Such an Amazing Way to Meet yourself in Others!

My inspiration:

The book “No Chance Encounter”, by Kay Pollak.


What I think about you,
Says much more about me
Than it says about you.

This was sort of a revelation to me when I read it in a thin, little book some 20 years ago.

Such a wonderful and simple way to personal growth! Not easy though …

So every time you feel annoyed, irritated, and contemptuous or in any other way dislike someone’s behavior, attitude or looks you have a unique possibility to do some training;

What is it I dislike about X?
Why don’t I like that?
What kind of feeling does it evoke in me?
What do I think about such behavior/attitude/looks?

So if it says more about myself:

Am I afraid of being like X?
Have I always tried to hide that side of myself?
Am I jealous?
Did my mom tell me that people doing like that are no good?
Am I ashamed of some part of myself?
Or am I disappointed that I never dared to do such a thing?

The answer might be a revelation to you! This is also a reason why you might be very irritated with someone, whom others seem to like. This could be one reason; You get much more irritated than others because what you see is more about something hidden in you!

I don’t say that this is easy. It’s actually quite deep and requires you to be honest, courageous and open to meet yourself. It’s a bit scary, I admit that, but more often I laugh when I realize how stupid it is to be annoyed by that person, and accept a new piece of me out in the light. If you’re interested in such things you will find yourself surrounded with possibilities to new lessons! Just look around and you will most certainly find someone to look down on.

In my Facebook group “Expressions on Personal Development” I share interesting documentaries, sites and ideas that I find here and there. Now I would like to share some of the books, influencers, interviews and ideas that has inspired me since I was a teenager.

The little, thin book I talk about above is a book by the Swedish film director, lecturer and author Kay Pollak:

“No Chance Encounter: Meeting Yourself in Others”

“Att växa genom möten” 
(in Swedish)

The book will give you much more examples and techniques to use then working on your personal growth through your thoughts about others. I highly recommend it! Do you think you will give it a try?


PS: Talking about Kay Pollak I also have to recommend his amazing movie “As it is in Heaven”. Here you can see a short interview with Kay Pollak and glimpses from the movie. 

I can learn something from everyone I meet.


Reading Swedish film director Kay Pollak’s book “No Chance Encounter: Meeting Yourself in Others” some ten years ago was one of those eye opener you get once in a while. Whenever you have any negative feelings towards someone else it’s mostly about you, Pollak says.

At first I had troubles understanding what he meant.

So that terribly annoying mom at school is not really annoying at all – it’s I who have a problem? And that far too smiling sales man is not embarrassing at all? It’s all about me?

Of course I had to do my homework! I remember so well one morning when I was waiting for the commuting train and I saw this young adult covered in tattoos. He had tattoos all over his neck and face and they were far from professionally made. One was even wrongly spelled. I became aware of my negative feeling towards him. So my first quest was to find out what I was actually feeling? I tried to be honest and realized that it was a feeling of despise. That’s shameful! You should never despise someone! So I breathed deeply and went further into this feeling of despise. Was I despising the fact that he had tattoos? No. Did I despise that they were all over his face? Maybe, but not really. That they were so ugly and badly made? Yes! Here I could feel in my body that I had hit the root of the feeling. But why did I despise that?

“It’s ugly”, I could hear myself thinking, “and you just don’t make yourself ugly!” Aha! “Why not?”, I asked myself. “Well, you just shouldn’t!”, was the agitated answer. I was actually a bit surprised about the strength in my feelings about not making yourself ugly and I started to scan my life and childhood about such situations.

When I grew up I was very tall with red hair, freckles and white eye lashes. I never felt ugly, but then I never felt cute or beautiful either. I did my best to look good, dress nicely and be as creative as possible when I was allowed to use make-up. I had always hated masquerades when you were supposed to dress like a monster or ghost or any other kind of ugly creature. I didn’t want to look worse than I did – I wanted to look a little bit better! How on earth could anyone even suggest such parties?!

So now you can also see where my deep emotions came from! The child within not being cute enough. Feeling a bit sad about this, standing there still waiting for the train, I continued the chain of thoughts and started to think about the man with the tattoos again. What he had done I would never be able to do! I wouldn’t be brave enough to go around with one fake tattoo in my face just for one day! So actually he was much braver than I … What a turn of feelings! I looked at him and smiled and thanked him in my mind for a wonderful lesson!

Since that morning I have done this exercise many times. And it’s thrilling and amazing to see how my irritation about that mom’s behavior turn into a lessons about me being afraid of making a fool of myself at the school meeting or being unsecure about my social skills in new encounters. And I can see now how every meeting is a chance to grow and develop!