Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
People have a tendency to perceive negative thought patterns or behaviors as existing in others when they are unwilling or unable to recognize them in themselves; an individual who complains that no one around them listens very well is quite possibly someone who has a problem listening themselves. So, one way for the above quote to be true is in the case of projecting.
Another cause- for someone feeling as though others don’t listen very well- might be an unwillingness to make one’s voice heard; in which case, another way to interpret the quote is that introspection might lead us to find a lack of self confidence (or whatever specifically is stopping us from making our voice heard). It can feel better to blame others and not acknowledge there's a weak spot in ourselves that could be worked on- particularly if it seems like others are just inherently stronger in certain aspects and the imbalance gets taken advantage of.
Jealousy also comes into play, which somewhat coincides with the above point. It's irritating to deal with others' senses of entitlement when they run somewhat contrary to our own. I think this might be irritating because it threatens our own sense of entitlement, though I'm not sure about this one.
What are other possible scenarios in which getting irritated might lead us to a better understanding of ourselves?
Are there situations in which the above quote doesn’t apply?
If it doesn’t always apply- what are the exceptions? How can we tell the difference between determining an exception to the rule and simply kidding ourselves (writing the ‘other’ off as different and finding that difference irritating, if only for the consequent inconvenience it places in our daily routine- when in truth we’re transferring criticism to the ‘other’ because we don’t feel like finding it in ourselves)?
This is something I’ve thought about for several years, always trying to find what seems like the healthiest balance. I curious about what others think.