Experiments in Personal Growth: What I don't Like About You

It’s not skillful to be completely honest with everyone you meet.  But it’s important to have some place in your life where you can be completely honest with someone.  It’s the only way to truly know yourself.  When you witness people in their vulnerable honesty, you learn what human beings are truly like and you learn what is underneath the exterior that many people show in their daily lives.


 My first structured experience with this was at an ashram(yoga center) that I was working at.   All of us who had been working side by side for months got together and sat in pairs.  The instructions were simple - give the person across from you honest feedback about themselves. Tell them three things you don’t like about them. 

In daily life we tend to silently put up with the negative characteristics of the people around us.  Once we get a chance, in a safe environment, to express what we don’t like about someone and to hear what they don’t like about us, an incredible chemistry can happen.  We can see what fears and challenges are underneath that persons negative behavior. With this knowledge, instead of merely tolerating the things we don’t like about someone, we experience true compassion.