Why Owning Your Flaws Can Boost Your Happiness
By: Kris Reece, Author of Build a Beautiful Life Out of Broken Pieces
Have you ever encountered someone who acts like they don’t do anything wrong—ever? They never admit to making mistakes and have a justification for everything that doesn’t work out in their favor. If they didn’t do the report to the boss’s satisfaction, they blame everyone else.
Or perhaps you’ve experienced someone blatantly lying. And when you call them out on it, they lie again to cover it up.
Encounters with these kinds of people can be frustrating and exhausting. They pretend to be something they’re not to impress you—or to make them feel better about themselves. They never admit a fault and actually believe that people buy into their façade.
The sad part is this is so far from the truth.
We all have flaws. We all know that we all have flaws. But still, many of us try to fool others into thinking that we’ve got it all together.
As you read this I am certain you are thinking of at least a few people who fit this description. Perhaps one of them is you.
If you suspect that you are one of the people who refuses to admit any imperfection, look to your relationships. When you are hiding your flaws instead of owning them, there is a phoniness to your relationships. They tend to be shallow and short term. You may be able to fool people on the surface, but genuine relationships are fleeting. You were created to have relationships. So when you don’t have genuine connections with others, you feel empty.
Ok, Kris, I don’t want to be like this anymore, you say. How do I change?
First, ask yourself why you spend so much time and energy hiding your true self. Perhaps you fear judgment and rejection from others—this is common. This is good, because now we are getting somewhere. Because genuine happiness starts with an honest assessment of one’s self. Warts and all. You can’t fake it till you make it when it comes to being happy.
And yet, owning up to your flaws can be frightening, especially for those who have been perfectionists their entire lives. Others have been basing their happiness on what others think of them. Either scenario drives a person to never admit their flaws, despite the fact that they are in plain view for all to see.
The most crucial step towards genuine happiness is to let your walls down and be real with people, and with yourself. In my book, Build a Beautiful Life Out of Broken Pieces, I talk about the steps you can take to begin this process. This is a scary time for many as they feel completely naked. This feeling is temporary. The more genuine you become with people, the happier you will be. With one caveat: If you have been hiding your flaws, you probably share life with similarly disingenuous people. If this is the case, then you may not get met with warmth upon letting your flaws show. You may get met with criticism. If this happens, I challenge you to not go back to your old ways. Rather, consider professional help in forming safer, more genuine relationships.
The second step is to embrace your flaws. Allow your forgetfulness—or other things you judge about yourself—to be seen by others. As you journey you will begin to notice that it’s your vulnerability that makes you extremely attractive to people. The other stuff is just plain ugly and you’re not fooling anyone.
There is too much beauty waiting for you to remain in denial over flaws that everyone else can clearly see anyway. Once you own them they go from ugly to endearing, and a genuine sense of happiness overtakes you.