Throughout my life, observing people, I have recognized that humans love to make character claims about someone else. What do I mean by “character flaw claims”? It’s when someone says something like this, “I think you are prideful”, “You are resentful”, “You are arrogant”, “You are selfish”, and the list goes on. A character flaw claim is a critique on an individual’s character. Should character flaw claims ever be made? Only carefully; like, very carefully. This article seeks to offer advice on how to make them.
No one is perfect. Everyone is a work in progress. No one is beyond reproach. When we approach a person with assessments about their character, we must first realize we could be wrong. What we think about an individual could be totally incorrect. You could be projecting. Projecting is subconscious unresolved emotions which you unknowingly perceive in others. You could also be seeing unresolved relationship issues in other relationships. Therefore, for instance, if you have a relative you grew up with who lied to you a lot, then you might be constantly suspicious your best friend is lying to you, not realizing just because your relative is a liar doesn’t mean everyone else is a liar as well.
Because no one is perfect, we should approach character flaw claims in a way to help a person improve. We should not reprove a person to for personal gratification. We should not make character flaw claims to destroy a person, only to build them up using constructive criticism. So, this means we must approach a person with ways they can improve and get better, meaning one must be able to humbly provide circumstantial evidence, not to destroy the person, but to show them how they can improve. If you cannot do this, then leave the person alone.
Approach the conversation knowing you can be wrong. Use gentle language and present what you have seen, to the person and ask them what they think about it. Give the person room to save face; some people’s pride and ego will not let them admit they need improvement. However, even though you give personal room to save face, be sure to recognize even though they might not have admitted to your claim, they have been exposed to it and are now aware of it. As time progresses, they will be more likely to recognize the problem now after being exposed to it.
Here is the short and sweet of it; people oftentimes do not recognize their character flaws, thus, are often oblivious to them. Why? Because if a honest person recognizes their character flaws, they are likely to improve them or at least apologize for them. This is why people need their friends and family to show them their weak spots in a way, which is loving and wants growth not destruction. Therefore, one should provide ways for the person to improve by demonstrating to them how they can grow instead of just making accusations against the person and leaving them clueless, bewildered and possibly even offended afterwards. If you cannot do this gently, responsibly and in a way which doesn’t seek to a destroy the person, then you should not even try it.
~Thanks for reading!
Lawrence W. Rodgers