Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
– Carl Jung
The Guru says…
Here’s a brilliant application of the outflow equals inflow principle you can use right away! When friends, relatives, acquaintances endlessly carp about the same stuck complaints and aggravations, or dwelling just a bit too long on it, or are being just that little too self-righteous about things, it’s a sure give away THEY are doing it!
Shakespeare first said it with “Action speaks loudly in accusation”– meaning what people tend to rant about reflects their own guilt about doing the very thing they are complaining of [he actually had Hamlet say “Methinks the lady doth protest too much” but go with me on this].
David Hume, Scottish philosopher, got hold of it with: “We never remark any passion or principle in others, of which, in some degree or other, we may not find a parallel in ourselves” (Treatise On Human Nature)
I think it was Emerson who quipped “The louder he talked about honesty the more I was inclined to hide the family spoons”.
Freud revisited the idea in modern times with a book called “The Psychopathology Of Everyday Speech”. In it he explains how what we talk about, especially when it is repetitive, is a reflection of our own negative aspects of case or “stuff”.
From this book we got the term “Freudian slip”, meaning some verbal marker to our real hidden feelings. It is rather like a flag sticking up in the sand; when you dig down, underneath is a buried sewer.
In fact Freudian slips have come to mean only smutty innuendos, but as originally used, Freud intended any revealing talk. More