Pointing fingers

Do you point out annoying habits in other people?
For example, it could be someone being too controlling, or too loud, or showing off, or not standing up for themselves…
Whatever it is, in order for us to see it, we must have knowledge of it.

When we point a finger at someone else, remember that there are 3 fingers pointing back at us.

The next time you find yourself getting triggered and pointing a finger, bring your attention to yourself and ask:

 “How am I that?”
“How do I do the exact same thing?!?”
“How do I NOT do it and wish I did more?

There is usually something worthwhile to learn about yourself. It’s very uncomfortable to begin with, to face the parts of ourselves that we are denying or don’t want to admit to. Carl Jung called it our shadow self.

Its a powerful practice to take time to explore what’s behind feeling triggered, and is usually done with the support of a therapist, to help us navigate the defensive ego-mind at work here.

For me, it has become a surprisingly fun practice to see how I  do the things that annoy me most in others/wish I did them more. When I have the presence of mind to pause and see what’s going on, I often find myself laughing.

Try it out the next time you’re triggered and pointing fingers. Meet yourself fully and learn to laugh at yourself.


p.s. There may be a time when someone opposes your personal beliefs or violates something that you hold dear. The passion and anger arising in you then, comes from a deeper part of yourself, and is much more than pointing a finger at a behavior that’s annoying. There are wrongs in this world, and it is  important to stand up for what you believe to be right.

62 thoughts on “Pointing fingers

  1. Love it, Val! When my sister first told me this saying I remember have a teeny bit of resistance to it…but then I realized just how true it is…and I LOVE it! Since, I do stop and take notice and explore what lives in those three fingers!
    Have a beautiful day 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a dear friend who is too loud. She’s had it pointed out to her by many people (including her boss at work). If you sit next to her in a car, she can bust an eardrum. I don’t know why. I know she tries to not be loud and she needs me to except her for who she is (even if it busts my eardrums). She has made me introspective too. I often wonder what I do that is annoying. I’ve come up with a few things (it was so hard to believe I could be annoying!) and I’ve worked on them. Some things are very hard to change and take vigilance. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pointing out what is wrong is not that helpful, but finding an opportunity to share how it makes you feel can open up a worthwhile conversation about it. We can only change ourselves after all.
      I remember when I was in the corporate world and interviewing people to gather 360 feedback. It was an interesting combination of their own mirroring as well as some helpful insights for the client. Giving the feedback required a lot of empathy and understanding. It’s never easy to face the side of ourselves that we don’t want to face.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve found that marriage is a great place to see where all the fingers are pointing! Ha ha. I’m guilty of just about everything I find annoying in my husband and visa versa. We’ve gotten to the age where we do a lot of laughing about it. Wise advice, Val. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so true isn’t it Diana. We choose the partners that give us the best opportunities to learn about ourselves! We take over from each other in the kitchen all the time … and laugh a lot too 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post, Val. I find the whole world to be a mirror. Not only the annoying things we notice in others, but the beautiful as well. Both we have to acknowledge in ourselves.
    I notice that I (the pot) call my husband (the kettle) black a lot, haha!
    We are both pack rats. I notice his mess and he notices mine. So annoying. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like the good, the bad and the ugly, others are a reflection of all aspects of ourselves. I appreciate you adding this perspective Mary 💛
      As far as our partners go, I do have to smile. My trigger is when my beloved gets overly controlling … 😵


  5. I find most often that when someone has a personality trait that I find annoying, it’s usually because it is something I myself do/have as well. We usually don’t like viewing our perceived shortcomings through the mirror of another person.

    That being said, I make a point to not bring it to the attention of the person. I don’t like to create confrontation and am usually in the role of trying to de-escalate a tense situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This was one of the hardest things to rein in – judging others. I still do it internally, to be frank, though I bring it around really quickly. I was raised by a mother whose humor was almost 100% making fun of other people. So I learned early that to curry her favor (out of 7 kids), I had only to reciprocate. And I had a wicked wit, to boot. It became habitual. But something in me kinked and knew it was not in my best interest to continue. And thus is has taken a virtual lifetime to eradicate it. And yes, of course it stemmed from feelings of my own inadequacies. Great post, Val ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment went straight to my heart Bela. We learn so much in our early years. I thought it was my mother too … and returning again and again to Scotland over the tears have seen that making fun of others as a national trait. Perhaps it’s a way to cope with life’s hardships and feel better about ourselves… aloha 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well stated dear Val.. we are all guilty I feel at some point in our lives of pointing the finger, and I can easily catch myself making a judgement.. learning to SEE and open ourselves up to seeing that there are three fingers pointing back.. And be less judgemental has taken practice and discipline..
    Wonderfully timed Val.. ❤ ❤ xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have always found that idea of ‘thing in others are mirrored in you’ interesting — it also goes for the beauty. The things you love about someone else are things you know within you — and those are worth celebrating.

    I agree — pointing out someone else’s faults is not productive. But, pointing out their stellar attributes — now that’s a great ground upon which to grow a relationship

    Thanks Val for the PS — so true.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m very good at not pointing the finger of blame at my friends, but I am guilty of it with my husband and kids. I am WAY too quick to let them know what bad habits they need to drop, which is, of course, my bad habit. That needs to be dropped as soon as possible!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This post reminds me of a post I once read entitled “10 Rules for Being Human.”
    Other people are mere mirrors of ourselves, and what we like or hate in other people is actually a reflection of what we like or hate about ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow – you just gave us all great food for thought. I just asked my guy what I do that annoys him most (after telling him about your post), and he said, ‘when you point your finger at me figuratively.’ Yes, I do that without knowing it, and I’m going to be much more aware now.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love this post. Sometimes people point fingers because they couldn´t deal with their own past and issues. It might come as soething totally unexpected and twisted, by the way. Plus, It is a very easy position, to blame others or to try to highlight flaws instead. Sending love dear Val 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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