Two things we ought to keep in mind:
- Others can see more of our inside than we do, things that we do not see.
- Not everything that is going on in our mind is conscious. In fact, much more is unconscious than is actually conscious.
Even when we think we are perfectly sure of our motive, there might be other motives blended in with the one we know, motives of which we know nothing. And they can be very strong. They might manifest themselves in the way and manner we push a certain issue or carry out a certain intention, fervor or hesitation, enthusiasm or sulky slowness.
Obstacles when you are trying to help others confront themselves:
- We cannot be definitely sure in detecting motives or intentions in others. Wrap your observations in suggestions, and avoid making definite statements.
- Jealousy, on the part of the observed, who is inclined to feel resentment against others claiming they know more of his mind than he himself knows, has to be expected.
- Feelings deceive. “Love and Sympathy make blind”, but also benevolent; “Hatred and Anger make sharp eyed”, but also malevolent. Interest in the other’s motives has to be objective as much as possible.
- The inner willingness to know one’s own mind is essential. Maybe only between friends is it possible to help each other in this process. If there is no friendship, at least confidence is necessary.
- This confidence must not only include the trust that the other is free of personal motives, but also the trust that he won’t peddle your heart around. Somehow we all resent being discussed by others, a feeling we can only control by trusting the other one won’t do it unless he considers it necessary from an impersonal point of view, say in the interest of our own development or of the organization.
- Don’t start telling everybody what you did perceive in him, or what you think you perceived. And if you do, don’t do it in the heat of battle. For then you won’t find a ready response. Wait until the storm of feelings has abated, both in yourself and the other, and then go over it again. And realize that you yourself need the same sort of help from the other to learn to know your own mind.