Seeing Ourselves in Others

Like me, you’ve probably come across the universal wisdom that the people who irritate us the most are expressing qualities that we have ourselves.  Being human means sharing many of the same tendencies. By understanding others, we can understand ourselves more deeply.  Recognizing and bringing those observations back, creates a system of checks and balances for self-exploration.

Procrastination is my big trigger … it truly irritates me in others, but I fall into it myself.  Making a choice is something I rarely delay and the people around me need to make timely choices too.  My procrastination comes into play when faced with projects and chores that I’ve either over-planned or consider meaningless routine.  Housework is meaningless for me because I have to do it over and over again.  I don’t enjoy it and thus don’t care about becoming more skillful.

Smaller triggers include clutter, complacency (i.e. lacking curiosity), and bigotry.  Bigotry and all its relations (misogyny, racism, elitism, tribalism, nationalism, etc.) is my second trigger.  Since I come from privilege and rarely encounter bigotry directly, I can usually walk away from individuals and avoid most situations.  I’ve encountered condescension from men, especially while I was young and especially while women in my fields were novel.

Problem solving and showing other how to best use their computers is my first love.  (In my long history of changed majors and multiple colleges, that played into the brief period of Secondary Education.)  However, I first loved the logic of gaming and the symmetry of programming.  (Now I don’t know the new programming languages … and trying to learn them makes my head hurt.)  I enjoy my current job mainly for the variety.  Unfortunately, what we can do has become more and more restricted regardless of the capabilities of the equipment.

So, when I’m not involved in projects or handling immediate problems, I have a lot of free time at work.  I am working on courses for professional and personal development and listening to audiobooks and podcasts.  I am also thinking about what comes after retirement.  I am thinking about a move in roughly 2 years and I need to purge my personal possessions and decide what and who is important to me in order to either leave them behind or hold out a hand.  That’s the thing that I’m procrastinating about the most.  And that sliding through life because change takes work, that procrastination, is probably what annoys me the most in others too.



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