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Sharing your weaknesses

Feb 8, 2012

“People respect you for your strengths and love you for your weaknesses.”  I once heard my mother say this.  Maybe it's a well-known quote - I don't know.  I think there’s something to it. There is something special that happens when you reveal your weaknesses, your defeats, your vulnerabilities to others.  We all have our weaknesses – and by revealing yours, you let others know that it’s OK for them to have theirs. Also, when you reveal your weakness to someone, you are implicitly saying “I trust you with this”.

I have a memory from high school when my friend Tom was dating a wonderful girl named Joan. One day, I’d heard that they were no longer together, and I asked Tom about it. He said “Yeah, Joan dumped me”. I remember being surprised by his honesty, the fact that he wasn't defending his ego – and I remember how much I admired him for it.

I have friends now who are honest with me about their ups and downs, and I can be honest about mine. It’s not always easy to be honest with others about your fears and your failures – but I think that authenticity, sharing our concerns, really strengthens our connectedness with the people in our lives.

Here's a related TED talk that I highly recommend.  I'd watched it months ago, and just watched it again now.  It's 20 min long, so if you don't have time now, perhaps you can bookmark it for later.  I think it's worth it.