I posted on my social media page asking about my biggest flaw. Not to attention seek. Not because I was having a sad. I legitimately wanted to see if I could get some overlap between my friend group and the finalists I’d come up with myself.
You see, I have been obsessed with personal accountability of late. And a hefty portion of that, for me, has been trying to determine how someone can truly hold themselves accountable. If they don’t have the proper scrying tools that would actually provide them with the knowledge of where they are fucking up… can they be held accountable to themselves? To others?
I want to know what people opt to say about me when I’m not around. Not to challenge them on their experiences of me, but to challenge myself. I likely agree with many of the negative things they have to say, and I could always use an external challenge to help motivate my growth.
I suppose I should have known that I would not be able to get some nitty-gritty truth from folks online. They saw it as me feeling down on myself or needing a pick-me-up. A couple folks messaged me directly to ask if I was okay. Though I clearly stated I was being serious, no one could provide me with ‘real’ flaws.
Immediately what started coming in were jokes and non-flaws. “You’re too nice.” “Too many dad-jokes.” “Your knees.” (I’ve had surgeries on both.) “Insufficient number of tentacles.” “Too many flaws, you’re falafel!” A few folks did bother to say that I had no flaws whatsoever, on the post or in my private messages. Not one person brought up something like “you’re lazy,” or “you don’t stay in touch well.” My online flaw search was a big flop.
Let’s define flaw. I had a lengthy discussion about this with peers around a fire and we … sort of didn’t get anywhere. I wanted to remove physical flaws: injuries, appearances, limitations from birth, whatever. Out. You can’t necessarily choose those, and many of them are subjective based on the culture you’re raised in, etc. etc. So, moral or ethical flaws. Character flaws.
But what if something isn’t a flaw but instead is a coping mechanism? Something that isn’t the best behavior ethically or with sound character, but one you only do as a response to how you were raised, or how you managed to survive a traumatic or abusive experience. Perhaps a coping mechanism that is still required for you to function in a society that doesn’t think you deserve life, liberty, and happiness.
And if you don’t consider something (like being self-centered, or stubborn) to be a flaw… is it truly one of your flaws? You aren’t going to be willing to change anything about yourself that you don’t believe needs changing, so if you don’t recognize something as a flaw that you want to change, then it can’t be on the list either.
Thus, if a flaw is something that is not an inherent physical trait, is not a coping mechanism required to survive (temporarily or permanently), and is something that you recognize as a flaw – that you want to “fix” or change…you’ve got a proper flaw to be accountable to yourself for.
So … what’s your biggest flaw?