You Spot It You Got It
By Millicent Parker | December 4, 2017
You spot it; you got it, a phrase used in many 12-Step programs to encourage one to reflect on the behavior of others that seem to annoy them and why they are triggered by that behavior. The trigger or the annoyance is believed to be caused by the person’s dislike of their own behavior, meaning they see it in others because they can see it in themselves.
You might notice the flippant, nonchalant attitude of another, because you can be that way yourself at times. Most often a person does not like the behavior in another person, because they do not like that behavior in themselves. It is easier to admit that about someone else than it is about yourself. You may have issues with intolerant people, but if you took an honest look at yourself there are times with certain people when you are as intolerant as the one you chastise for the same behavior.
You spot it; you got it. I would like to reframe that thought a little, not to say that introspection is not important and necessary. Introspection is required for personal growth and it can be a great tool in multiple ways. You spot it, you got it. The characteristics that I notice in another can be found in me.
Now think of a person whom you admire. One you believe to have qualities that you respect. It may be someone who is bold in stating and standing up for their convictions or someone who acts in a loving manner and gentle to everyone they meet. It may be someone whom you believe to be authentic in their relationships or in their business transactions.
The concept of you spot it; you got it is true here as well. Think about it, if you can spot the behaviors in others that you do not like because there is a part of you that acts that way, then the behaviors you admire are in you as well.
Often times we are quick to accept the “bad” or negative parts of ourselves when pointed out to us, but refute the good that is in us. You can point out or name a thing or a behavior, because you have experienced it before. You can name something good, because you have experienced good before. You can call someone strong, because you have experienced strength yourself.
You spot it; you got it. The courage that you have noticed in him/her is the courage that has helped you to do the things you needed to do at some point in your life and you can call on it again when you need it. The adventurous spirit that you love in others can be found in you as well, you just have to allow it to show itself.
You spot it; you got it is not condemnation of your character it is motivation for it. Embrace all of who you are. Build up those parts that are for your good and release those parts that hinder your personal growth.
- Psychology Today Article - The Ability to Reject the Projection
- Good Therapy.org Article - Projection
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