How to Control Flaws That Could Control You

Is wanting-to-know a flaw?
Is wanting-to-know a flaw? | Source

Some of your flaws are embedded in your temperament. If you ignore them, you shortchange your knowledge of who you are. The best thing you can do with your flaws is to control them—before they control you.

Flaws become controlling when you hide them, when you excuse them, or rename them. Here are two examples:

A defiant teenager responds to his parents’ instruction with rude remarks. To them, he is assertive. He grows into an "assertive" adult who constantly gets fired from his job.

A flirtatious woman describes her actions as friendly. After a while, she suffers harassment to the point of frustration. She hates the frustration, but never sees it as a result of her indiscretion.

In these instances, rudeness in the young man and indiscretion in the woman are controlling their lives. Chances are, their situations will not change unless they recognize their flaws. They cannot fix what they do not see.

Where Do Flaws Come From?

Everybody has some. To help identify them and control them, first look at where they come from. Here we identify flaws from five sources, and offer suggestions on controlling them.

  1. Flaws You Inherit in Your DNA
  2. Flaws You Learn Through Association
  3. Flaws You Adopt Through Ignorance
  4. Flaws You Create By Your Limitations
  5. Flaws Which Result From Life’s Wear and Tear

1. Flaws You Inherit in Your DNA

You can readily tell the physical flaws you inherited from your parent’s genes. One or both of your parents have the defects you have: a sixth finger, a freckled face, extra-large ears and so on. If you let these imperfections define you, they can control you. You will spend all your time explaining them, or all your earnings fixing them.

You also inherited character flaws: the tendency to lie, to over-spend, to lose your temper—flaws your parents have or had. There are many evidences1 of children who exhibit the same traits as their parents. Have you seen any of your parents’ flaws in you?

Your temperament (who you really are) holds your natural tendencies2 or predispositions. Your parents, teachers and preachers educate you into controlling those tendencies so that you do not demonstrate them in your character (who you choose to be). For example: control cursing by learning appropriate expressions, control laziness by learning the value of work.

Suggestion: You still have the flaws, but you control them by practicing self-control. You need help from a Higher Power (God) to master self-control.

2. Flaws You Learn Through Association

You learn some flaws from the people with whom you associate. If you hang out with people who gossip, steal, or make fun of other people, you may lose sensitivity to guilt feelings over those misdeeds. After a while, as a show of loyalty to your circle of friends, you join in their acts and improve the drill as time goes by.

Peer connections are powerful in the lives of youth and adult alike. In whichever age group you are, you can learn good habits and you can learn flaws.

Suggestion: To avoid being controlled by your peers and their flaws, you can try talking them out of wrongdoing; if you cannot lead them, learn to lead yourself away from them.

We learn good and bad from each other.
We learn good and bad from each other. | Source

3. Flaws You Adopt Through Ignorance

Perhaps while growing up, you watched the interaction between people of different races, and it became obvious to you that one race was superior to others. Perhaps you watched a value system that positioned natives above foreigners, males above females, or landlords above tenants.

Consequently, you develop flaws like prejudice and snobbery if you belong to the superior group; or defensiveness and low self-esteem if you consider yourself in another group. Flaws like pre-judging and stereotyping also surface in similar situations, where faulty assumptions are not exposed.

Suggestion: Flaws that are adopted through ignorance can be destroyed by learning. Learn to practice kindness in your dealings with other people, treat them with the same respect you want for yourself, and include some humility just in case there is something you still do not know.

Where is the flaw in creating an impression?
Where is the flaw in creating an impression? | Source

4. Flaws You Create By Your Limitations

Sometimes you do not have what it takes—time, money, connections or other elements—to accomplish the goal you set. You may start with noble intentions, but when failure stares at you, you become creative in ignoble ways.

For example, you set your sights on a person to make him or her your spouse. You know the person would not marry you unless you have a certain type of job (for which you do not have the qualifications).

  • You create a false résumé;
  • You create a scenario in which you are awaiting a call from the interviewer;
  • You continue to create until the person accepts you;
  • You keep on creating to the point of seeing truth in your lies;
  • Eventually, you create a pathologic liar who lies to everyone about everything to make your story authentic.

Character flaws are constantly created by financiers and politicians who make promises they cannot keep.

Suggestion: The way to get out from under the control of these hypocrises is to give up. Stop the game of pretending to be someone you are not and regain the freedom to enjoy who you are.

What is your attitude toward personal flaws?

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5. Flaws Which Result From Life’s Wear and Tear

If you live long enough, you will develop some physical flaws. Beauty fades, replacing smooth skin with wrinkles and even skin tones with blemishes. Health deteriorates and aches in the joints may cause limps.

Don’t lose your perspective on purpose and become depressed over the flaws that come with aging. Embrace them and celebrate the memories of the lifelong events that caused the wear and tear.

Suggestion: Character flaws will continue to control you in your senior years, unless you have exhibited your strengths above them. If they still have control, you are likely to add more flaws by becoming disagreeable. You deserve to be remembered for the contributions you made to other people’s lives, not for outstanding flaws. Let your life of service promote your virtues.


In the end, your aim is not to present yourself as flawless, but to enable you to share how you controlled your flaws so that you moved forward in spite of them. If you do a good job of controlling them, you can become a mentor to others who have similar flaws.


1. Reinhold, Robert: The New York Times, Study Says Criminal Tendencies May Be Inherited, (01/08/1982)

2. Kiersey, David: Please Understand Me II, Prometheus Nemesis Book Company, Del Mar, CA (1998)

© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers

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Comments 50 comments

ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

We are all born with Original Sin, but we need to work on ourselves, with God's grace, to overcome as much of our inherent flaws as possible. Being too controlling is one of them.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Dora, I would really like to meet the person who does not have flaws. To be flawed is human, is it not? Now, the question is, are we willing to do something about those flaws? If I am aware of them, I will work toward correcting them. If I'm not aware of them, I always have Bev to point them out for me. LOL

Interesting subject and you covered it well my friend.

blueheron profile image

blueheron 2 years ago from Odessa, MO

Personal flaws are usually simple right-and-wrong issues: You can avoid many of them by deciding not to lie, and you can avoid many more by recognizing others' right to free-will thought and action, and the right to be who they are. Then, of course, there is your obligation to love and care for those close to you--and to some extent those not-so-close to you.

So many negative behaviors are those that were modelled for us by our families--usually parents. When we become parents ourselves, we tend to automatically parent the way our parents did, instead of consulting our conscience about whether it is ever right to strike ANYONE, or humiliate anyone, or lie to anyone, or if we have any right to try to mold another person to conform to our wants.

If a person is in doubt about how to act, there are some simple, straightforward rules about right and wrong that should clear that up right away.

word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Voted up MsDora, I really enjoyed as I read this one. Yes, it's tough when the parent sees flaws in the child that the parent has or had. You're a living legend!

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Ologsinquito, I have words and phrases like "work on ourselves" and "overcoming" our flaws all my life. They only make sense when I interpret them to mean "controlling" our flaws. I believe we're on the same page. Thank you for your input.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Bill, thank God for Bev who makes sure that you do not miss any of your flaws. If you don't see them, you can't fix them. I appreciate your comment.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Blueheron, I'm happy for you that dealing with your flaws is such an easy matter. Thanks for your kind encouragement.

epbooks profile image

epbooks 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I enjoyed this hub. I think we all have flaws, although sometimes there are more serious or dangerous flaws than others. If we recognize what they are, then we can work on resolving them- something we should all do from time-to-time!

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, you make me smile. Thanks for you feedback.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

EP, you're so right. Controlling our flaws is an everyday responsibility. Thanks for your affirmtion.

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

If we practice our flaws with control there won't be so much chaos in our lives but people are just who they are made to be heard and want to be heard. With control flaws won't be take over our lives. The issues we think need solving should be right away.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Devika, thanks for commenting. Practicing control always brings better results than if we do not.

denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

I love that closing remark, that we are not trying to be flawless, but to control our flaws and move on in spite of them. That is nobility in a nutshell! We all have flaws, but we can become and do something good in this imperfect world.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Denise, I appreciate so much that you understand and agree. I also love your last sentence. Thank you for your comment.

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 2 years ago from West Virginia

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared MsDora. Great article!! I haven't thought much about flaws to be honest. I guess I have accepted them and moved on. These are some excellent tips MsDora. The key is certainly working on them and controlling the situation.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

LyricWriter, glad to hear from you. The fact that your flaws are not in your focus, could mean that you have them under control. If they were controlling you, you'd be bothered by them. Thank you for sharing. You've got the right key.

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Great insight, MsDora, into how important it is to be mindful of our flaws so that we can attempt to keep them in check. Yes, it certainly takes the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to allow the Fruit of the Spirit of self-control to be present. We are all certainly flawed. Voted up ++++ and away. Blessings always

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Flaws are one thing that unite us all, though they may be different in degree and form. I like the examples that you provide. Thought provoking.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Yes, Faith. When the Holy Spirit is in control, He keeps our flaws under control. We do not have the ability to do it on our own. Thank you for your contribution.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Flourish, I like your perspective on the unifying quality of flaws. Thank you for your comment.

grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I love the way that you say that our flaws are not drawn in concrete, but that there are ways we could overcome them. Great hub!

lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

This was great, I loved it. Some people recognize their flaws but are too scared to face them, and they continue to live in shame and self-loathing. Others are not willing to see or admit their flaws, at least not openly, and pride rears its ugly head.

I loved your format - identifying the flaw and a suggestion to overcome it. We need to be humble enough to receive from others and God the flaws that hurt others and our relationships, and are own ability to live healthy lives. I love the word meekness in the Bible. People think it means to be a weakling or a doormat. But it means Power under control or as you called it self-control. Great work here sister.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Mona, you said it better than I did. Thank you for your contribution. I appreciate you.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Lori, glad you like the article. I agree with you that some of us do not even want to talk or read about flaws, but they're part of us. They cause us to maintain our connection with God. Thanks for your comment.

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Ms Dora, this beautifully written article is right on the money. Once we accept that we are all flowed beings, we can better understand imperfection in others. As I grow older, I'm beginning to recognize certain familial flaws but also some positive character traits. Its not always easy to correct our flaws, but by accepting them we're making a start. A useful and very interesting hub.

My best to you.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jo, that's good point you made about understanding flaws in others. Glad you like the article and thank you for your kind comment.

blueheron profile image

blueheron 2 years ago from Odessa, MO

I think a person can usually control their behavior, if they make up their mind no to do wrong. What's really tough to deal with are the mental and emotional troubles that are probably the underlying cause of the bad behavior: fear, anxiety, anger, and hopelessness come to mind. How to control the demons?

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Sharon, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Bad behavior caused by demons, and how to control the demons sound like interesting topics to explore. Thanks for the suggestion.

Ann1Az2 profile image

Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

MsDora, another job well done! One of the flaws you mentioned that I have is a bad back - inherited, I'm afraid, but thank the Lord, through exercising, I'm making it stronger through ab work. I know it will never be as strong as it was when I was younger, but if I don't have to be in wheelchair or walk with a walker, I count it as a blessing.

What Paul says comes to mind here and I think we can all gain strength from the Word, certainly "We all fall short of the Glory of God."

Blessings to you and a good job - voted up!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Hopefully most of us as we age we recognize our flaws or someone by that time points them out and we have time to think about them but the DNA one is really a hard one to quit I bet. I know people related but not even siblings that will have traits so alike it is astounding like there has to be deeper meaning here? I mean cousins and nieces etc and they all could almost be the same person. You so often give me so much to think now I am going to go think about could be a hub! Thank you for another masterpiece! ^ and sharing

Manatita44 2 years ago

I am free from flaws ~ chuckle, chuckle.

Interesting presentation and different angles to look at, and yes, I do have flaws.

I remember the conscious ones daily. Salaam.

ARUN KANTI profile image

ARUN KANTI 2 years ago from KOLKATA

Almost everybody considers himself or herself flawless while finding fault with others. There lies the rub. Ideally we should be mindful of our flaws and mistakes and try to check them. Thank you for dwelling on such an issue that concerns everybody.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Ann. Your dependence on God is an asset in dealing with your physical flaw. You're a great model for us. More blessings on you!

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jackie, glad you got an idea to work on. Looking for that hub. All the best with it, and thanks for your input on this one.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Manatita, you do seem flawless--sometimes. Thanks for standing with the rest of us. I appreciate you.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Arun, your comment is very true and powerful. Thanks for your very wise input.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Your wisdom gives me hope for the future. Going to share this hub. Getting control of flaws and making the best of them is the best thing I was ever taught.

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Another great hub. (can I keep some of my flaws I have grown fond of them -- my nose and my toes and telling everyone which way it goes;-)

For me I have to start each day with a prayer to remove these defects or they get the better of me.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Tireless, you seem to gain something positive. Thanks for sharing your excitement, and make the best of those flaws in the future.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, praying for them not to get the better of you is a good prayer. They can stay; they just must not be in control. Thanks for your comment.

CyberShelley profile image

CyberShelley 2 years ago

This is a great hub on our flaws. Amongst many I have one which I try very hard to keep in check that of offering unsolicited advice. I always used to try to help, now I try to wait until I'm actually asked as some people see it as interference. Nobody said so to me - but maybe they were just too polite! Thanks for sharing. Up, interesting and useful.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Shelley, you made me smile. Discovering and owning your flaw, and then controlling it like you do is a sign of maturity. Way to go! Thank you for sharing.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Msdora I do agree with bluehorn.. and I'd like to add that you come up with hubs that are interesting, and makes one think hmm awesome :)

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Frank, I think if I write something that makes some on think, I may be useful after all. Thank you for being encouraging always.

MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

I learn so much from reading your hubs. I like that you suggest we control our flaws, because the truth is - everyone sees our flaws whether or not we see them ourselves. Ignoring the flaws don't work, but as you stated, recognizing and controlling the flaws helps us to move forward in a more positive way.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Marlene, thank you. One of the valuable perks on HubPages is that we learn from each other.Thanks for being a part of my sharing circle.

The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 2 years ago from United States

#4 reminds me of a boy I knew in college who used a friend's car and apt. when we were dating in order to "fool" me. I remember being surprised (it was weird, after all) and offended (did he really think I was that shallow?). Apparently, he did. He thought I was a snob, but I was really just extremely shy, a flaw I have struggled with all my life. Thanks for the good read, MsDora. It was interesting & thought-provoking as always & a good complement to your flawed Bible character hub. (Btw, I wonder if Rahab was a victim of misogynistic translators.)--Jill

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Jill, glad you managed to survive your shyness and the shallow thinking of that college kid.

Concerning Rahab's story the question of misogyny is valid because it was so popular in early literature. Some scholars have suggested she could have been an innkeeper instead of a prostitute; either way she received men and eventually benefited. So power to her!

Thanks for your input.

torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 2 years ago

I believe that some people are controlling without even realizing it. Thanks for the hub. Much appreciated.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean Author

Torrilynn, you are right. Some people cannot identify their personal flaws. Thanks for your comment.

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