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So am I: Projecting Our Qualities

There is this woman at my son's school with whom I have a very bad human connection indeed. I think she is unapproachable, indifferent, and unfriendly. In fact, though I like a few people, there are more people in that school whom I absolutely dislike. In my book they are all indifferent, unapproachable, and unfriendly.

On the other hand I have a great human connection with my piano teacher, now a friend, who is just delightful, warm, interesting, generous, and very intelligent. Ditto for my son who is also very intelligent, sensitive, caring, loving, and absolutely hilarious.

How is that that I have great and not so great relationships with different people? What is there that makes me like and be liked as well as hated (or disliked) and hateful (or despising)? Why do I recognize negative qualities in some people and positive qualities in other people?

The answer is very simple: I am just mirroring myself in these people. As we hate to realize it, the truth is that we all have positive and negative qualities (according to our values, of course) that we project onto others, thus, some people push our buttons whereas others just delight us.

It is, thus, crucially important to know who are we exactly, so we can transform all our relationships into positive and gratifying ones. To know our qualities we need only make two lists. For each list, get a piece of paper and make a line in the middle.

In the first sheet, do the following:

1. Write on top: Qualities I appreciate in others.

2. On the left hand side of the paper, write the names of people you most admire. They can be real people or imaginary characters, dead or alive, that you have or have not known personally; it matters not.

3. On the right hand side of the paper, for each person, write all the qualities you most admire in them.

4. Keep doing this until you have written qualities for all of the people in that list.

5. Do not repeat qualities. Write them only once.

In the second piece of paper do the same, only this time, you will write: "Qualities I despise in others," meaning all the negative qualities certain people have that you truly despise, even hate. Now, pay attention that you should not write about behavior but qualities only.

For example: Hitler = mass murderer. Mass murderer is a behavior, not a quality. You could write instead: Hitler = unsympathetic (to put it mildly). See the difference?

When you are done with both lists write the following at the bottom of each page: I see these qualities in others because I too, have them. Ouch! How can I compare myself with that despicable man?

Now is the time to reflect about each of our negative qualities, the ones we are sure NOT to have but which, indeed we do, in a subtle or not so subtle way. In our example: unsympathetic. Ok; the guy condoned the murderer of millions of people. In what way are we being and doing the same? You don't need to go far. If you are not a vegetarian, you already have an answer. (The comparison is lame, I know. This is just an example).

See? It is not difficult at all to see where our projections go. Try it and I guarantee your relationships are about to change radically for the better.

By the way: For some reason, I can't care less about the people in that school. I, too, am indifferent, unapproachable, and unfriendly. It is up to me to change the situation. Once I change, everything will fall into place beautifully.

About the author:

Dr. Maria Moratto holds 5 degrees and is a life coach/educator. She promotes courses and seminars in attracting abundance and loving relationships, goal setting, diversity, time and stress management, career delineation, values clarification, leisure, college life, self-improvement, communication and learning styles, spirituality, health and lifestyle. Visit her website at up for a free e-zine.


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