Recently, I saw a post with pictures of mirrors and a reference to the “shadow”. Since that is one of the core transformation approaches I studied and share with clients, I started looking around to see where it was clearly reflected in daily life. I quickly noticed it in a bullying technique gaining favor in certain political circles – name calling.

I am familiar with name calling as a form of bullying having experienced it myself in childhood.

One variation of my name sounds like the word mirror, and a group of children would chant when they saw me – “mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the ugliest of them all”. At that time, the words hurt, and created an environment that felt unsafe and devaluing. Years later, and with the insights and shifts created through shadow and other transformational work, my adult self sees the experience in a different light.  With this new perspective, my adult self would say to my younger self – “tell them look in the mirror, they are talking about themselves.”

Consider some recent statements in the press or on social media, and how they reflect on the person stating them.

  • Individuals calling a world leader and others a negative name. Maybe they should look in the mirror and apply the same description to themselves?
  • A person with a large following hears someone describe them in a way they don’t like and says – “that person doesn’t know what they are talking”. Perhaps it is time for this influencer to look in the mirror and see WHO really doesn’t know what they are talking about.
  • A leader who says there are “bad people” among us. It time to look in to the mirror at who truly is the bad person among us.

As we say in integrative coaching work, when you walk into a room who is the only person you can’t see? The answer is – yourself. In order to see ourselves, we create mirrors through the reflection of those around us or in the words that we use to describe others, which ultimately reflect back at us.

Another fascinating aspect for me in regards to name calling is how we put great effort into stopping young children from bullying others. Yet, adults who serve as role models seem to have never outgrown the bullying behavior – and mirror exactly what they tell others not to do.

Think about yourself and take notice of:

  • Derogatory names you call others that you would never want to be called yourself.
  • Qualities you see in others that you judge, make wrong, or can’t stand.
  • The negative self-talk you direct towards yourself.

Next look in the mirror and say – I am that quality. Be present with how it feels to say it. Consider as well how you feel when others use name calling as a tactic.

If you can’t possibly imagine yourself being a certain quality you judge in others or find joy in others being bullied through name calling, transformational work would be a helpful next step. Contact me for a coaching conversation to see what approach might best support you to look in the mirror at yourself.

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