Use a Mirror, Not a Magnifying Glass, for Positive Relationships

Understanding what makes you tick will help you be there for others.

Posted in , Aug 23, 2018

Looking through a magnifying glass

When we are trying to figure something out, it’s tempting to take out our mental magnifying glass—a tool that can show us every detail of the situation, one of which, we assume, must hold the key to solving the problem. 

The trouble with a magnifying glass, though, is that it focuses intently on every minute aspect of the challenge, giving us myriad places to rest our feelings of blame, insecurity or resentment. In relationships especially, “magnifying glass thinking” keeps us focused on micro-negatives, depleting us of the ability to see the big picture and work toward peace and resolution.

In other words, with a magnifying glass, the more we look, the more we notice—and most of what we notice tends to be negative and blame-inducing. 

What if, instead of a magnifying glass, we picked up a mirror and peered into its shiny surface? 

With a mirror, we see ourselves. With a clear view of our own faces, we can take ownership of our own behaviors, emotions and patterns, and we can work to improve our attitudes and actions. The idea isn’t to look in the mirror in a blaming, self-judgmental way—that would be a “magnifying mirror,” and no one wants or needs that! 

Instead, your mirror is a tool to help you focus your efforts on the aspects of relationships and situations that you can control, rather than projecting your feelings outward into a world that is busy going about its own business. 

If you are struggling with a relationship or other problem right now, why not ask yourself how you can shift your thinking from “magnifying glass” to “mirror?” How can you find the faith in yourself that you need to understand, forgive and grow yourself?

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