In his ‘Thought for the Day’ Shri Easwaran points out that the reality and ones image or opinion are not identical. He describes a way to work with a person one has trouble with. Because ones image is not the reality, his method works on changing the image. The method is not complicated but to practice it would quite surely be a challenge.:(
I have included his ‘Thought for the Day’ below.
Who can map out the various forces at play in one soul? I am a great depth, O Lord. The hairs of my head are easier by far to count than my feelings, the movements of my heart.
– SAINT AUGUSTINE
Most of us never really see the people we live with. Our boyfriend may be right before our eyes, but we do not see him. We see our idea of him, a little model we have made in our mind, and on that we pronounce our judgments.
That is why, when we quarrel with someone, the worst thing we can do is to avoid him or her. We are trying to avoid an image in our own mind, which cannot be done. The mind takes some exaggerated impressions, memories, hopes, and insecurities, draws a quick caricature like one of those sidewalk cartoonists, and then turns up its nose. The person in question should retort, “That’s not me; that’s your caricature of me. If you don’t like it, you don’t like your own mind.”
To heal our relationships, we have to move closer to people we do not like, learn to work with them without friction. When we do this, we are remaking the images in our mind – which means we are literally remaking the world in which we live.