The word reflection has a number of meanings, but I am going to focus on a specific type of reflection.
I don’t actually recall where I came across this idea but it’s something that has been stuck in my mind for quite some time.
The concept is relatively simple but to me it is profound. I find myself often looking through this “reflection lense” when I am having a conversation with someone or when I am observing other conversations.
The idea is that most of the time when are disappointed or mad at someone the reason why we are made or disappointed in them has more to do with us than with them.
Let me give you a simple example.
I try to get up early most days and spend some time either exercising, reading and/or doing some work on myself.
Sometimes I hit snooze on the alarm and sleep in much later than I had intended to. On these days I find that I am not in as good of a mood as I would be if I had actually kept that promise to myself (integrity).
Later in the day I may be chatting with someone and hear them complaining about not having enough time in the day to get things done.
My first immediate thought, and want I want to say to them is:
“You could/should have gotten up earlier!”
Before I do that, however, I take a step back and think about it. That statement isn’t even really about them or for them. That is something I am saying to myself.
So if I take a minute to realize that reflection is actually aimed at me, then I am less likely to say something rude or mean because that was actually intended for me.