When I was younger I wished I was perfect. If only I didn't make mistakes, say the 'wrong thing' and have silly fears. If only I had plenty of confidence and was all round 'better'. As I have aged I have come to see that it is my shortcomings and quirks that help me connect with other people.
Many is the time I have found myself talking about my uncertainties with a true friend. She, in turn, has then shared her fears and mistakes with me. If either one of us was perfect (if perfection existed) those conversations wouldn't happen.
Often someone will tell me about a situation or a personal fear which I have not experienced. However, I may have been through or felt something similar enough for me to empathise. If I was perfect, never making mistakes or having doubts, I would have no patience or understanding. It is quite likely the other person wouldn't feel comfortable telling me because they would sense I would have no common ground with them.
Over coffee, a close friend and I will talk about what we perceive as our shortcomings. We will unburden ourselves as we discuss things we are scared of doing and situations that fill us with dread. We might moan about a tendency to buy things we don't really need or a fear of moths and answering the phone.
When I confide my imperfections to someone I trust and she reciprocates, a special bond forms. We trust and understand each other. We do not judge or laugh at the other person. We can relax in the company of each other. Sometimes we may discuss possible ways of handling things. Any suggestions are taken on board more easily when they come from an imperfect friend who understands our insecurities.
What would we talk about if we had no weaknesses, quirks and fears? Yes, there are other things to discuss but they wouldn't make us bond in the same way.
My imperfections, quirks, fears and strange habits actually help me connect with others. I may still feel inadequate and self conscious about these things around people who seem to have no understanding. However, I have come to see my shortcomings help me relate to those around me and I feel closest to people who are willing to admit they are also far from perfect.
Thanks for your feedback. I think society puts too much emphasis on constantly trying to change ourselves when we are all okay just being ourselves. It's those funny little insecurities and idiosyncrasies that make us individuals. Sometimes it's the very things we are self conscious about that make our true friends love us.
Thanks for your ongoing support, Justine. I found it a great weight off my shoulders when I started to accept it is okay to be imperfect. I felt even better when I realised my imperfections help me connect.