When I was a kid, we had all kinds of sayings:
Takes one to know one.
Whoever smelt it, dealt it.
Take a chill pill!
But one that stands out is: You’re just projecting! I don’t think we really understood what we were saying, but it usually left the Complainer speechless.
And with good reason.
When we complain about others, we are projecting. Byron Katie’s work includes as “turnaround.” When you find yourself grumbling about someone, she has you turn it around:
“Sheila should not operate out of fear.”
Turn it around.
“I should not operate out of fear.”
With inquiry, we find that we are projecting our own fears and inadequacies.
“You’re angry because you have an anger consciousness that is touched like a little red button that causes it to blow up within yourself, but the anger is already within…”
“Complaining is one of the ego’s favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in. Whether you complain aloud or only in thought makes no difference.”
“When you’re grateful, you can’t be angry.
When you’re grateful, you can’t be worried.
Anger and fear are what screw people up most…in their relationships and in their business.”
In the airport, waiting to depart
What’s this? Our flight’s been delayed
Five hours (!) – Why? It’s raining in Phoenix
Disappointment, fear and anger encroach
Is there any other way to get home sooner?
I ask the counter lady
I’m sorry, all flights are backed up
I laugh then, because her name tag reads “Zen”
Wow. Lots of profanity tonight from my husband, the 49er fan.
“Who would you be without your suffering*?”
*suffering = anxious, sad, worried, angry, resentful…
Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.
We might experience far fewer relationship conflicts if we look at those who lash out as those who are in pain…because they are. This is how we practice equanimity.
Anger is a huge ego inflator. Lashing out is an attempt to make someone feel guilty. And then your ego feels superior. But it’s not helpful to you or the recipient. It simply creates more drama.