Those we love and those we are repelled by are both mirrors of ourselves. Who are we attracted to? People who have the same traits as we have, but more so. We want to be in their company because subconsciously we feel that by doing so we too might manifest more of those traits as well.
By the same token we are repelled by people who reflect back to us traits that we deny in our own selves. So if we are having a strong negative reaction to someone, you can be sure that they possess some traits in common with you, traits that you are not willing to embrace. If you were willing to accept those qualities, then they wouldn’t upset you.
Embrace Duality Exercise
For this exercise you’ll need a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
Think about a specific person you find very attractive. On the left side of the paper list 10 or more desirable qualities that person possesses. List anything that comes to mind. Write quickly.
Now switch gears and bring into your awareness somebody whom you find repulsive, someone who irritates you, annoys you, aggravates you, or makes you uncomfortable in some way. Start to define those specific qualities that you find unattractive. On the right side of the paper, list 10 or more of these undesirable qualities. Write down as many qualities as you like, but don’t stop before reaching 10.
Now you have at least 20 qualities listed on the page. Read over each one and circle every quality that you own yourself. Look at the list again. For every word that you did not circle, identify the ones that are absolutely inapplicable to you, words that definitely do not describe you. Put a checkmark next to those.
Finally, look at the words you circled and identify the top three that describe you the most strongly. Then go back and look at the words that you checked and identify the top three that define you the very least. Read those six words—the three that describe you best and the three that least apply—out loud.
You are all of these qualities and traits.