Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?

A loving person lives in a loving world.A hostile person lives in a hostile world.Everyone you meet is your mirror. – Ken Keyes, Jr.

Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?

Reflection of Ourselves

I have been involved in personal development for many years. The most difficult concept for me to come to grips with has been that what I see in others is a reflection of me.

More specifically……the traits I do not like in others are traits I do not like about me. I  totally rejected  this idea in the beginning and my experience is most people do the same when they first hear it.

Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?

I decided to write about this yesterday as I have been reading a book called “Count your Blessings – The Healing Power of Gratitude and Love” by Dr. John F. Demartini. In the book he refers to this concept frequently and I was reminded how difficult I found that idea when I first heard it.

I was in a 4 day personal growth workshop when I was exposed to this idea.

I mean really how can I possibly be like some rude person who goes around abusing people? I do not do that —-

……but let’s look deeper.

Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?

In Dr Demartini’s book  there is one chapter called “Everyone is Your Mirror”.

He says that we tend to dislike people who display the character traits we refuse to acknowledge and love in ourselves, and we generally like the people who reflect the traits we respect and value in ourselves.

Dr Demartini says the same as I have heard many times before in different ways.  This is  that if we acknowledge the traits we see in others as a refection of ourselves then we are set free. Pretty enticing idea but not the easiest to always accept.

Basically we just need to know if we are liking or disliking something that someone else is doing we are judging that action or trait. We must therefore at sometime have displayed the same action or trait.

Dr Demartini says “The people with whom you interact show you who you are and ultimately provide you with an opportunity to love yourself.”

Let me give you an example.

Last week I blogged about a person who had been commenting on a friend’s blog in a very negative way. I will not regurgitate the post here as if you have not read it you can do so here Would You Rather be Right or Happy?

Now reading this book yesterday and remembering that when we dislike something about someone we possess the same trait,  I had to ask myself why I got so plugged in and upset by this man’s behavior last week.

I do not go and write negative comments on blogs or other people’s Facebook walls. Nor do I start answering blog comments on someone else’s blog.

So I have to ask myself where do I behave like this or where in the past did I behave in this manner? ..  Hmm I had to think deep and I could feel some of the old resistance to the idea coming up for me.

The specific trait that I was annoyed with and wrote about was the need to “be right” and to force your opinions on others.

I have done this in the past. Not on the internet but when I was younger I ofter would be very vocal with my opinion. I did not like myself behaving in this way.

Make sense?

What We See in Others Really is a Reflection of Ourselves?

  • We can only see things in other people that we possess ourselves
  • If we are bothered by someone who is rude then we have the ability to be rude
  • When you are judgmental about someone else’s actions or behavior it is because it reminds you of what you do not like about yourself.
  • You love yourself as much as you love others
  • You love others as much as you love yourself

What do you think? Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves? I am looking forward to your comment on this one so please leave me one.

Make it a great day!






Sue Price
Skype: sueprice

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30 thoughts on “Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?

  1. Sylviane Nuccio

    I Sue,

    I love, love this post and it gave me an idea for an up coming post of mine 😉

    You are so right. I read books and books on personal development and about 2 years ago I read that “when people are pushing your buttons, it’s because you have the very issues that pushes those buttons”. So true and exactly what you’re saying here!

    I have a friends that I met back in 2006 who used to annoyed the hell out of me with things he would do or say, until I realized that all the stuff I didn’t like in him I had to some degree. Wow, there was a lot of things I didn’t in me. Tough reality check. But how real and good as long as we use it to change for the better.

    Thanks for this great post, Sue, and have a great week!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..IS Google Not Liking Blog Comments?My Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Sylviane

      I am glad you love the post Sylviane. Isn’t it amazing how no matter how many books we read or what we do we still get some ah ha moments and deeper distinctions on things.

      I think this concept is one of the most difficult for people to buy into when they are involved in personal development. I still have a tendency to resist that I have certain traits I dislike.

      Thanks for your comment and you too have a great week.

      Sue Price recently posted..Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?My Profile

  2. Dick Ingersoll

    Wow Sue!

    This is a concept with which I struggle as well, after all I grew up in the mid-west where we are taught to be polite and to treat others as we wish to be treated.

    I really get angry with others who push ahead in a line or park their cars in no parking zones. Just plain thoughtless and rude people, those that act as if they’re entitled.

    I’ll really have to ponder this to see what the traits are in these people that I’m displaying in myself. I just never seem to run out of things to think about.
    Dick Ingersoll recently posted..Build Inner Strength by Expressing GratitudeMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Dick

      It is a difficult concept to buy in many ways and especially in the example you have given here. I am like you and also get annoyed at those people who push ahead etc. I always think they are just on a planet for one. So I have to ask myself when I am like that. It is deep isn’t it? At the same time I do understand the truth in the concept.

      The book I mentioned by Dr Demartini gives examples all the way through it which give validity to the concept.

      Thanks for your comment Dick and have a great week.

      Sue Price recently posted..Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?My Profile

        1. Sue Price Post author

          Hi Dick

          I think you are onto something there, it sounds like you nailed it 🙂

          Thanks for sharing that and well done 🙂


  3. Donna Merrill

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for making me look deeper! As for your last post, it was a reflection of things that were going on with a rude man, overstepping boundaries that I had a problem with.

    In that case, I really looked into myself. Do I tell people what to do? Do I bash a company or person? Hmmmm If someone is mean spirited, I walk away. But when confrontational, I run like the wind.

    Looking very deep into this situation, what I found was my reaction to that person was neurolinked to my past. The rude attacks verbally from my Dad, ex husband, are still there, but handled with (so I thought). My reaction was to cry (I never cry) so it sent me in a whirlwind of sadness. See…it wasn’t my behavior but a deeper part of my past.

    I often give myself a check up on this subject. Like in your last post, Would you be right or happy” it also applies here. When I was young, I wanted to be Right! But I think all young people do. When encountered with a person that wants to be Right, that does spark a past behavior of mine years ago.

    To sum it up, Yes, Guilty as charded! After all the neuro linking, Now from this post, I realize my reaction to that guy that brought me to tears reflected a behavior of the 17 year old me!

    Thanks for the therapy session lol

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Plan Your DayMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Donna

      I knew this one would have you thinking 🙂 it did me reading this book. And yes it is like having therapy.

      I was the same with that person because I would never behave like that. The more I thought about it though I kept remembering times when I had full on arguments with people and really did go all out to be heard. In particular we had a business partner who I clashed with. When I think about it now in my older wiser years I cringe at my behavior so I know that is why I get plugged into people like this.

      It seems we spend most of our life getting over some of these earlier episodes.

      Thanks for sharing your insights here Donna. I appreciate it. See you tomorrow.


  4. Adrienne

    I think that a lot of people will be able to relate to this post Sue. I know I have.

    I know my traits that I’ve had in the past and I wasn’t too proud of some of them. I’m a Leo which means I have those traits of being stubborn, impatient and always having to be right. Now I will admit that it’s been a very very very long time ago now that I possessed those because as I got older I learned a lot about myself and did my best to change some of those traits I did not like.

    Then I came online and learned more about myself and it’s been all uphill from here. I have removed the people from my life that have drug me down and still had a lot of the traits that I had left behind years ago. Am I a perfect person now? Oh hell no but girl have I evolved. I always say that I’m a work in progress so there is always room for improvement. Thank goodness for that right!

    Thanks for sharing this and making us all look deeper at ourselves. I don’t mind admitting that I’ve come a long way baby! 😉


    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Adrienne

      I love that you are so prepared to look at yourself and share so willingly. That is a wonderful trait.

      I think one of the nice things about growing older is that mostly we become wiser. I say mostly because I can think of some exceptions.

      I have a brother and step son who are Leos as well as quite a few friends so I am well aware of the traits. We can all change and it is so good when we choose to really be honest with ourselves.

      I agree we do need to remove some people from our lives when we start this journey of self awareness. There are people who love to pull people down and best to eliminate them as much as we can. I was having a discussion with one of my very good friends who has also been involved in personal development for a long time about how some friends I have and love still see me as the person I was 20 years ago. She said she handle this by saying to people “do not hold me in the context you knew my back then – see me as I am now”. She said if they refuse then she moves on.

      None of us are perfect Adrienne but we are all works in progress.

      Thanks for sharing part of your journey here. Loved seeing you smiling and well again today.

      Sue Price recently posted..Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?My Profile

  5. Viola Tam

    Hi Sue,

    Excellent sharing, Sue. I am glad that you are sharing the gems from reading the book and doing the workshop! How insightful 🙂

    I attended Dr Demartini’s weekend “Breakthrough Experience” many years ago but did not go on to do the next level. I believe it is the one that you attended? Like you, I refused to believe that ‘weird’ concept too. However, Dr. Demartini has this exceptional talent to get his points across! I was completely sold at the end of the introductory session. That was when I decided to enrol in his course. I did not notice a lot of immediate change. Yet, years down the track, I can see why I can truly honour myself and focus on being truly me. The one powerful concept that stays with me until now is that we have ALL ‘traits’ When we say that we are ‘not having it’, we are in denial. It is our judgement that make a particular trait a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ one.

    This is my understanding of Dr Demartini’s wisdom. I would appreciate your insights, Sue. Thanks!

    Viola The Business Mum
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Viola

      I did not attend one of Dr Demantini’s workshops it was a different workshop also teaching this concept of “what we see in others”. Reading his book last weekend brought it all flooding back to me. I have been around many people who teach this but I do think he has the best way of explaining it that I have heard.

      I remember you sharing before you had done the Breakthrough Experience. I am sure it was awesome. I think that fact that you did not notice any changes right away is not a bad thing as it takes time for us to incorporate change. Sometimes when people come out of workshops on a “high” it is short lived.

      My understanding is like yours that we do have all traits and when we judge someone else we could not do that if we did not possess it. He says it may be repressed but it is there.

      Thanks for sharing your experience Viola.

      I hope you are having a great week.

      Sue Price recently posted..Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?My Profile

  6. Mayura

    Hi Sue,

    I really really believe that 🙂

    Though some folks don’t get it, it comes out someway. A friend who broke up with his girlfriend think the guys who fed up of love are due to unfaithful girls. It’s funny when he says that, but that’s how he defines others through what he has been experiencing 😉 But very dangerous as we try to define/judge without knowing the actual cause.

    I think accepting ourselves and effective communication comes in the way Sue 🙂

    I’m kind of a person who wanna be RIGHT and needs HAPPINESS too 😀 lol… So I usually call myself stubborn too and preach sermons when I see something wrong Sue. But I respect other views and admit if I’m wrong 😉

    I used to say I’m gonna do something but never applied in my past 🙂 Now I do apply most of helpful stuff what I come across and feeling not happy when someone don’t apply it for ’em though they speak like promising. Yeah, like I did in past even before being online. You are right, I’m connected to my past and dislike traits of others that I refuse.

    Isn’t it amazing how things happening around us fetch some food of thoughts? I know, not everyone gives a thought on the way but regret when it’s too late 🙂

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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Mayura

      I am getting to understand you have a realistic understanding of who you are and know yourself well. There are many people who do not.Your friend and his girlfriend story is a perfect example of someone defining others by his experience as you say. The difficulty here of course he will keep re-creating the same experiences.

      Hey Mayura if you know you are stubborn and want to be right as long as you are prepared to listen to others and admit if you are wrong well I think that is okay. It is when someone will not put down their viewpoint and even look at someone else’s thoughts that I think there is a problem.

      Sticking to your word is such a good trait so I am glad you are doing that. I aim to always do that but I have a trait of thinking I can do more than is physically possible so then I cannot uphold my word. Then I get annoyed with myself. It is better to be clear up front.

      I believe there are always things happening around us to teach us lessons and help us grow. As you say many people do not see them. I agree many regret things when it is too late. Regret is not a nice place to be.

      Thanks Mayura for your contribution here. I appreciate your thoughts. Have an awesome week.

      Sue Price recently posted..Is What We See in Others Really a Reflection of Ourselves?My Profile

  7. Raena Lynn

    Hi Sue,

    When I really understood this concept, it was very annoying. I completely accept the fact that this is true because we can’t see traits in another person that we have not experienced ourselves. You know the analogy of pointing a finger at another person. One finger is pointing at another person, and three are pointing back to ourselves. It is true!

    If I get upset at someone because they are bossy, then apparently there is a “bossy” trait in me which I dislike. That is probably true, but what if that was the way I behaved say years and years ago? What if I believe I think I’ve changed and I’m not bossy anymore? Does the fact that I get upset mean that I still have not acknowledged or accepted my “bossiness?”

    This post provided a helpful gauge of why we react or feel about certain circumstances or people. I suppose once we are aware, the next step is to get through the acceptance and love ourselves….all of ourselves…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks for sharing Sue!

    Raena Lynn
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Raena

      We have talked about this today before I came to answer my comments 🙂 It is the most difficult of concepts for most of us to accept. I too love the finger analogy as it is so true.

      In a nutshell my understanding is if we are reacting to something that we have resolved in ourselves it really is not resolved or we would not e reacting.

      I just went and got Dr Demartini’s book as he says it like this ” the people who irritate us the most are the ones we might want to observe the most. They are reflecting back to us those things about ourselves that we haven’t learned to feel grateful for and love. Since our mission is to discover what we don’t love and learn to love it, the people who get on our nerves most are among our greatest teachers!”

      So Raena if you do not like bossy people you can be bossy and you have not accepted that in you. It does not mean you are but you do have the ability to be. Does that make sense?

      Great topic isn’t it?

      Have a nice Easter and enjoy the time with your daughter.

      Sue Price recently posted..Being HappyMy Profile

  8. Raena Lynn

    Hi Sue,

    Thanks for responding so quickly! The most important part of his answer is “Since our mission is to discover what we don’t love and learn to love it, the people who get on our nerves most are among our greatest teachers!” I will keep this in mind when I am aware that someone is bothering me. Very interesting. Thanks!

    Raena Lynn
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  9. Radu

    Hello Sue,
    Perhaps your statement is true. Being friendly with someone “demands” the same behaviour from the one you’re interacting with. Thou i don’t agree 100% with this it might be true. I saw how bitter people tend to be hated and / or discredited and with limited friends (or none actually)
    Radu recently posted..Photography QuoteMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Radu

      Thanks for your comment and I see you do not agree with the concept. That is okay we all see things differently. I believe we cannot see something in someone else unless we have the trait at some level.

      Have a great day.

      Sue Price recently posted..Being HappyMy Profile

  10. Jenny Leather

    Hi Sue
    Great topic and sometimes hard to understand when it is in your face. For me I have found the gift is in how I am feeling when I react, justify or make excuses etc. The situation usually triggers feelings that may be laying dormant within me yet ready to be released. I am understanding everything is about supporting me to let go, surrender old ways of being so I can reach a place that allows me to see the value in all of life. Which adds to the wonder of the experience.
    So the situation or person that so called triggered my reaction is possibly someone I have a sacred contract with to heal pass wounds. Exciting prospect! Challenges are a gift of healing. Have a great week Sue Love always jenny

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Jenny

      Now I can always count on an awesome comment from you. Wow I never thought about a sacred contract but that makes sense. I am thinking of some people in my life where that could be possible for sure.

      I agree it is a hard one to understand when in your face. I love your thought that feelings that are laying dormant that are ready to be released. Donna who commented here is a very aware person and coach. Because I wrote this as a response to a situation she had been in she really worked out what was going on for her. Very good outcome.

      I think everything you have been through of recent years Jenny was necessary for you to become the wise woman you are now. I can see that is a gift.

      Bless you my friend and much love to you.

      Sue Price recently posted..Mindset – Do You Need To Work on it Everyday? My Profile

  11. Crystal Spicer

    Hi Sue,
    I was discussing the concept about seeing in others what we have in ourselves.
    My friend refused to consider any validity of the concept. In fact she said more than once angrily, that “it was bulls…t” With that response I knew it had hit a nerve. But the example she gave left me stumped. She said, ” I hate murderers, but it doesn’t mean I am capable of murder.”
    Besides referring her to the book you mentioned, is there any answer I can give to her response ?
    I would greatly appreciate any insight.

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Crystal

      Yes I agree you hit a nerve with your friend. We only ever react to something like that when it hits the core.

      I am not sure there is anything you can say to someone with such a strong opinion who is in denial to make them see your point of view. She may somehow work it out for herself.

      Having said that… let me consider my own views on murderers. I do not for one second condone murder. I am not sure though I would say I hate them. I have no idea how someone murders another but I know they are very tormented to do so. I feel enormous sadness for them. I think this is different to hating them or some other act of violence we do not like.

      I think to hate someone means we do see a part of ourserves in there. I do think it is one only she can or not work out for herself.

      A tricky one and it is a concept not eveyone is willing to accept or even consider.

      Thanks for finding my article Crystal and for sharing here.

      Sue Price recently posted..Right Place Right Time My Profile

  12. ISeenLab

    This is reality, everybody will think the same. But when the people are start facing real problem of life then will not motivate their self to face the problem. on the other hand if we are thinking I am the King once we will do something that will not deserve by other. So we have to thing about this.
    Motivation is powerful weapon to make change in ourself. i.e cat to tiger or lion.
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    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Ashoka, I do not agree people think the same. We are all shaped by our life’s experiences and never really know what others think. I agree motivation is very powerful and how we handle problems in life tells a lot about a person. Thank you for your comment.