It’s Because It’s True About You

Today I remember C.S. Lewis’ argument in Mere Christianity that what annoys us most about others–what we can hardly tolerate in them–often reflects something true about ourselves as well.

That’s why we can notice it so quickly. That’s why we hate it.

C.S. Lewis writes about pride, for example, that “the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.”

I think of this as my friends or children complain about what they notice in other people. When my daughter notices how bossy someone is, it just might be because she tends towards bossiness herself. Or when a friend can’t stand how someone else likes to be the center of attention, it just might be that this friend needs that kind of attention herself.

Living with flair means that when I point out a flaw in someone else, I immediately think that it’s because it’s also, in some way, true about me. I pray for us both. I love us both.


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