I know the actual definition of Doppelganger is “a ghostly duplicate of a living person” but it was the first thing that came to mind as I tried to find a way to explain how certain types of people and situations that are eerily similar to each other tend to show up in our lives repeatedly. Is it just me or do these people and situations tend to cause stress and frustration and seem almost like they are distractions, hindering you from reaching certain goals that you have set for yourself? The frequent occurrence of these people and situations in my life caused me to dig a little deeper into this concept.
As I began analyzing these types of people that found their way into my life, I began to see patterns. When I took a look at how they came into my life, what happened while they were in it and how they left it, it was almost like the same person was reincarnated over and over again to manifest situations that caused me great stress and discomfort. I began to realize that these individuals almost always showed up the same way and once the same issue presented itself, I escorted them out of my life in the exact same way. It was almost like I was Tom Cruise in the movie Edge of Tomorrow where he found himself “inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again...and again.” I find myself “fighting and dying” in these situations repeatedly. Sometimes there will be years before I reencounter the Situational Doppelganger and sometimes it is only a matter of months.
It is easy to dismiss Situational Doppelgangers as being problems caused by others. Until recently, I did. I thought there must be something inherently wrong or flawed with these individuals and assumed the role of the powerless and betrayed victim. I couldn’t understand why these people kept finding me and I couldn’t understand how they were so successful in “duping” me into allowing them into my world. What was even more frustrating was it seemed they were forcing me to terminate our relationship/dealings in the same exact way. For me, this was abruptly cutting them out of my life, severing all ties quickly and easily and never looking back. Have you ever found yourself doing this? The moment someone upsets you, you immediately make the decision to leave them behind or cut them off without a second thought or without considering a different way to deal with them? Not to say that these individuals deserve to be in your life. Maybe they were in fact toxic and needed to be left behind but could you have handled the situation in a different way?
What is it really?
I was having a conversation with one of my Alumni Sisters and this topic came up. She is well-versed in Mindset training and is very much about “the work” that we all must do internally to attract what we want into our lives. She explained that when people and situations continue to show up the same way in your life, it is because YOU have attracted them to you. A situation tends to play out the same way, with different “actors” until you solve the issue it was intended to address. As they say, we are but mirrors of ourselves. The situations that play out in our lives are external manifestations of what is happening inside of us. The people who I have met that have betrayed or frustrated me are physical manifestations of an internal struggle that is taking place within me. They are reenactments of the abandonment and betrayal I experienced as a child when my mother was taken away from me and my father chose not to be a part of my life. When I came of an age where I had some type of control over who I allowed into my life, I was guarded with whom I let in to avoid the same type of feelings of betrayal and abandonment that I felt as a young child. By making this secret pact with myself, I was actually ensuring that I would continue to deal with this type of situation because I never planned to process the feelings that came with it; I had control over how quickly I ended those types of relationships, or so I thought, and I chose to, without hesitation, severe ties quickly. The problem has been that I continue to be brought face to face with what I do not like about myself. I have issues with effectively communicating with people whom I attach meaning to because I am afraid they will abandon or betray me like my parents. I believe that after I have been betrayed or crossed by this person if I leave first, I win because I have prevented that person from getting the best of me. The truth is, they already have. Every time I have dealt with a situation in this way, I guarantee its reoccurrence.
How to break the cycle?
To break this cycle, you must acknowledge that it is happening and that YOU are the reason. It’s quite uncomfortable to be told that you are the reason certain types of people show up to disrupt your life. It is downright painful to acknowledge that those people are mirrors of yourself. When you begin to understand that we are all here, in this life, to learn more about ourselves through interactions with others, the concept of attracting people who will help you learn lessons about yourself will not be so foreign.
Shifting our perspective of these difficult people and situations is also necessary. Instead of perceiving them as nuisances that are distractions from your goals and your ultimate happiness, view them as an opportunity that, if handled appropriately, will help you to reach your goals and ultimate happiness much faster. The next time a Situational Doppelganger occurs, pause and take a step back. Before you move to make the same decision you always have, you know, the one that you’re most comfortable with, stop! Think through other ways you could handle the situation. Realize that the person you are dealing with is YOU, showing up with an armor of insecurities. How would you like to be handled in that situation? What is there to learn? If you don’t move forward with caution and look for the lesson, you will most certainly see this situation again. You will see the same people with different faces until you deal with your inner turmoil. I am writing this article as a cautionary tale to myself. I hope it resonates with someone else in a way that helps them to overcome their Situational Doppelganger. We are what we dislike until we change what we dislike in ourselves.