If self-compassion isn’t a part of your self-care routine, that routine is incomplete. Let’s break down why embracing our flaws is a MUST for better living.
Flaws are a part of who we are, simple as that. That said, in our perfectionist society it can be difficult to remember “flaws” are every bit as important to us as our strengths.
Don’t believe me? Here are three reasons embracing those little flaws can help you in big ways:
1. You will find it easier to become comfortable around other people.
When dating and getting to know new people, we may feel reserved or more timid than we are in more “normal” circumstances. We try our hardest to show our best selves and to hide imperfections; we hold tight to the belief that if we show these flaws, our dates will lose interest and won’t want to pursue a relationship.
Believe it or not, the opposite approach is what truly seals the deal. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, social events are easier to manage. People will gravitate to you as you project contentedness and happiness. From my experience, most people you meet for the first time won’t notice your flaws unless you bring attention to them (and even then, these “flaws” are often so blown out of proportion internally, the other individual rarely sees them for the devastating issues you perceive them to be).
Unfortunately, we live in a society where flaws aren’t to be celebrated and instead should be covered up, shamed, hidden, and concealed from the naked eye as they’re deemed “unattractive.” Most people, given the chance, would be more excited at the prospect of getting to know someone who is sure of themselves—appreciating the positives they bring to a relationship.
Whether your flaw is physical, mental, emotional, personality, or otherwise—it doesn’t make you who you are. You are much more than your flaws, and being able to show this to the world will make you far more approachable, inviting, and attractive.
It’s similar to how our lives have become synonymous with our job title. Whether you’re at a networking event, a night out with friends, a stag do, or a double-date, people always mention their job at the first opportunity.
“My name is David and I’m a mechanical engineer.”
Because we are perpetually in professional mode, we don’t want to appear less than that, so we omit the fact that we love video games, football, kayaking, rock-climbing, and collecting rare artifacts.
Someone who regularly celebrates their flaws has a greater understanding of who they are as a person. This ownership of who we are attracts people to us, as they feel they’re getting the real you, from the beginning.
2. You will learn to embrace self-love and self-compassion.
With mindfulness and self-love being a huge component of what makes our community so strong, accepting our flaws each day is the best way to teach ourselves about self love.
Recently I’ve been using a technique for self-compassion as a way to restore my confidence and self-esteem. It’s called “I’m sorry.”
Each day I say an act of forgiveness to myself, for all the times I’ve slandered myself for mistakes, blown opportunities, or perceived being an utter failure in life. Think of it similar to daily affirmations, the positive words of forgiveness you read out loud that help to build your confidence and self-esteem.
When we do hurtful things to other people, it’s common courtesy to apologize and make up with the people we’ve hurt; but when people insult or chastise us, we relay those thoughts back to ourselves—over, and over, and over—until they become a focal point of our mindset. This damages our self-esteem, and can result in severe anxiety and depression over time.
When we celebrate our flaws, we send positive messages to the subconscious mind.
You are telling yourself:
“My flaws do not make me who I am.”
“I love myself.”
“I’m lovable, I am important, and I have a reason and purpose for being here.“
Similarly to how sleep restores our body from the stress built up during the day, active self-compassion restores our mind from the emotional and mental stresses we encountered. Unfortunately, many of us don’t prioritize self-love and self-care in the ways that best serve us. Appreciating the flaws you have not only benefits you, but also the people around you.
3. You will find yourself naturally more accepting of others.
Identifying your flaws, appreciating them, and taking ownership of them will make you more accepting of other people. You’re able to see the good things others can bring to a relationship, and the things that may require cultivating a little strength or self-love. You’ll also be much more self-aware of your strengths and your weaknesses, and how each of these contributes toward the quality of your life and those around you.
You might be wondering, “Should I ever change myself to eliminate flaws?”
Not all flaws are equal. Some have no effect on your happiness, success, and interactions with other people day to day. These are quirks we need to embrace and own. However, some flaws—particularly some personality traits—can have a negative impact on people around you.
For example, if you’re known to be insensitive toward others going through a bad time or others who don’t take rejection as lightly as you do, it may be more difficult to form a strong bond; others may feel like you’re not taking them seriously and/or easily brush their problems aside.
A scenario you might see this played out in is with a person who finds it easier to get dates or land relationships, while their friend or friends struggle. Clichéd platitudes might be used to make attempts at compassion. While the insensitive individual means well, their words can actually have the opposite intended effect.
“You just need to be confident.”
“Someone will come along soon.”
“Don’t worry about it, everyone finds someone.”
So emotional/personality flaws like insensitivity and brashness aren’t exactly flaws to be celebrated. They need to be acknowledged, accepted, and used in a way to become a better person.
But the good news is we CAN overcome the flaws that call for it. In fact, coming to terms with these issues will work twofold: you’ll make personal progress, cultivating self-love and a whole lot of healing and you’ll begin to accept other people for who they are (on a dramatic new level), rather than who you want them to be.
So start today. Celebrate the flaws that make you delightfully, uniquely you, while recognizing where you have space to grow into an elevated version of the already-wonderful person you are in this world.