"Our reactions to things are really us reacting to ourselves, after all." I was confused by this. How do you mean?
Our perception of the world is a function of our own viewpoint. What trips your rage-filter may not trip mine, and those tripwires are laid into our own personalities by a dizzying array of factors that we can neither control nor even identify. Therefore our reactions are dependent on who we are, and they are informed by aspects of our own psyches. We tend to react most strongly to things that strike a nerve. People are often the most critical of personality quirks in others that they themselves possess but dislike. Insecure people often lash out at those who share the qualities that they themselves feel insecure about. Arrogant people hate others who share that trait. It’s not a universal, of course, but often, we react the most strongly when what we see in others reflects things that we dislike about ourselves.