Have you ever stood in front of a mirror and realized that you look absolutely perfect? No wrinkles or acne spots, no visible pores, and your complexion is just magically the perfect even tone? Yea I stood in front of one at my new apartment over the weekend and thought to myself “wow look at me!” I had to run some errands and did not want to put on any makeup so I put a light dusting of white powder on my face, grabbed my car keys and headed out. While in the car, I was tempted to look at myself again (I am not a narcissist I promise lol. I just love mirrors). I pulled down the mirror on top of the driver’s side and stared agape at myself. My entire face was white as though I had never heard of a moisturizer; and worse still, some acne marks were visible. I quickly grabbed a moisturizer in my car and plastered it onto my face. It looked better, but not as good as the mirror back home indicated. My “wow look at me” confidence became ” avoid eye contact with anyone and everyone so they won’t ask you what happened to your face.”
It made me think about friends and relationships and the kind of people we tend to accept or reject. Many of us have friends who are like the first mirror. They tell us we are perfect just the way we are, they make our flaws and weaknesses seem invisible and tend to overlook any shortcomings. In other words, they project us as the epitome of perfection. These are the friends we often refer to as “good for our ego”.
Then there are the other friends (mirror number 2) – the friends who point out our flaws and tell us the cold hard truth. They tell us where we are weak, what needs to improve and what is just downright unacceptable. And these are the friends many of us have a hard time with. They are not good for our ego in any way; if at all, they seem to be ego deflators, looking to burst the bubbles of perfection we create.
So big question is which mirror is good for us? Both. Not just mirror number one or mirror number two but both mirrors together. On the one side, there is a mirror (i.e. friends) that celebrate our strengths and tend to tell us we are awesome – which is not a bad thing. As human beings, we all desire some kind of reassurance and approval, and whether we admit it or not, we like to be recognized for the things we are good at.
On the one side, there is a mirror (i.e. friends) that celebrate our strengths and tend to tell us we are awesome – which is not a bad thing. As human beings, we all desire some kind of reassurance and approval, and whether we admit it or not, we like to be recognized for the things we are good at, while our weaknesses are masked. On the other side, we have the second mirror (also friends, not haters) who tell us where we fall short, not just for the joy of deflating our ego, but for letting us see that we are not perfect as we seem. These are the friends who would straight-off-the-bat tell us we are wrong in a situation and tell us we are flawed in our comprehension and perception. This is not a bad thing.
What is most important is ensuring we strike a balance between the two to ensure self-improvement. No single person is absolutely perfect, so don’t stick to only mirror number one for the sake of creating delusions of grandeur. Get some input from mirror number two and create a realistic profile of who you are. Improve on your weaknesses (not by slapping on moisturizer randomly), treat the source of your flaws, improve your approach and understanding of situations. Get off the “I’ve got haters” bandwagon. Sometimes they are not haters. They are simply spotlights shining on the parts of you that need a little more work.