McLEOD: Learning the real truth about other people

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Other people are flawed, they’re badly flawed. They’re selfish, they’re mean, they’re cheap, they’re sloppy they’re lazy, and in most cases they’re completely unwilling to even acknowledge they’re doing anything wrong.

No matter how many times we point it out to them.

People are hopelessly flawed. They always were, and they probably always will be.

Book signing

Snellville resident Lisa Earle McLeod is a keynote speaker, consultant, and the best-selling author of “The Triangle of Truth.” This column was excerpted from that book.

The only real hope we have for creating peace is for us to start seeing people for who they really are, both the good and the bad, and to not let their flaws keep us from enjoying them.

I know why we get frustrated.

“But you don’t know my in-laws, they’re awful.”

“The guy who cheated my on that business deal, he can never be forgiven, that was my life savings.”

“You have no idea how much my spouse has hurt me.”

I’ve been there myself, and I have no doubt that you’ve been wronged. I’m not suggesting that you put with mistreatment. But at a certain point, we have to get over ourselves and make peace with the fact that other people are dysfunctional.

People are flawed, AND they’re also fabulous. If we want to have any relationships in our life at all, we’re going to have to start seeing some of their redeeming qualities or we’ll drive ourselves nuts.

And we’re going to have to admit that maybe we’re not right about everything.

Because there’s one person’s flawed and fabulous nature we don’t talk about, and that’s our own.

It’s true, you’re probably just as flawed and fabulous as all the people you’re frustrated with. The trouble is, as hard as it is to accept the flawed and fabulous duality in others, sometimes it’s even harder to accept in ourselves.

We’re usually either trying to pretend we’re perfect or we’re beating ourselves up because we’re not. We’re either trying to prove we’re right or we’re terrified that we’re wrong.

Much of the drama we create around the misdeeds of others is just our ego’s way of justifying our own position. But you can’t make peace with the flawed and fabulous nature of others, until you make peace with your own flawed and fabulous self.

We’re never going to get rid of our flaws any more that we’re ever all going to agree on politics, religion or sofa fabric.

But if we can make peace with the fact that we’re all flawed, and we’re also all fabulous, and that no one person is right about everything, things will start to change. Not just in our personal relationships, but in our businesses, our communities, and, lofty as it sounds, perhaps in the world.

When we acknowledge that that good and bad exists within each of us, we no longer have anything to prove, to ourselves or to anyone else. The moment we decide to redirect our energy away from attacking and defending is the very moment that we open up a space to create something better, for ourselves and for others.

You can’t create greatness if you’re locked in the middle of a debate. And you won’t find peace if your only goal is to get your way.

It is only by lifting our hearts and minds to a larger vision that we can become who we were truly meant to be.

Which is flawed and fabulous people who appreciate their fellow humans even when they’re driving us nuts.

Snellville resident Lisa Earle McLeod is a keynote speaker, consultant, and the best-selling author of “The Triangle of Truth.” This column was excerpted from that book.