Flaws That Are More Attractive Than You Realized

We all have certain traits or habits that we perceive as flaws. "Ugh, why am I like this?!" is a feeling we all experience at one point or another. But what if we told you that the very things you view as flaws can actually be what attracts others to you? We're not just reaching here — in an article that Wendy L. Patrick, J.D., Ph.D. wrote for Psychology Today, she explains that, often, it's not so much our talents that make us attractive to others; it's our more human traits. Our imperfections can make others feel safer and accepted in our presence, while our talents can sometimes make them feel inadequate or alienated.

Patrick cites research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin which suggests that accepting our own flaws can do wonders for our relationships, especially those we have with romantic partners. When we accept that we're not perfect, the understanding we cultivate toward ourselves leads to greater understanding and acceptance of the flaws of others. What's more is that in some cases, our flaws can become the very thing that attracts people to us. Even though we all try in vain to be perfect, no one is, and owning your flaws instead of loathing them makes you that more relatable. " ... [I]mperfection is not necessarily a turnoff; it can actually be something that attracts us through recognizing shared humanity," Patrick writes. Are you ready to embrace your flaws? Then, by all means, read on.

Being a little needy is not a bad thing

Many of us believe that being a little needy is a bad thing, but that's not necessarily the case. Being able to voice your needs to your friends and romantic partner is important, and it can help them understand better what you need from them, and vice versa.

In an article psychotherapist Minaa B. wrote for Well+Good, she mentions that many people ask her how they can be less needy, and she gives it to them straight. "Well, newsflash: There is nothing wrong with having needs, communicating them, and expecting them to be met within the scope of your romantic partnership," Minaa B. writes. In fact, this perceived flaw can work in your favor when it comes to building healthy, lasting relationships. When you're open about your needs with your partner, it creates an opportunity for some meaningful and productive conversations about how you can meet each other's needs. Being able to voice your needs is a positive trait, Minaa B. writes, not a negative one. It means you are self-aware enough to know what they are, and to communicate it. "It's okay to set expectations and advocate for yourself regarding how you would like to be emotionally cared for," she writes.

Nerdiness is cool

Gone are the days of feeling ashamed of your nerdy characteristics. These days, nerdiness is übercool, especially when you're of the male species, experts say. Those who get dubbed as nerds are often people who are incredibly passionate about a topic or hobby, and what is not attractive about that? The very thing you're so passionate about can be what connects you to new friends or a potential partner.

Relationship expert April Masini goes as far as to say, "Geeks, dorks, and nerds are the new jocks," telling the Economic Times, "The quarterback always got the girl — but the geek gets the woman." Masini adds that personality tends to matter way more than physical attractiveness and nerds and geeks tend to check that box. Relationship expert and therapist Dr. Jane Greer shares Masini's views. "The geek is the epitome of intelligence. The fact that they have a passion reflects their level of commitment, devotion, and positive energy," Dr. Greer explains. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D., who is a psychologist and relationship expert, says that being passionate about certain hobbies or interests shows that a person is perfectly capable of self-fulfillment, which means they won't expect their partner to be the sole source of their happiness. This in itself is already pretty attractive. Add the natural intelligence most geeks possess to the mix, and you'll realize that, yes, being nerdy is hot. So if you got it, flaunt it.

Being super honest is more attractive than you think

Now, this does not include the brutal, rude type of honesty some tend to use to cut others down to size, but if you're someone who simply can't lie and you always end up speaking the truth (and then end up hating yourself afterward), we're here to tell you to stop being so hard on yourself.

In an article Juliana Breines, Ph.D. wrote for Psychology Today, she explains that honesty can work in your favor in many ways. For one, people will likely trust you more. Yes, speaking the unvarnished truth on every occasion is likely not the best way to go, but your honesty doesn't have to be a flaw: You just need to learn how to wield it, which means knowing when to stay silent and when to speak up. " ... [F]orthright people tend to make great friends and romantic partners, not only because they don't let us get away with bad behavior but because when they compliment us, we know they really mean it," Breines writes.

A 2010 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that honest people tend to have healthier relationships. This might seem counterintuitive since complete honesty can often lead to disagreements. However, another 2010 study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science found that having disagreements that result from being honest about issues in a relationship actually leads to better problem-solving because it helps couples to address the root of their problems.

Engaging in good gossip can actually score you some brownie points

Most of us associate gossip with negativity, and rightly so, but in some cases, exchanging information about other people with your inner circle isn't the worst thing in the world. In fact, it might make the people close to you trust you more and show them that you consider them trustworthy, Juliana Breines, Ph.D. explains in an article she wrote for Psychology Today. Of course, it's important you make the distinction between "good" gossip and the sort that is downright harmful. "Being a 'good' gossip requires being able to distinguish useful and benignly entertaining forms from more destructive ones," Breines writes.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that sharing gossip for the sake of protecting others from harmful behaviors or people can actually cultivate strong bonds. "Good" gossip encourages people to cooperate when it comes to handling the subject of the gossip instead of giving in to their more selfish tendencies. So, "good" gossip has the potential to make someone more trustworthy and help them forge friendships. Negative gossip can also connect people to others, but it doesn't create the same type of bond sharing "good" gossip does. If someone knows you often speak badly of others, it's very likely they won't trust you because they fear what you might say behind their backs. If you have a tendency to gossip, make sure it's the good, caring kind.

Oversharing isn't necessarily a bad thing

Many of us sometimes overshare a little in the moment, and if you constantly seem to put your foot in your mouth, just know we've all been there at some point. Oversharing too much can be problematic, yes, especially if you're among people who don't have the best intentions, but simply having a tendency to share a lot about yourself with others isn't necessarily a bad thing, Juliana Breines, Ph.D. explains in an article she wrote for Psychology Today.

Here's the thing: Oversharing a little bit can actually draw people closer to you. According to an entry published in the three-volume set, "The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication," this phenomenon is known as the "social penetration theory," and it's how most people end up making friends and forging intimate relationships. By sharing more about yourself with others (aka oversharing on occasion), you're effectively opening yourself up to people. This can deepen friendships, romantic relationships, and even working relationships.

It's nearly impossible to have a healthy relationship with someone, whether they be friends, coworkers, or romantic partners, without disclosing information about yourself. The best part is that sharing details about yourself will naturally encourage the other person to share something about themselves as well. So if you tend to overshare a little bit, it can actually make others feel more comfortable in your presence, and that's pretty attractive, don't you think?

Being easily embarrassed can be quite endearing

If you're always turning beet red at the slightest embarrassment, we feel you, we see you, and we empathize with you. Not being able to brush off embarrassing moments can be, well, embarrassing, but psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini says that you shouldn't see this as a flaw. It can, in fact, be a very attractive trait.

Yeah, we know you're probably having a hard time figuring out how your glowing red complexion can possibly be attractive, but Rapini says that easily showing embarrassment shows people that you're sincere and vulnerable. While none us of like appearing vulnerable, Rapini says it's a great trait. " ... [W]hen you make yourself vulnerable to others, others like you more. They're more drawn to you," she says in a YouTube video. She adds that the genuineness embarrassment shows is incredibly attractive to most people.

Not convinced? A 2012 comparative study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people trust those who show embarrassment more than they do those who don't. The study also discovered that people are more likely to want to associate with individuals who show embarrassment. Well, what do you know? Next time, let that red glow shine in all its glory and allow it to work its magic.

Being shy is nothing to be ashamed of

Being naturally shy can be hard, and for many of us, it can also make us feel inadequate. While you might perceive it as a flaw, others might find it attractive. In fact, psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini explains in a YouTube video that being shy in a world full of noise where everyone is constantly fighting to be heard can be incredibly "refreshing." These days, most people are happy to share everything about themselves, so meeting someone who's shy adds a fun element of mystery.

Rapini adds that shy people tend to encourage trust from others. Because they're usually on the quieter side, they're also much better listeners. This can make them very attractive — not just to potential friends but to potential romantic partners as well.

According to Verywell Mind, your shyness can also make people feel safe around you (given you're not so shy that you appear to try and isolate yourself from everyone), which means they'll be more likely to reach out and strike up a conversation. It's quite ironic when you think about it, but it's true. Shyness is your secret weapon. Now go ahead and use it.

Being clumsy is not a dealbreaker after all

If you constantly trip over your own feet, are guaranteed to spill coffee on yourself at least once a day, and have to strategically place your most valued belongings in places you're the least likely to knock them over, you might actually be very attractive to some people. No, seriously.

" ... [I]t is an automatic way to engage others," psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini says in a YouTube video. "People want to help, and when they see you stumble or they see you drop something or whatever, most people will rush in to try and help you or get you up and check you're okay," Rapini explains. She adds that clumsiness communicates vulnerability, and people are naturally drawn to others who appear vulnerable.

The effect clumsiness has on those who observe it in another person is referred to as the Pratfall Effect. It was first studied in 1966 by psychologist Elliot Aronson, according to an article published by Brescia University. Aronson discovered that the effect is more profound when the clumsy person is someone who appears superior in some way, whether that be because of their social status or their good looks. When you think of celebrities, for example, they appear almost superhuman. When they fall over their own feet or spill their coffee all over themselves, we automatically sympathize and connect with them. Suddenly, they're just like us, and it instantly makes them more likable. The same goes for ordinary folks.

Laughing at yourself is totally okay

If you have a tendency to laugh at yourself and feel like it makes you awkward, you're probably wrong. In a YouTube video, psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini explains that people naturally feel attracted to someone who has a sense of humor. " ... [W]hen you can see the silliness, the funniness in your own quirks or things you do, you're going to endear others to you," Rapini explains.

According to Verywell Mind, being able to laugh at yourself can make you appear more confident. At the same time, your humor signals to those around you that you're not a judgmental person and that they are safe in your presence, so to speak. This can help you build solid relationships: Because you handle your own flaws with such good-natured humor, others might be more willing to show you their flaws as well. Rapini notes that, as long as the humor towards yourself is kind and not self-deprecating, it can be the secret sauce that attracts people to you. They'll want to be in your presence because you're relatable and can clearly handle whatever life throws at you with a dash of humor. So, laugh away, friends.

Being emotional makes you appear more human

For many of us, being emotional is a sign of weakness, and we feel pressured to put on a tough act and pretend we are fine. However, as it turns out, wearing your heart on your sleeve can actually make you a lot more attractive to others. A 2016 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America found that, when people can see and understand someone else's emotions, that person instantly becomes more attractive to them. 

While women tend to be more emotional than men, it turns out that men who aren't afraid to be emotional are found more attractive than those who constantly keep their cool demeanor. In a survey conducted by Elite Singles, which consisted of 1,500 people, it was revealed that women prefer emotional men. Yup, gents, you no longer need to hold onto the idea that men don't cry. Our emotions are what makes us human, so allow yourself to feel deeply, and don't be afraid to shed a tear or two. It's not a flaw — it's a very attractive trait.