a woman her age? There are certainly more than just a few unsightly things popping out, so why is she so darn happy? Doesn’t she know what she looks like?

Whoa. Stop yourself right there. When someone is happy, don’t ask questions! They are feeling good and that’s all you need to know. She obviously doesn’t care if her sports bra is putting the squeeze on, so why should you? Maybe because you are the one having trouble accepting the changes in your own body. Maybe because you want, more than anything, to stop thinking about how you look at the gym and just be. And suddenly this woman in the sausage casing is not to be reviled—she is to be worshiped. She has found the holy grail of “I don’t give a crap!” and you want to know where. Just keep asking yourself why you are so offended by her happiness and eventually you’ll find it.

We Judge Based On Fear


In case no one ever told you, almost everything we do is based on fear. Fear of getting in trouble, fear of losing, fear of the unknown, fear of judgment—and yet, we judge others. Maybe you see a woman in the grocery store who has made the harrowing decision to bring along her five-year-old son. And maybe he is having a complete meltdown in the cookie aisle. And maybe she doesn’t handle it well at all. She raises her voice a little too loudly, she snatches him up and even drags him a bit. Eyebrows raised, you think, “Uh oh. Someone is going to the dark side!” Otherwise known as Schadenfreude, you are about to take some pleasure in this poor woman’s misfortune. She’s losing her cool and you are about to judge her for it…

Dig deeper. If you are a mother, you should slap your own wrist for your convenient amnesia. If you don’t have kids, you should walk quietly in the opposite direction because you know nothing. Either way, this woman’s lack of self-control has illuminated something in yourself. What? Perhaps watching her struggle was enough to make you feel safe for few minutes—like you have things all figured out. But you know that’s not true because we never really do, and that fear is always looming somewhere in our subconscious. If we can find a way to escape it, even at the expense of others, we will usually take it. Just identify the feeling, stash it away, and enjoy the rest of your peaceful shopping trip.