Tuesday, May 25, 2010

our lovely, imperfect selves

I was recently reading a post on the Sunday at Noon blog, in which matchmaker Marni Galison talks about how easy it is to fall into the trap of cutting off potential dates because they're not perfect. She says:

In most aspects of our lives, we can accept that the people we love are
flawed human beings but naturally we still love them anyway. Despite those
flaws, we recognize the qualities that make them the unique, wonderful people
they are and we cherish having them in our lives.

But for some reason, when it comes to dating, the minute we see that a new
love interest is less than perfect we rush to judgment. And often that judgment
is equivalent to the Spanish Inquisition – no one stands a chance from thereon

She goes on to encourage us to forgive each other for not being perfect, which might make dating a little bit easier. (See the whole article here.)

I'd like to take that action even one step further -- I'd like to encourage us to forgive ourselves for not being perfect. When we accept, embrace, and even revel in our own imperfections ("that's right, I can be needy sometimes!") we are likely to be more forgiving of perceived shortcomings in others.

One of the things I try to do to give myself perspective on perfection and the challenges that other people face is simple: I put myself in their shoes. Given their situations, backgrounds, friends, fears, needs, etc., how would I act? Would I be different? And if so, can I at least understand better why they are they way they are?

It's a carry-over from my acting days when I used to put on all those things on behalf of a character, and I find it expands my generosity and patience with others immensely. (Which can come in handy when one is dating...)

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