Question: If you’re in a relationship with a person with a certain behavior – for example, they think they are always right – does this mean you have this behavior in you? Either it’s hidden or you’re doing it another way, in another form, but can’t see it? Or it’s your projection? Is there any circumstance where you don’t have an aspect of that behavior, and you are giving them an opportunity? If yes, how do you know, and how do they learn?
Answer by Kim Michaels, July 17, 2015 at a conference in Los Angeles.
Kim: I think it can be both. Sometimes we do attract people to us who have a certain tendency that we also have, but they are more extreme with it than we are. Or maybe we have just denied it, or we don’t see it in ourselves, are not willing to see it in ourselves. So I think that can be the case.
But you know how there are always two spirits that are polar opposites? So sometimes we actually have the polar opposite of that pattern. If somebody is always right, it may well be that we doubt that we are right, we doubt ourselves, and that’s why we attracted a person like that.
I also think there are a lot of times when we attract people to us that have a certain abusive behavior, and it’s not because we have the abusive behavior or the polar opposite. Maybe we have the polar opposite, but we submit to the abusive behavior. The purpose of attracting these people is actually not that we see something in our psychology and resolve it, but that we come to the point where we say: “I don’t want this in my life anymore. I have had enough of this. I don’t want this kind of person in my life.”
It’s important, of course, if we have the polar opposite – where we are submissive, or if we see ourselves as victims, or we feel obligated to take abuse – we need to resolve that. But there can come a point where you have actually resolved your psychology, but you just have not consciously made the decision: “This is enough.” I think it’s really important to make that decision because, until we do, we aren’t really free of it, and we tend to then attract another person who is even more extreme until we finally say: “This is enough.”
Again, there are stages, so there is a stage where you need to look at yourself and need to resolve your psychology. But we can also get into a mode where we think that, whenever we are in a difficult situation, we always have to look at ourselves and our psychology. “Because it has got to be something in me.”
Of course, if you have a strong reaction to people, there is something in you to resolve. But what I have become aware of too is that sometimes you just need to make that decision and say: “This is enough. I don’t want this anymore.” Then the funny thing is that sometimes you won’t be dealing with these people anymore. You might be dealing with other kinds of people that have other issues, but you can really feel like you have come to a certain level.
Question: How does that tie in with projection? How would you deal with someone’s particular trait? How do you know that it’s not your projection?
Kim: But if their behavior is directly abusive, if they are saying things or doing things that are abusive, that’s not your projection.
Question: It could be anything, though. It could be someone who needs to be right, or it could be anything. I’m just trying to determine how I know that it’s not my projection.
Kim: But that’s what I was saying: If somebody is taking some actions or saying some things to you, they are choosing to do that. That is because of a pattern in their psychology that you are not projecting. You are not imagining what they are saying.
But I know what you mean. There are more subtle things where we feel something, especially about a partner, where we try to guess what they feel or think or need without asking them and without really knowing. And I think that is where we then project sometimes. And we may also, of course, look at their behavior and interpret it a certain way. We interpret they are mad, for example, instead of just asking them: “What are you feeling? What’s bothering you? What’s happening?”
Question: So if you aren’t sure you’re right, if you just stay quiet, how does that person get the lesson so they can shift?
Kim: Well, that is where you can’t worry about other people getting their lessons. You can obviously speak out and say what you observe, what you feel, but especially with a person who feels they are always right, they are almost guaranteed to accuse you of being wrong when you challenge them. That’s just an ego pattern. I’m not saying I haven’t been there myself. The more insecure you are about something, the more you want to reject it when people tell you that you have to change.
I don’t think you can do anything about that if people aren’t ready to hear it. I know for myself that sometimes people try to tell me something, and I’m just not ready to hear it at that point. It doesn’t mean I’ll never be able or willing to hear it, but at this point I can’t deal with it. I’ve seen this in other people as well. It’s like there comes a certain time when now you are ready. You can’t do anything about that. All you can do is say: “Well, do I still want to have that person in my life?”
It is all a matter of balance again, I think, because there is always a tendency in the world that people don’t want to look at themselves. Then, when you get on the spiritual path and start to understand what the spiritual path is about, you, of course, become willing to look at yourself. But you can also take that to an unbalanced state where you are always looking for a problem. Sometimes you just have to make the decision: “I don’t want to deal with this level of consciousness anymore, and I don’t want to deal with people who are projecting this on me.”
Copyright © 2015 Kim Michaels