Do you turn into a shrew when you get stressed out or unnecessarily panic in a crisis? It's OK; no one is perfect—we all have our little idiosyncrasies, quirks, or bad habits that we'd rather repress than own. But in order to have better relationships with ourselves and our partners, it's important to embrace these individual flaws or "shadows," and move from living in a mode of denial and self-criticism to one that's more loving.
In keeping with our Love Starts Within spotlight, we recently asked our YourTango Experts for their advice on how you can accept and embrace your flaws in order to attract and sustain more love in your life.
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How do I identify my flaws?
When past relationships have ended quickly, unexpectedly, or repeatedly fallen short of your expectations, it can be tempting to blame the other person. However, it's informative (but not easy!) to acknowledge your contribution to the outcome and take responsibility for it. Self-awareness can give you insight into what part you may have played in these failed relationships, and how likely you are to repeat these patterns in the future. In other words, when a relationship ends, it helps to look inward. The Top 10 Real Reasons Men Break Up With Women
A basic psychological principle is that all our relationships reflect or mirror back to us aspects of who we are. When those reflected qualities are positive, we tend to feel better about ourselves. But if they are less attractive, it's common to feel defensive, angry or hurt. Looking closely at our less attractive qualities is not an easy process, and I commend my clients when they are brave enough to take this essential step.
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If you would like to identify your own less attractive qualities, I recommend taking an inventory of your past relationships by answering the following questions:
- Are there any links or patterns between the people you have chosen to become involved with?
- Did your relationships begin or end in a similar manner, or at a time of transition in your life?
- Were there often conflicts around the same issues, like trust or aggression?
- Have there been any recurring tendencies in your partners, such as an inability to commit, control issues or negativity?
If you're wondering why your relationships are not flourishing, this examination of past relationships can help remove your own personal obstacles and propel you forward to finding the love you desire and deserve. 10 Dating Mindsets Sabotaging Your Love Life