My grandmother, who came to the United States as a young teenager, spoke fluent English, but she sometimes uttered malapropisms—she would get a word or phrase slightly wrong. She once referred to something as “the flaw in the ointment,” substituting flaw  for “fly,” getting the meaning essentially correct but not saying the phrase right. Her family loved this about her, and she accepted their gentle teasing gracefully, knowing it was offered with love and amusement.

Flaws are inimical to perfection, of course, and yet when you love someone, it is not in spite of their flaws. You accept and even cherish your loved one’s less perfect features, even though you have trouble extending that same attitude to yourself.

Research has shown that showing vulnerability can make us more likeable to others, in fact. In her book, Daring…

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