Your flaws win every time.
Have you ever made a mistake, slipped up or had an accident and spilt your drink?
You wanted the ground to open up and suck you up? Am I right?
I have been there too, I have had a few slips and falls. I am Miss Clumsy.
To be honest that’s the time that I have made friends. I can’t even make it up, it’s true.
Who would have known that being so clumsy could lead to making friends?
I slipped the other day.
Let me set the scene. I had just spoken at an event and was on my way home, excited and buzzing from the event. I got off the train with my little suitcase rolling behind me, head up, shoulders back walking on the platform, one foot in front of the other.
It was late evening so there were not many people on the platform. I was rushing because I wanted to get home, curl up on the sofa with a nice cup of tea, well that was what was on my mind.
The next thing I remember is sliding along the floor, I had slipped, tried to stop myself and fell flat, face down on the floor.
It’s the first time in my life that when I looked up I had men at my feet.
Each one giving me a hand up, I was spoilt for choice but took the nearest hand. As he helped me up the others asked if I was ok, I said yes I am fine, and thanked them, they walked on.
This stranger stayed and offered to pull my suitcase along to the stairs and we got talking. It so happened that he was going in the same direction and we talked throughout the journey.
Needless to say, I was totally embarrassed but we still talk to this day. And yes he reminds me often of the great fall.
So why am I telling you this story?
Because I don’t want you to worry about tripping and falling or making mistake.
Go ahead and admit your failures; your humanness will make you endearing and make people like you more.
These mistakes attract & charm as a result of the Pratfall Effect:
Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likeable than those who commit the occasional faux pas.
Messing up draws people closer to you, makes you more human. Perfection creates distance and an unattractive air of invincibility. Those of us with flaws win out every time.
So what is the Pratfall Effect?
The Pratfall Effect is when you become more likable after making a mistake.
It’s true we tend to like people who make mistakes more!
I know most of us hate making mistakes.
In fact, making a mistake knocks you backwards and yes I know you beat yourself up over it, over and over again.
Psychologist Elliot Aronson tested this theory out by asking participants to listen to recordings of people answering a quiz.
The recordings included the sound of the person knocking over a cup of coffee.
When participants were asked to rate the quizzers on likability, the coffee-spill group came out on top.
Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likeable than those who make the occasional mistake.
Messing up draws people closer to you, makes you more human. Perfection creates distance and an unattractive air of invincibility.
It's time to embrace your flaws because it's your flaws that win every time.
Making minor mistakes isn’t the worst thing in the world—in fact, it can work in our favour.
Does this mean I am saying be happy to make mistakes?
Of course. By admitting our mistakes, solving the problem, and recapping what went wrong … we just might become more likeable, reliable, and responsible.
Or at least that’s what The Pratfall Effect says about it. :)
Got a story to share?
I would love to hear from you.
Until next time. Let me know how you are getting on.
Ps. I worked out it was my shoes that made me slip that day, I never wore them again. But they did help me connect with someone who I may never have met. I am thankful to them for that.
"I come from the school of thought, that there is no such thing as a mistake - it is just a great learning experience. It looks like I am in good company at that school! "
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