internal conflicts

Things We Hate to Admit

Often we are our own worst enemy. We make mistakes, but struggle to admit them. In some cases we try to justify our bad actions and motives, only to have our self deception heighten our mistakes.

To grow and develop we need to develop the capacity for honesty and self evaluation. It is only when we can admit where we are going wrong that we can start to put things right.

The following are some common things many of us struggle to admit. Can you see yourself in any of these?

Other’s Faults are Our Own

It is easy to pick fault with other people. In fact, often we gain a subtle enjoyment from highlighting the faults of others. If we are truly honest, however, we will see that when we criticize other people we actually have the very same weakness ourselves. Perhaps we may not make this mistake quite as frequently or as badly, but we still share it to some extent.

A funny example is how frequently people will say things like, “X is such a terrible gossip, he’s always negative and criticizing other people.” We say things like this; but ironically, we are doing exactly what we are criticizing them for! Another interesting point is that often people who grow to dislike each other are often very similar. The faults and personality traits we can’t stand in other people, are often traits of our own personality. I’m sure you can think of two people who dislike each other, but share many similarities in habits and personalities.

We are Wrong

Why can we find it so difficult to admit that we are in the wrong? It is because we worry about our ego and what others think. But, when we avoid the truth we only compound the situation and make things worse. We appreciate people who can admit they are wrong and then resolve to avoid repeating the mistake.

We are responsible for what happens in our life

When things go wrong we are tempted to blame other people and external events beyond our control. We feel a helpless victim and use excuses to justify our unhappiness. External events can definitely make things difficult, but, ultimately what counts is how we respond and deal with situations. Two people can live through the same experience, but come through with a completely different outlook.

If we wait for outer circumstances to be favorable, we may be continually waiting. We need to learn how to make the most of our fate. If we can retain a positive outlook and aspire to overcome difficulties we will be able to improve our fate. Our thoughts and inner state of mind have the capacity to draw things into our life. If we expect problems we will inevitably generate them in some form. If we are open to attracting good experiences then they will also come.

We Don’t Really Know What Makes Us Happy

Everyone has a long list of things they would like; material wealth, the right job etc. But, when we attain our desire, the happiness is fleeting and is inevitably merely replaced by another desire. For good reason, George Bernard Shaw quipped:

“There are two tragedies in life, one is to get our heart’s desire. “

Fulfillment of outer desires can, at best, give temporary happiness. True, inner happiness depends on developing inner peace not dependent on favorable occurrences in the outer world.

We are Drawn to the Negativebeautiful flower

Our mind is instinctively drawn to negative viewpoints. We remember our mistakes, but forget our good deeds; we pick up on the faults of others, but remain blind to their good qualities. If we read a newspaper the world seems an endless stream of problems and injustice. However, this is only one perspective on life; we spend too long in a negative frame of mind and fail to see the bigger picture. There are always weeds in a garden, but we shouldn’t forget to appreciate the flowers and feel miserable for the number of weeds.

We Cannot Change Other People

We often feel that we will be able to change other people, especially those close to us. However, in practice, we cannot be responsible for others. Sometimes if we try to force change, it only makes things worse. It means we need to develop a detachment to other people. What we can do is seek to inspire, encourage and motivate them to do the right thing. We can offer support and concern, but, ultimately, it is only the other person who can change themselves.

Stress is Often of Our Own Making

In modern life it is very easy to feel excessively busy. We can easily create things to do, leading to stressful situations. Yet, many of these self appointed tasks are not as indispensable as our ego might like to admit. There is a temptation to add tasks without evaluating how essential they are. If we are determined to create time for ourselves we can do it.

Tejvan Pettinger lives in Oxford where he writes on issues of self improvement and self development. He updates a blog Sri Chinmoy Inspiration. Recent blog posts include: Five Ways to Reclaim the Energy You Waste Every Day.

Images courtesy of Cristiane Sousa and Aussiegall.


30 Responses to Things We Hate to Admit

  1. Marelisa says:

    I agree that life is whatever you make of it. I guess sometimes it’s just easier in the short run for people to give away their power and blame others and external circumstances for their fate, instead of getting up and doing the necessary work to improve their lives. However, in the long run the more you give your power away to others by failing to take responsability for yourself, the worse off you’ll be.

  2. Thanks, Tejvan;

    These are things we are all told (or maybe not?) but which precious few turn inward and ask themselves. Somehow it’s always about someone else’s faults, which is, of course, your point!

    It’s rare and refreshing to find a person who takes responsibility…it’s something I try hard to do and to teach to my daughter, as well. Years ago, someone called me irresponsible. I got really angry and swore it wasn’t true…after which I decided to never let anyone say that about me again. That person likely still sees an ‘old’ version of me and will not change their opinion, however I’ve not only learned to not need anyone’s approval, I also learned to be honest with myself if I want anything to change in my life. Any time I experience conflict or any situation that is ‘less than’ I feel it could be, I ask myself (often in front of my daughter) how I contributed to this, what I’d change if I could and how I can learn from it in order to enjoy a different experience next time…my family tells me sometimes I take TOO much responsibility! I disagree. Only by changing our OWN behaviour can we change our worlds…one choice at a time.

    Thanks again for this article, which should be simple common sense, but isn’t.

    Success to you,


    P.S. I guess a little lesson in there, too, is to really consider the truth in someone else’s derisive comment towards YOU. It could be the best thing that ever happened to you!

  3. There is a saying that ties in with your thoughts.

    That which we hate most in others is what we hate most in ourselves. So indeed other’s faults frequently are our own.

    Stanley Bronstein
    Attorney, CPA, Author, Blogger & Professional Motivational Speaker

  4. It’s like Dale Carnegie said: “Nobody ever kicks a dead dog.” People judge and criticise because it makes them feel better. Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment. NEVER take objections and rejections personally! Be happy as long as you know you did your best.

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  6. paramarta says:

    i agree on “Stress is Often of Our Own Making”

  7. grashabelle says:

    the arch nemesis is indeed the SELF, it’s a never-ending battle for humans.

  8. Thanks for comments. It’s not easy to take criticism but it can be very valuable.

  9. Avani says:

    Being responsible is a very powerful place to be in. For when we say we are not responsible, we give up the power to be able to change anything as well.

  10. Bones says:

    What a great article. Every point was succinct and personally applicable, to me at least.

  11. Our Human tendencies are so hard to overcome, it is so true. Good food for thought.

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  14. Vinay S. Pathare says:

    Others faults are our own. Generally we see the world as we are. Others are our mirror reflections,when a husband suspect of his wife to have some extra-maritial affairs, quite possibly, he has such feelings in his subconscious. In this article I liked the idea of seeing the things from other perspective also. That means if you see the dark side of somebody and criticize you should be prompt enough to see the bright side and praise. Thanks good article. Vinay

  15. Miguel Cervantez says:

    imho, other people criticize us for not conforming to social expectations in which they have been trying so hard to follow and now have become who they are and and how they judge and see people around. Second would be if you have something that people envy, a special ability, perhaps a unique quality. or even a charisma that draws other people to you(specially the opposite sex) and even worse having all these thing your not tack enough to be modest and give yourself some leverage at least to appease the crowd…

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  18. Sue Vandiest says:

    I really need help loosing weight. I am super fat right now. :( I already lost like 60 pounds but i still need to lose like 25 more. ive stayed the exact weight since august but i cant find motivation to start up again.

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    and explanatory text has been narrated was a great wide thanks to everyone who contributed

  21. Mpelevatorsolutions says:

    Awesome post! It was really funny but true when i read that often two people who dislike each other are very similar.  It reminded me of my brother and mother’s relationship haha.

  22. Naquana Aikens says:

    good article :) !!

  23. PRB says:

    This is you Kate. Get help.

  24. Buggunme says:

    is there a word for it

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  26. Silk_susu says:

    Excellent post. A lightbulb went on in my head today. I was thinking about the idea that some of the personality traits we dislike in other people are the personality traits we have. So, I googles that thought and hence, your article! And your article came with other amazing info! Thanks a lot for this post.

  27. “Often What We See Are Our Own Reflections”

  28. hartbrukin says:

    i hate you na john your such a loooooooooooser

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