I see this idea in a variety of forms on the internet all the time, posted on a blog or pinned on Pinterest.
Sometimes I see it pass by on my TL in a tweet.
Someone is either trying to remind themselves that they don’t need to take everything that others say to them personally or they are pointing the words at someone else whom they think has criticised them.
I hear people make this comment regularly in conversation too.
Usually it is used as a defense mechanism.
Someone feels insulted by something another has said and they pull this out of the hat of good replies to insults.
It is a good reply, and it may shut the other person up or sting them where it hurts if what they were doing was trying to hurt you, but if they were not trying to hurt you they may be oblivious to your gesture, which may infuriate you and hurt more, and then you hurt yourself using their words over and over again… and your defense mechanism says a lot more about you than it does about the other person.
All truisms like this one can be flipped around.
So if you’re saying this to someone else, it also applies to you and to what you are saying.
The most valuable form of this statement lies on the flip side, in the pingback of it.
Listen very carefully to what you say to others, especially when you think that you are talking specifically to them about them, and you will find the access code to a part of yourself of which you may only latently be aware.
The part that only feels safe revealing itself when it thinks your focus is on someone else.
Criticisms in particular are a stream which leads straight into the self.
There is always a source from which things spring.
Catch yourself in mid-criticism and reverse the flow, and you may surf right into a heart of what makes you tick, or find the real issue underneath a problem.
Your bitching can direct you to what is truly bothering you.
Your accusations can cut to the core of your intent.
Your rants can show you your true passions.
Often we hate that which we desire but feel is unattainable.
We rant against it, criticise it, bitch about it, show disdain and indifference because it hurts so much to want it yet not be able to have it.
We lash out at that which eludes us, like a butterfly enthusiast whose net is no longer gently trying to catch a butterfly without harming it, but is a swatter furiously slicing the air hoping to kill what it once loved because love turned to hate when the love was not rewarded or returned.
Have you ever thought that the thing which you are chasing yet which eludes you, only eludes you because you don’t really want to catch it.
You are afraid of losing the secret joy of the chase.
The beautiful agony of being unrequited in your love for it.
Fearful that once caught, the thing will disappoint you.
That it will not solve all your problems, that it will only cause more issues, that it may be an illusion which will pop and leave you with nothing to hope for.
Or perhaps you think you don’t deserve it.
So you hate it, because the thought of it makes you hate yourself.
Often we have been convinced by early programming or society or popular culture or the endless chatter in our mind that we, whoever we think we are whether that is who we truly are or not, are not in a position to be or do something.
We are polite, so we are not allowed to be rude and do rude things.
We are caring thus we do not do things which are callous, uncaring.
We are good, so anything tagged with a bad label is out of our reach, touch it and we’re tainted, judged by our own judgment.
So we scoff at those who do what we would like to do, in an attempt to make us feel better about not doing it, perhaps make them feel worse about doing it, or make them feel as we do, and perhaps to get them to come over to our side so that we won’t be so lonely or envious, and then we can stop doubting that we may be wrong and can rest easy in the comfy chair of being right.
OR… we could just listen to ourselves and acknowledge our yearning.
Step over the line between light and dark.
Go over to the dark side… which for the most part is not as dark as we think it is, it is just lying in the giant shadow of our opinions.
And yes, others do this to us too.
We become the devil to their angel.
We annoy them, because they are annoyed with themselves.
They bitch at us, criticise us, because they are yearning and it hurts them, so they hit out, often blindly at anyone or anything, trying to ward off the thing they do not want to know or see, yet do.
We are the mirror… so are they… of whom is the reflection? We are rubber… they are rubber… we are glue… they are glue… What a sticky and bouncy mess!