Always when people come in for therapy they find the process beneficial and they often remark that their spouse / sister / brother / cousin / friend etc ought to come in. I usually ask the same question: Do they know they have a problem, and invariably the answer is no. They think it’s everyone else who’s a fault, never themselves.
There are ways we can try to get round this. I look for a ‘trigger’, for instance, if they have trouble sleeping they can come in for that and once they’re in my office we can do a lot. The problem, though, that it’s everyone else who is at fault, never them. In a way this is the human condition. Someone said that the hardest thing in the world was to show someone their faults and often the people who shout loudest about the faults in others are the ones with the similar issues themselves.
In the Bible Jesus says:
Hypocrite! First cast out the beam from your eye, and then you will see clearly to cast out the splinter from the eye of your brother. (Mathew 7:5)
And of course here is the bind. It would be naive to not notice the faults in other people, but as soon as we do we are laying ourselves open to criticism that we may be equally at fault. And as far as we are concerned, these faults seem to be totally absent from ourselves.
it’s easy to see the faults in others. When we notice what we think is a fault in someone else (and how do you know it’s really a fault? You don’t know their real motivation for doing what they do), we should at least acknowledge the possibility that we have similar faults. This, at least, opens the door to the possibility of changing yourself.
Real learning is not assimilating facts or reading books, it’s knowledge of yourself and it’s sad to say that in this regard many people die as stupid as they were when they were born.