Recently I connected with John Patrick Morgan through an introduction from another coach I work with. He actually goes by JP Morgan. JP sings to quite a different drummer than the storied banker of the same name. Related? I don’t know.
JP has some wonderful insights into life and what make us human beings what we are. Today I focus on a recent essay where he suggests we hate in ourselves the same traits we dislike in others.
Do you have a friend, or a spouse, that talks too much? Talks too little? Tells stories badly? If these things trouble you in that person, take a careful look. You probably dislike that in yourself. Or you fear the possibility that you might exhibit the same behavior.
Over the past several years I’ve noted this often. When I see that I may be guilty of what I object to in others, I work to avoid that behavior myself. Then it troubles me much less in others than it did. This often happens even if I’m not totally successful in eliminating the tendency myself. Just facing the issue head-on makes it less scary.
JP takes this concept one step further. He recommends actually striving to become the behavior you object to. It’s freeing! In the 9-minute video attached to the article, he describes behaviors that he hated in his wife. When he embraced the behaviors, the concern became a non-issue for him.
This is something I’ll have to experiment with. Likely you will too. Counter-intuitive as this idea is, it makes kind of perverse sense to try it out. Your distaste for something often goes away when you embrace it.
So give it a try! Next time someone does something that bugs you, think about it and try out JP’s approach. Obviously (I think) I would not recommend this for dishonest or belligerent behavior!