“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” My husband called my attention to this quote from Carl Jung. (Hope he wasn’t trying to make a point…) I do find that relationships go better when I’m able to focus on myself and my own response rather than the other person and how irritating/annoying/immature/wrong they are.

4 replies on “Do other people irritate you?

  • Lynda McClelland

    I believe “awareness” is the key here. When I am irritated I try to stop and breathe. In hindsight
    I can see that my irritation is that I can see myself in another. Professor Marcuson the exercise you required of your students to complete their genogram of their family history helped me to understand that everybody has their own story. I am not responsible for how others act, but I am responsible for how I respond to how others act.
    I have learned that my serenity is more important than my being right to prove someone else wrong.
    Blessings and thank you for the lesson.

  • Margaret Marcuson

    Thanks, Jim. I think it’s hard for anyone to remember in the heat of battle! I think the spiritual task is to learn to slow down our reactions so we give ourselves some space to think.

  • Jim Ketcham

    This is a hard one for me to remember in the heat of battle. But I keep proving it’s true! For example, I found myself getting more and more irritated with my son a few years ago. Eventually I realized the things that irritated me most were the were the same kind of mistakes, misapprehensions and forgetfulness that characterize my ADD. Sure enough, my son has ADD, too. I have a lot more compassion for and a lot less frustration with my son than I used to. Now if I could only have more compassion and less frustration over other church members!


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