Friends: People Who Have the Same Flaws as Us

Anne Lamott:

A person's faults are largely what make him or her likable. I like for narrators [of novels] to be like the people I choose for friends, which is to say that they have a lot of the same flaws as I. Preoccupation with self is good, as is a tendency toward procrasination, self-delusion, darkness, jealousy, groveling, greediness, addictiveness. They shouldn't be too perfect; perfect means shallow and unreal and fatally uninteresting. I like for them to have a nice sick sense of humor and to be concerned with important things, by which I mean that they are interested in political and psychological and spiritual matters. I want them to know who we are and what life is all about. I like them to be mentally ill in the same sorts of way that I am; for instance, I have a friend who said one day, "I could resent the ocean if I tried," and realized that I love that in a guy. I like for for them to have hope — if a friend or narrator reveals himself or herself to be hopeless too early on, I lose interest. It depresses me. It makes me overeat. I don't mind if a person has no hope if she or she is sufficiently funny about the whole thing, but then, this being able to be funny definitely speaks to a kind of hope, of buoyancy.

That's from her 1995 classic, Bird by Bird.

8 Responses to Friends: People Who Have the Same Flaws as Us

  1. Reesale says:

    What an incredible and concise celebration of the human race.

  2. sewa mobil says:

    Nice article, thanks for the information.

  3. jimm says:

    Having a good sense of humor even in a moment of desperation help to relax your mind. Easy said than done but certainly a great trait.

  4. Edeo says:

    I think Brene Brown talks about
    something similar in her work and
    her ted talk “The power of
    vulnerability”

    link to ted.com

    “A person’s faults are largely what
    make him or her likable. ”

    Maybe a person’s courage to be
    vulnerable and show his or her
    faults is largely what makes us able to
    connect(and make him or her likeable)

    Thanks for the post

  5. I like the statement about choosing friends with the same flaws. My wife and I joke that “we’re the same kind of crazy” and that’s why our relationship works. It makes sense that you will bond with someone who sees the world roughly the same was as you do.

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