What is it About You That I Don’t Like About Me?

This isn’t my quote.  I wish it were.  We can thank Dr. Phil for this one (yes, I said Dr. Phil, judge all you want).  My free time in college was spent watching  Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Dr. Oz.  They were my trifecta of personal enlightenment.

What is it about you that I don’t like about me?

It’s the first question I ask myself when I get that funny little twinge in my gut that says;

“I don’t think I like him/her.”

It’s what I ask myself when I start to over analyze or criticize someone else’s behavior.


Here are a few examples of what rolls around in my head;


Sheesh, I wish he’d stop talking at let someone else have a turn.”


Does she even realize how many times she’s said “I” in the last fifteen minutes?”


All he talks about is himself.”


She’s so overconfident! It makes her sound  judgy.”


Sound familiar?  What I’ve learned about these thoughts is that they’re a product of insecurity or (even worse) a sense of superiority.  I ask myself  Dr. Phil’s question because I know that what I find annoying in others, is usually a behavior that I find offensive in myself.

It’s not pretty, but it’s true.

When we’re feeling insecure about ourselves or superior to someone else,  it’s easier to find flaws in others.

Does this mean the other person doesn’t have flaws? 

Nope. (last time I checked, everyone I know is a human).

Does this mean I have tons of flaws? 

Not necessarily. (We all have some though because we’re human).


So, what does it mean? 

It means that before we spend a lot of time making judgments about another person, we need to stop and take a look at ourselves first and ask some questions like;

Why am I feeling this way? (Am I lonely, grouchy, hungry, mad, sad?)


Am I not extending the benefit of the doubt because I need or want to feel better about myself? 


If you find yourself struggling with someone else’s actions, try these questions out and let me know what think.



I didn’t ask Dr. Phil for his permission to use this quote. However, I’d like to think that he’d approve.











4 replies
  1. Daniel Fuller
    Daniel Fuller says:

    This is so true… thanks for sharing this! Through spiritual direction training, I learned that what you are describing is a part of a human’s shadow side. Simply put, the shadow side is the disowned parts of one’s self. The things we feel and think and do that we wish we didn’t. When someone else acts out in these ways, it’s like us holding up a mirror to ourselves. The path to wholeness, therefore, is not disowning, but owning and embracing these parts of ourselves, and in these places giving ourselves the same grace we extend to others.


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