TTC Tips: Who drives you crazy? Who presses your buttons in all the wrong places? Most of the time the people that frustrate us are the people that we love. Our husband or partner, our parents, siblings or even our closest friends. But what if this person is actually mirroring something in you that you know to be true about yourself? I found this a hard concept to get my head around. So if someone is being a pain in the neck, does that mean I’m one too?

Our relationships give us the opportunity to look at how we are travelling. If frustrations come up and we’re aware of this ‘mirroring’ then rather than being annoyed it gives us the opportunity to look at ourselves and how we are behaving. Awareness is key because then we have a choice. We can keep going the way we have or we can stop. We can realise that this thing that has made you see red isn’t about them, it’s about you.

A friend gave me a great example of this in her relationship with her mother. Her mum is strong minded and likes to think of herself as someone is who ‘says it as it is’. As a result she often makes her feel bad about her choices, or is opinionated about things she feels she knows nothing about. After one Sunday lunch in the car driving home, she found herself telling her husband how judgemental and upsetting she found her, and then she realised that the person that she had been describing was actually a bit like her! With time and reflection she realised that her mum is that way because she feels insecure, and she knows that she’s insecure too. Her mum makes up for it by speaking her mind and being overly forceful, and she can relate to doing this at times too. When she understood what was going on, rather than reacting to it, it made her feel more compassionate and less judgemental towards her mum as she knew that she needed work on these things as well.

There is a yogic word in sanskrit called ‘ahimsa’ meaning kindness towards ourselves and others. When we acknowledge there are aspects of ourselves that are less than perfect, we can start the process of learning how to change our behaviour. Ahimsa encourages us to give ourselves the same compassion that we would give to someone that we really love. So, next time someone dear to you makes your blood boil, rather than being angry with them take this opportunity to look at yourself. Ask ‘what is it about me that I need to work on’? This humbling approach may feel uncomfortable, but from here you can change and grow.