Rambling Thoughts About That Which I Spot

{ By Ingrid Chang Via Join The UpRoar }

ON SUNDAY WHILE READING COMMENTS on tweets about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner with the mean lady who said the bad things [either Michelle Wolf or Sarah Huckabee Sanders depending on your point of view], I saw a comment that said: You spot it, you’ve got it.

I had no idea what this meant so I googled it and after a cursory investigation discovered that this is a way of saying that: if you notice someone’s hurtful behavior and it annoys you greatly, then you’re aware of this behavior and feel the way you do because you do the same thing.

The meaning of this new-to-me phrase was a surprise.

I thought it was going to mean that if you’re aware enough to notice that another person is behaving in a bad way [spot it], then you’ve got the situation covered so that this person won’t negatively affect you [got it].

I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS phrase all week.  There’s a truth to it, no doubt.  But I dunno, here’s the thing.

Is it not possible that you notice hurtful behavior in other people because you’re an observant person who watches how other people behave and misbehave, thereby giving you insight into what makes someone else tick?

Just because I can spot what’s going on with someone else, doesn’t mean that I’m like that.  I’d say it means that I’m perceptive and empathetic and tuned-in to the people around me.

I’ve no pithy conclusion here, other than to say that my assumed interpretation of this phrase was wrong.

And now I know better.

• • •

Questions of the Day:

Anyone ever hear this phrase before? Use it in polite conversation or in comments? How far out of the mainstream am I to not know what this means?

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Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

103 thoughts on “Rambling Thoughts About That Which I Spot”

  1. I won’t write an essay on this but it is an interesting ‘something’. I don’t know that saying but it can mean that if you spot it, there’s an element of recognition because the spotter owns that same ‘quality’ or behaviour or whatever. HOWever, it also happens that one can see the hurtful behaviour for what it is, and does NOT own it … and, as you say, ‘because you’re an observant person who watches how other people behave and misbehave, thereby giving you insight into what makes someone else tick’. (and to give them a wide berth) .. thus endeth my thoughts … except to say that when someone bitches about another, I wonder why they say what they do, and whether that bitchee owns some of those very same *qualities* that riles them so …

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    1. Susan, the meaning of this saying caught me off guard. I can see how if someone is extremely adamant about how another person is behaving badly, then the first person could very well be the same way. Isn’t that called projection?

      I found this phrase fascinating and wondered how I’d missed it all these years. In some ways it seems to be a clarion call to be more self-aware. In other ways it seems to be an admonishment to say nothing if you can’t say something nice.

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      1. yes, we project onto others that which we don’t want to own up to in ourselves. Great learning tool … util we learn to withdraw them. But it sure doesn’t mean not seeing something for what it is..

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        1. Yes, I try to see myself and others clearly. I may not always accomplish this, but I don’t think I project my weaknesses onto others. 🤔 Or at least I’m aware enough to know that I shouldn’t be doing that…

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  2. Never heard it. I’ve heard of similar things however, not reduced to rhyming sound bites. I’ve heard that the traits we hate the most in others are things we dislike about ourselves in some way. Forex, there’s no one more anti-smoking than a former heavy smoker. There’s no one more anti-religion than an atheist who had religion shoved down their throat as a kid. There’s no one who hates men on dating sites more than someone who used to be on them all the time and failed to meet her true love… that would be me. Lol

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    1. Paula, the saying was new to me. It’s a sound bite, for sure. I’ve heard the “traits that we hate are in us” idea, too. It makes sense, but I don’t know that it’s a given. I like your personal example of that which you hate– based on bad experience. Made me smile.

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    1. Jill, so you know this saying! It was used in a comment in such a way that I couldn’t figure out what the commenter meant by it. Now that I know the meaning of the saying, I don’t think I’ll be using it often [I’m not a therapist]– but I can see there is some wisdom in the idea behind the words.

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  3. Like most trite sayings (and this one is pretty trite – only slightly better then “if you smelled it, you dealt it”), it is sometimes true. Other times, I often notice bad behavior because I was taught the difference and especially if I see said bad behavior adversely affecting others. I’m coming across a bit wound up, but in an age of the meme culture, I get irritated with people trying to come up with pithy ways to condense wisdom. Sometimes life is more complex.

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    1. Michelle, I agree wholeheartedly with you: Sometimes life is more complex. I’d never seen or heard this saying and when I read it in the comments I couldn’t figure out what the commenter was saying. And therein is the problem with trite sayings like this one, they aren’t saying things in a way that all people can understand. They cause confusion, not promote clarity.

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  4. I’ve never heard it that way, but I have heard psychologists say things like what you don’t like in another is something you don’t like about you (or words to that effect). I don’t buy that 100% because, as you say, can I not notice something and not BE that very same thing? I think so. Maybe it depends on how bothered you get by it that indicates if you are indeed like that.

    I don’t know. But what I do know is that since the event, Sarah Sanders has not done a smokey eye. As far as I’m concerned, that comic comment then was a public service. So sick of the smokey eye!

    WAIT! Am I making a joke or is there something about ME that can be revealed by me saying that?!?!?! 🙂

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    1. Tara, you have me laughing out loud here. I agree with you that the smokey eye is so 2017– time to move on to a new make-up trend.

      This saying fascinated me because I didn’t know what it meant, but everyone else in the comments seemed to know its meaning.

      I notice things, behaviors, details, so I’m not sure that me pointing out bad behavior in another person means I’m like that. I think you’re right about it coming down to how bothered you are about something someone else is doing. That is when you’re doing it too.

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  5. Like you, I don’t quite agree with it. Maybe it’s true sometimes but maybe it’s just that you’ve seen the behavior before and recognize it for what it is. As for the dinner, it was a roast. All presidents get roasted royally at these things. I’ve winced at some things said to Obama and Bush. Don’t understand why this administration is so sensitive when they deal so much of this out.

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      1. Kate, you nailed it with: you’ve seen the behavior before and recognize it for what it is. That’d account for 98% of my ability to call out people for their sh!tty behavior. I pay attention– sneaky people hate me, kind people love me.

        I agree that this Presidential administration doesn’t seem able to take the punches like previous ones. While I think the whole idea of WHCD is antiquated, IF they’re going to do it, THEN they’ve got to put on their big boy panties and deal with it.

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  6. Never seen or heard this before now. I think that the actions those words may be describing can be true in some cases, for some people, but making a generalization to everyone isn’t correct either. Applications of behaviors that are meant to seem black or white, you do or you don’t, you are or you aren’t, leave me wondering more about the person/group that claim original creation of a phrase like that and their motives more than anything. Pointing out truth or creating more discord…I don’t know.

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    1. Deb, excellent point. I don’t know the origins of this phrase, I only did a little bit of research to understand its meaning. It’s a generalization and as such it bugged me enough for me to keep thinking about it this week. From my point of view the saying is less about discerning the truth, more about focusing on discord. But then I’m a nuanced thinker, so I may be over-analyzing this phrase. 🤷‍♀️

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  7. We do seem to love generalizations and little tidbits of “wisdom”, don’t we? I’d never heard this phrase before, but I recognize acts of kindness, rudeness, stupidity, many different things. And yes, I am probably a little bit of all of those things. This is like saying “takes one to know one” (that childhood defense against a bully), and probably has as much accuracy as that one did. Believe what you choose, I guess.

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    1. Carol, good memory! I’d forgotten about “takes one to know one.” You’re right that what I shared here is a more grown-up version of that childhood saying. I’m reluctant to buy into any generalization and this one, clever as it may be, seems to be sort of true, sort of out of touch with reality.

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  8. This is going to require more thought. I look forward to reading all the comments, then we can chat on the porch this weekend about it. This is a nice benefit of being Mr. S. Bean…

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    1. Mr. S. Bean, yes, we can talk about this new-to-me saying and the implications that arise from it. I suspect we’re on the same page here about the truth contained in it. Of course, before we start chatting in the abstract we need to set up the furniture in the porch. Just saying…

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  9. Well then, if I spot someone who is clearly drunk, does that mean I’m drunk too? I hardly think so. As you say, Ally, observant is more like it. (Side note, people who drink too much can be hurtful and definitely annoy me greatly). Same thing with bullying. I know a bully when I see one but I’m more passive aggressive than bullying – I can get my husband to see my point of view occasionally 🙂

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    1. Janet, excellent example! I know that pop psychology is all around us, but for some reason this particular saying seemed more goofy than many other ones I’ve heard. And what was weird to me was that the other twitter commenters responded to the person who said this as if they knew what it meant. I felt out of it and confused so I had to talk about it here. I dunno… people be weird.

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  10. Hi, Ally – I hadn’t heard that phrase “You Spot It, You Got It” before, but I did recently read about the same, underlying concept on another blog that I follow. I agree that sometimes the traits we hate the most in others can be the traits that we dislike most about ourselves. But it would be limited thinking to assume this is the primary correlation. Equally so, the traits that we admire most in others can be what we like most about ourselves. I hate animal cruelty, and have never ever been tempted to harm an animal in any way, but i usually have an instant connection with other animal lovers.

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    1. Donna, I’m with you in that it could be that the traits we hate in others might be the ones we hate in ourselves. But this saying seems to make it an absolute. Granted it’s a short saying– but its meaning caught me off-guard. I like spiffy wordplay that results in timeless truths as well as the next person, but this saying seems almost unhinged to me. Not that it matters. I won’t be adding it to my personal lexicon.

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  11. I haven’t heard that saying but I agree that – although maybe true in some situations – it is way over generalized. Most (all?) of us are aware of our less-than-desirable behaviors and probably react negatively when we see those same behaviors in others… but, of course, even if we didn’t have those same traits ourselves, we’d not like them in others (because… ummm… they aren’t desirable). Anyway, little, over-simplified sayings are common and often have a grain of truth – I just wouldn’t plant the whole field with them.

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    1. Janis, well said: over-simplified sayings are common and often have a grain of truth – I just wouldn’t plant the whole field with them. I found the meaning of this saying surprising as well as the fact that the other commenters immediately knew what it meant. I was clueless about it all, and decided I had to know. Now that I understand this saying, I’m not so taken with it.

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  12. I haven’t heard this expression either Ally, but I’m used to wandering on paths that keep me out of mainstream knowing, so my position probably isn’t worth much. Still, both interpretations of the possible meaning had me thinking. I think of course it’s possible to be observant and able to name a behavior without actually participating in it. On the other hand, it’s my absolute belief that I’ve likely engaged in every less-than-stellar behavior possible, whether in this lifetime or another, that I’m willing to steer clear of gloating “not-me!” And in that case, every behavior, every thought I observe becomes fuel for the fodder – is this preferred or not preferred, and how can I use it to shape my own behavior and thoughts.

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    1. Deborah, oh there’s truth in what you’re saying here. I’m sure we are all guilty of thinking “not-me” at times when objective reality would suggest that “yes-me-too” is the appropriate response. But like you said, self-awareness and monitoring can allow a person to decide intentionally if the observed behavior is one that they want to emulate or avoid. And I’ll tell you something I want to avoid: using this saying in my life!

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  13. I like your explanation better than the “real” one. The ‘real’ explanation could be explained by “Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and they usually stink.” Which might explain…oh never mind. I think the introvert minded, empathic person notices all sorts of things, and doesn’t begin to share the bad ones. Huh. Thanks for educating me, because I’d also never heard that.

    Questions of the Day:

    Anyone ever hear this phrase before? Use it in polite conversation or in comments? How far out of the mainstream am I to not know what this means? Not that far, IMHO, because American-ese is changing every freakin’ day, heck every hour probably and there’s always some new phrase popping up out of nowhere..

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    1. Embeecee, thank you. I like my interpretation of this saying, too. My way of thinking about it is empowering, allowing you to tell someone that they’re doing ok and will be safe. The “real” interpretation is mean, a put-down from what I can tell. Of course, I’m a highly sensitive introvert so I live a life wary of, and sometimes confused by, the nuances, or lack thereof, about what other people are saying.

      You’re right about how quickly American-ese is changing anymore. I have no interest in keeping up with slang, but when I stumbled over this phrase that everyone in the comments seemed to understand except me, I got curious.

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  14. Never heard that expression before . . . but I have heard the sentiment expressed other ways. I don’t agree that everything that “annoys” me about other people’s bad behavior is because I share those traits.

    Case in point ~> people who abuse animals, kids, and the elderly. They “annoy” and anger me because THEY are assholes, NOT because I emulate their behavior. They “annoy” and anger me because THEY are taking advantage of their power over the powerless and that seems UNFAIR. It has NOTHING to do with how I treat animals, kids, and the elderly.

    So, bottom line, and no big surprise here ~> I agree with YOUR interpretation of the world not the the social media interpretation assigned to “You spot it, you got it.”

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    1. nancy, your explanation of the absurdity inherent in this saying is quite right. I understand that I could be projecting my own failings onto other people sometimes, but instead of making that the default setting, I think this saying should be interpreted in an empowering way.

      That is, I say it to you [or myself] so that you know I believe you are on top of a situation. HOWEVER, that’s not what pop psychology says that this saying means, so I’m not going to use it in the future. HA!

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      1. Just because it’s trending one way doesn’t mean that we (with the power of social media) can’t reverse that trend ~> let’s start using it with YOUR interpretation and see if we can change pop psychology’s tune. 😀

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  15. Without going through the comments to see if anyone else has already made this observation, it sounds an awful lot like the popular phrase regarding flatulence “He who smelled it, dealt it.” Kind of a way at pointing fingers at someone else for something you actually did yourself.

    I really don’t know if the phrase you actually quoted here has any truth to it or not… it’s not something I’ve really thought about before. Though, as a parallel, I have often observed that those who are the most vocal about not wanting to be judged by others are themselves some of the most judgmental people I know. “DJM!” itself is a very judgmental statement of what you think about other people…

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    1. evil, I think that finger pointing is at the root of this saying. I am aware of how some people will point out the failings of someone they dislike while conveniently ignoring that they do the same thing. Which I believe is what you’d be telling the finger-pointing someone if you said to them “if you can spot it, you got it.”

      This is not a compliment.

      Why this particular saying is popular I don’t know. I didn’t research it enough to find out its origins– nor do I want to know. It came across my radar in such a way that I had find out it’s meaning, but I don’t think that I’ll be using this phrase in my own life. It’s too confusing, and judgmental, for everyone who hears it.

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  16. Ally, I never heard that exact phrase, but I’ve heard the explanation. I also think there is some truth to it, but it’s not true for everyone. My grandmother often schooled me on behavior I was too naive to understand (like a friend who was not really a friend, though I couldn’t see it at the time). But that didn’t make her someone untrustworthy. She was just wise in the ways of people.

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    1. L. Marie, EXACTLY! You said it in that she was “wise in the ways of people.” That’s the reason that this new-to-me saying bothered me so. I’m wise to how people misbehave, but I am not like that– however this phrase doesn’t leave any room for people who are wise to the ways of people. Thank you for this insight.

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    1. Elen, I agree with you, of course. But the context in which I saw this phrase on twitter gave me no clue as to the meaning of the phrase. Now that I know what it means, I don’t like this saying because I don’t think it’s accurate– so I won’t use it!

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  17. I think it can be interpreted both ways! Through learning about negative human behavior in other people, I’ve learned how to ‘spot it’ and protect myself with boundaries ‘got it’. Yet the opposite side of the coin, if someone attacks you out of the blue and accuses you of being ‘passive-aggressive’ ~ spot it, then it’s possible they’ve ‘got it’. 😀
    http://www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

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    1. Mary Lou, I like how you think! You’ve just stated the obvious… that totally escaped me whilst reflecting on this saying this week. It can be interpreted in both ways, so why not do that and learn more than one lesson from it. ❣️

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  18. Nope, never heard of the phrase, and the interpretation sounds “off” to me. Like you, I was thinking it would mean, if you spot the unkind behavior, stand up against it and show it for what it is. Huh, who comes up with these interpretations, anyway? Well, I spotted a good blog post here, and I liked it. 🙂

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    1. Pam, I found my explanations of this saying on Oprah.com and Psychology Today, so I guess they know what they’re talking about. I dunno.

      You and I are on the same page as to what we think this clever phrase should mean. In fact, many people in this comment section think it’s about being aware, being empowered, supporting a friend by saying this. Again, I dunno.

      Thanks for spotting me, by the way. It’s always great to hear from you.

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  19. I’m sort of with your interpretation of it, Ally. For years I worked with a guy who constantly said, “If the shoe fits…” And I never liked that expression because it’s only used to justify whatever pre-conceived views you might have about a person. This expression reminds me of that.

    And good God, I agree about the WHCD. It’s long past its usefulness. They ought to just hand out the awards to deserving young journalists and students, raise a glass of champagne, and everyone goes home. – Marty

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    1. Marty, I’ve heard the “If the shoe fits…” saying, too. I agree it’s a weird one that, like this one I stumbled on, limits how you perceive someone. Both are rather dismissive.

      I see no value in the WHCD, but would love to see a scholarship program in its place. Invest the money in people, not pretentiousness.

      [Have you ever heard of Washington, D.C., being called Hollywood for ugly people? A corollary to that idea is that the WHCD is their Academy Awards. Just saying…]

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  20. “Just because I can spot what’s going on with someone else, doesn’t mean that I’m like that. I’d say it means that I’m perceptive and empathetic and tuned-in to the people around me.”—Yes! I completely agree. THAT should be the definition of the phrase.

    I’ve not heard this phrase before, but I find your interpretation of it much more fitting.

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    1. Carrie, thank you. I, of course, like my interpretation of this phrase. 😊 However, if that’s not what it means to most people then I’m going to refrain from saying the saying. No need to add to divisive discourse with a saying that seems divided as to what it means.

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  21. Yes, I’ve heard it and I know it well. I notice who bites their lips and who picks at their cuticles and who is restlessly animated in a chair because I am ALWAYS looking for my fellow anxiety sufferers. I also hear regret in the comments of other mothers, because I too, have regrets. However, I give you credit for the aspect of observing, truly observing the behavior of others, because I, a perceptive person, find you to be a perceptive person – which is why we write our observations — so no, y’ain’t always got what you spot. I am a relatively intuitive person as I suspect you are, so I see what ain’t even there. 😉

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    1. joey, “if you spot it, you’ve got it” was a new saying to me. I’ve come to understand what it means, but I think it’s a rather odd way of describing [criticizing?] another person’s behavior. I can understand how you can pick-up on the vibes of other people who suffer in the same ways that you do so from that perspective it makes sense to me.

      I imagine that part of your awareness is that you’re intuitive and that you are, like me, always trying to understand what makes other people tick. I figure that whether our observations/understandings are because of personal experience or a natural curiosity doesn’t much matter, as long as we both remain safe.

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  22. Probably meant in the best possible way but does that mean that if I notice someone behaving – say – in a racist way, it makes me a racist too? I would much rather have it “If you spot it, you own it.” Speak up.

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    1. camparigirl, I like your revised saying because it’s the ownership of the bad behavior that we as individuals need to accept. However, whoever coined this saying went for wordplay. I don’t think I’ll be adopting this saying into my everyday lexicon, but at least I now know about it.

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  23. Thanks for this thoughtful post, Ally. I’d never heard the phrase, “You spot it, you got it,” so when I first read it here I assumed it referred to something like a bigoted joke, you know: you hear one (spot it) you’re now responsible for calling it out (got it). Or cruel parenting in the grocery store, those behaviors that if left alone, ignored, are seen to be condoned by our silence.

    Then I continued to read your post. Now I find the phrase reminds me of another I’ve used often: “we hate most in others that which we hate in ourselves.” These have more in common with pet peeves or personal idiosyncrasies, behaviors that bother some but not all. Very different from the NPC example where it was used.

    You’ve got me thinking, which I always enjoy in a blog post. Nice job.

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    1. Janet, you make a good point about another way in which this saying could be applied to daily life. If you hear/see something bad you are responsible for calling it out. From what I read about this saying’s meaning, it is intended to refer to your “we hate most in others that which we hate in ourselves” idea.

      But all interpretations are food for thought.

      If anything I’ve learned today while interacting with my commenters is that this saying can be interpreted in a variety of ways and as such, in my opinion, is a useless way of expressing yourself if your goal is clear communication. I never heard it before last Sunday, and now I hope to never hear anyone say it again! 🙉

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  24. I’ve never heard this one before, but if I had to guess, it started its life as a putdown to a specific person for a specific comment – which they likely deserved – and it gradually morphed into a blanket statement that shouldn’t be given its 15 minutes of fame.

    I liked Donna’s example best – recognizing animal cruelty should not imply the individual has leanings toward hurting animals. To suggest that is absurd.

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    1. Joanne, I like your analysis of how this saying might have started and gained traction. The meaning of it surprised me, but now that I know what it means I think I’ll pass on using it. Donna’s example is a good one that like you said, shows how absurd this idea is.

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  25. Yeah, I don’t buy it. It seems like a way of trying to silence people from pointing out bad behavior. I don’t see misogyny because I’m a misogynist. Same with the other “ists.”

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    1. Isa-Lee, I thought the same thing. It’s a convenient way to keep someone from speaking up about something less than desirable in another person. Kind of a “kill the messenger” idea.

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  26. It’s a cleaned up version of “He who smelt it, dealt” (regarding the passing of wind). I had 5 brothers and heard many permutations of the sentiment.

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    1. Pam C, yes, I think that you’re right. I’d never heard this saying before, and from the context I couldn’t figure out the meaning so I had to look it up. Now that I have, I’m not sure I’ll ever say it.

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  27. I’m posting, despite being unable to add anything to the wise comments above, where I have been freely sprinkling my likes. There could’ve been more but, it’s not my site, so I was trying to be restrained 😉 The main reason everyone else got their thoughts in before I did was as soon as I read it, I called across the room to Himself and we had one of those chats you were scheduling for the porch with Zen Den. Only difference here, is we had no furniture to set up and could dive right in …

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    1. deb, this saying has started the conversations, hasn’t it? I’m pleased, but rather amazed. Like I said [many times] above, it was a new-to-me saying that I misinterpreted but seem to have found a more agreeable alternate meaning for it.

      And that is why I can’t see myself using this saying because I’d never be certain that I was being understood. I’m big on the idea of clear communication, ‘ya know?

      Z-D and I got a chance to talk about this saying last night over dinner [furniture still not on porch] and he brought up a good point: is this saying part of some self-help organization process, like one for drug addicts or alcoholics?

      I don’t know the answer, but maybe in that context it’s helpful to some people. 🤷‍♀️

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  28. Oh I’m soooo with you on clear communication.

    Sorry about the lack of porch furniture 😉 but I’m glad you had the chat. Z-D makes a good point, it could have derived from an attempt to raise self-awareness amongst addicts. But it makes me wonder, is the assumption being made that the majority of the population is that lacking in self-awareness? Don’t know about you, but I can only think of a very small handful of people I’ve met who I could conceive of needing this particular take.

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    1. I cannot say who in my circles would need to remember this bumper sticker-ish pop psychology simplistic idea, but I’m sure there must be some people who find the saying… I dunno… a way to remember to be more aware of who they are… not point fingers at other people?

      Beats me. People are weird. And this saying proves me point. 😉

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  29. That’s a strange phrase/meaning. I’m with you — I feel strongly about something because of how empathetic I am. Our world would be very different if no one every felt so strongly about something, and got upset enough over something, to do something about it.

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    1. Erika, here’s the thing: everyone after the commenter who said “you spot it, you got it” knew what she meant– like this was a common thing to say. Yet there I was clueless about the meaning– which, like you said, is strange. I agree with you that we need empathetic people who are willing to take charge of things to make life better for all of us. But saying this phrase to someone isn’t how you go about doing that. 🙄

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  30. A bit like the old elementary school phrase “takes one to know one”
    Society today often seems like Elementary school cafeteria.
    Context determines meaning – this version probably used more around people who are used to being around people with various viewpoints: opposite/disagree about things, but agree to disagree and still be friends…and polite?
    How different things would be if people updated these phrases, but kept the intention and meanings ( (and lived by them): “Treat others as you wish to be treated”, and “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”…..probably asking too much.

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    1. philmouse, yes this new-to-me saying is like the old elementary school jab. The odd thing was that all the other commenters on this tweet knew what the saying meant– that is, that it was dissing the person who tweeted first.

      It was not used in a complimentary way.

      I agree that we as a society do seem to be stuck in 5th grade recess. Of course what do you expect with a so-called president who talks on a 5th grade level? And has never treated anyone else as well as [or better than] he treats himself? Sad times for moral, kind people…

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      1. Usage was pretty clear to me.
        Remember “you’re it, I quit.”? Do kids get to play chase and have “it” anymore. I think we’ve shot ourselves in the foot by over regulating and organizing children”s play…a lot of behavior was learned or unlearned at an earlier age- yes, it wasn’t always pretty, but we survived. We’ll survive the DC kiddie games as the country has before, but so hard to watch.)

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        1. I’ve never heard: “you’re it, I quit.” I missed that one entirely, but I did play outside almost every day as a child. Organized after school activities were few and far between– but backyard games and swing sets were everywhere.

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    1. bnzoot, I usually don’t pay much attention to clever pop psychology sayings, but this one stumped me as to what it meant. Now that I know its meaning, I don’t like. It seems too limiting to be useful, so I won’t say it! HA!

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    1. Sheryl, it was a new phrase for me. It’s a little baffling, though. But at least if I hear someone say it again, I’ll have a clue as to what they’re saying.

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  31. Yeah, I think this has some roots in Buddhism, in Kabbalah, and definitely self-help, but it’s been turned on its head to make you feel guilty or bad about yourself. You recognize the behavior because you’ve either done something like it before or seen something like it before or somehow lived with it before (before could also be past lives) and even seeing it means there’s still a thread or shard or something like it in your soul. I always found this a hard concept to swallow because we live in the world where there’s crap all around us so it’s hard not to be at least exposed or as Somerset Maugham out it in “The Razor’s Edge,” “it’s easy to be a holy man if you’re sitting on top of a mountain,” or something like that. I think the whole point is to want change but to be non-judgmental and non-reactionary. But what do I know?😘

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    1. pjlazos, I’m sitting here saying “OH!” and “AH-HA!” You’ve explained the origins of this saying in a way that I totally get. I’m still not 100% convinced that it’s a great thing to say, but with your insights I see how it came to be.

      In my experience the way in which this saying was used was meant to make someone feel less about herself. I have to wonder if saying “spot it, you’ve got it” is just another way of keeping a smart woman quiet.

      I don’t know the Maugham quote, but it’s a good one that rings true. Abstract ideals are a whole lot different than practical applications. Thanks for taking the time to comment and explain this all to me.

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    1. Judy, I thought more along the lines that you did about the meaning of this saying. It confused me when I read it, so, of course, I had to research it. Now that I know, I don’t think I’ll be using it.

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    1. Margaret, the meaning of that saying wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. Talk about confusing communication. I don’t like the implication that because I understand that someone else is doing something lousy, I do the same thing, too. That doesn’t ring true with me.

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