We all have them, yet it can seem very difficult to accept them or even love them for what they are: our defects are part of those peculiarities that help make us who we are. Think of the even “studied” defects of Botticelli’s Venus, consecrated to the world for its imperfections.
Loving one’s flaws is often declined as a trivial cliché, but it is not an invitation to self-indulgence, let alone to take responsibility for one’s mistakes. Rather, it is a question of confronting one’s own limitations and fixing one’s mistakes without questioning one’s self-esteem or personal worth.
The defects that make us unique
“… These are the things I miss most, the little weaknesses that only I knew, this made her my wife. She too knew good things about me, she knew all my little sins. These things people call imperfections, but they are not, they are the essential part… ”With these words, Dr. Sean Maguire explains to Will the value of imperfections in human relationships (Will Hunting – Rebel genius, 1997). This process is similar and what everyone can establish with themselves: learning to love their defects means first of all succeeding and relativizing them as partial and non-totalizing aspects of one’s person and, why not, starting to treat them with a little humor, making ourselves nice to ourselves even for those “small imperfections” which, after all, make us what we are. It is only apparently a banality, humor is actually an evolved and adaptive defense mechanism that the mind has at its disposal to emotionally distance itself from what disturbs us, grasp its paradoxical aspects and turn it into something hilarious, which can arouse empathy and benevolence (there is nothing more contagious than laughter!). Knowing how to smile at one’s flaws is a way to dampen their extent, exorcise shame or embarrassment and make them more easily admissible to oneself and to others.
What do we learn from mistakes?
Jean Piaget was one of the leading psychologists of the developmental age. He began to study infant thinking in a very interesting way. At the time he was a young collaborator of Alfred Binet, the father of intelligence tests, and had the task of giving children a series of laboratory tests. Binet’s aim was to study intelligence and predict which children they would have. academic difficulties. Everything was measured on the basis of the number of right / wrong answers. Piaget did not stop there, however, he did not just record when his little subjects gave wrong answers, but began to ask them why, to explore what kind of logical path they had taken in order to give a certain answer rather than a ‘ other. This led him to highlight recurrent differences in reasoning skills based on age and it was precisely from these pioneering observations that the studies on the development of infantile thought that would have made him famous began. Piaget’s method may have inspired many people, especially for those who by nature tend to have high levels of perfectionism. The error – however serious or inadmissible it may seem – can represent an aspect to question rather than something that puts “out of the game”. From this point of view it is not said that an error should be canceled or that it should not happen, putting aside the judgment allows you to ask questions about the reasons and the meaning of what happened. It may be that you discover new things about yourself, even about your weaknesses, to the benefit of a greater self-awareness. It is not important not to make mistakes, not to have defects, but – as Piaget did – to reflect on them, to ask ourselves why, what they mean, what they can tell us about ourselves. Many great discoveries in history on the other hand were born precisely from procedural errors and defects!
Defects and self-esteem
It should also not be forgotten how important an attitude of benevolence towards one’s defects is also important to put the person in a position to be able to repair a mistake.If one is taken by too much shame, the decline in self-esteem and self-depreciation will take over. with the effect of paralyzing the mind: the person is unable to do anything and the error is perceived as irreparable because it is not only felt as an oversight in one’s behavior, but as something that has called into question the global value of If, on the contrary, one manages to distance oneself from one’s defects, relativize them and treat them with irony, one is even more in a position to see them for what they are: partial and non-totalizing aspects of one’s way of being. A single mistake will not compromise one’s self-esteem globally and making mistakes by continuing to think of being, in spite of everything, a person worthy of consideration is certainly the best condition to be able to repair or change one’s behavior. one’s defects is a way to get to know each other better and improve oneself.