How do you deal with difficult people? Customers? Staff? Siblings or Spouse?

Do some people make you growl with anger?

Underneath the pretences, the civility, the social etiquette and the mask, there is more. There is YOU, your feelings, emotions and that nagging feeling that you just don’t like that person in front of you.

And what’s more… you don’t even want to like them because there’s something about them that repels. They just simply annoy you.

Authentic relationships start with you

Now I’m assuming you WANT to be caring, compassionate, loving and you want solid, strong bonds and friendships with people that really enjoy each other.

And if that’s not you, then stop reading right now. This isn’t for you.

Now if you’re still reading, then sit down right now, because I’m about to break some news you may not like.

It’s You not THEM!

That’s right!

Everything you don’t like about that person, is something you don’t like about yourself…and it’s deep… below the level of consciousness, below awareness.

It’s called your shadow self.

Your Shadow

Shadow is that part of self that we hold below the surface of awareness.

Self-deception is at the root of shadow.

Shadow is the ego’s self-preservation technique.

It’s   brilliantly designed to do two things:

1.preserve your concept of self

2.hide what is painful from your awareness.

Shadow is an internal lie

Shadow is a distorted and unwired experience of reality,   like an internal lie that is designed to protect and maintain your self-concept.

We lie to ourselves to preserve our self-concept and the work that leads to self-realization and growth is about integrating the traits that you have kept in the shadow

There’s only one problem….

We tend to notice what is in our shadow as traits in others. Your emotions never lie so when you are triggered emotionally and you feel angry or annoyed at another person…that’s when you need to stop and look within.

Take your annoying colleague out to coffee

If a colleague or your boss annoys you, it may be worthwhile grabbing a coffee with that annoying person to uncover what exactly you don’t like about them and whether that same quality is in you?


Consciousness work is becoming aware of your self-deceptions and lies, then weeding them out so you can be in tune with your humanity.

When something irritates you, especially when you find yourself responding with have heightened emotions- a  response such as anger or repulsion, it’s a good idea to start with self exploration. Start with the question.

” Is this my stuff ?”

In some cases, if you’ve really authentically looked within, it may be their issue. But you need to be certain that it really is not your issue hiding as the shadow self.

Spot it

The important question is whether you can Spot it- can you see beyond your awareness?

Sometimes self-consciousness is not enough. You may need a hand to uncover what may be your own baggage- your self-limiting beliefs and self lies.

Why can’t just think about it

When you think, you use your own mind and mental faculties to analyse your own mind. That is not easy!

Most of our thoughts are self-referential, and commonly, people distort their perception of self to preserve their self concept.

Distortions include-

self depracting thoughts – like “ I am a victim of … insert whatever circumstance” or self Congratulatory- where you may make us stories about others to preserve yourself.

Unfortunately, the disorted thinking and the hidden parts of yourself are kept in the shadow.

Your shadow  may keep you lonely

The hidden parts of you creates separation of self from others, which is the opposite of connectedness. You may even feel “I am different.”

The shadow part of you impacts relationships, keeps you separate from others and it may make you feel lonely, so why not do something for yourself and engage in consciousness, growth and work that enables you to shatter self-limiting beliefs. I can help.

Iman Iskander is a Clinical Social Worker with a psychotherapy practice in Sydney. She is passionate about interactional intelligence -between people and within each person. She specialises in human interactions, mindful relationships and self-mastery. Iman holds engaging workshops for the public and in the corporate sector  in Sydney CBD.

Book a free 15 minute consultation to see how we can help you.