According to Robin Sharma, author of 'The Monk who sold his Ferrari'...
'other people in our lives are mirrors of our true selves'.
Meaning: We only really appreciate positive qualities in another person if we can recognise them in ourselves first, and are particularly sensitive to negative traits in others if we also possess them.
And life, being the way it is, finds a way to bring these people to you. In a sense - we collect what we project in order to show us truly who we are, and of course, learn from it, deal with it, and move on.
How do i do this? I'll try to explain. Ok, imagine an art dealer... now the more experience they have, the more an 'intuition' develops so that so many years of experience can assist them in just 'knowing' a fake from an original without being able to say why. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the power of this, 'thin-slicing', in his book 'Blink'. A great read. I can't recommend it enough.
Interestingly i've also read that 'you're only as good as the people closest to you... so choose them wisely.' It seems I tend to attract people into my life who are dealing with the same dramas and issues i am, and/or who are the same level or place in their life. Which is why my social circles have changed vastly in the last 6 months. I'm just not the person i used to be.
So is it the people around us that lend their defining traits our way first that we absorb like a sponge? or do they enhance the qualities in you that you both share, having been attracted to a feeling of 'i can relate to this person, they understand me, we share the same qualities' in the beginning?
Either way, i'm constantly attracting men who are not likely to express themselves emotionally. They are detached and almost aloof at times (control drama #1).
Much to my surprise, a friend gave me food for thought when she described me as in the same way as the men i date! Truth is, she may be right. I don't let anyone in as easily anymore, especially the men. And if how you feel/behave is reflected back. Then the 'coolness' i'm feeling from the men i date is probably something i need to address in myself first.
So has been worthwhile looking at those close to me and seeing my 'real' projected self? i would say yes... in 2007-08 i was an emotional wreak and attracted people who were just as flaky or needy as i was. I can see i learnt from being around them, and found out who i was enough to change. And now in 2009 i do have friends who are dealing with intimacy issues... but i'm also surrounded a lot more by people i respect and who have independance, grace, energy and passion enough for me to see that those talents at least are in me too.
Nice to know ;)