Perhaps you were not at the top of the class, not the employee of the month, nor are you the "10" you think your partner wants. But you're probably pretty spectacular in some way, and definitely good enough in most areas of life. If ever there were a time to stop beating yourself up for being human, it is now.
The pursuit of success is a religion because, like other religions, it is a robust system of meaning-making that operates at emotional and cognitive levels, guides our decisions, contains its own morality, and is practiced en masse by a group of people sharing a largely unexamined ideology.
Enjoying the knowledge of one’s own enoughness while also honoring the imperative to possess some degree of social status might be the key to maintaining balance.
It seems we have created a distorted view of being average, and consequently, we try to avoid it at all costs.
A study on averageness shows just how skewed our perspective is. Participants overall tended to label their own abilities as above average, but the study also found evidence that people consider average as being synonymous with having below-average abilities rather than interpreting the term with its literal definition.
A widely circulated “motivational” message, for example, proclaimed: If you didn’t come out of this quarantine with either a new skill or a new business, you never lacked the time, you just lacked the discipline.
It’s a message that’s counterproductive. It denies the kind of dramatic learning we have had to contend with every day just to make it through our pandemic routine—learning to work at the kitchen table or use new collaboration platforms, being without colleagues, friends, and family.
Mom guilt is something that almost all mothers are very familiar with.
Research suggests that five basic situations tend to induce guilt in mothers: actual or imagined aggression, wanting to leave in some way, being gone in some way, favoring one child over another, not corresponding to your own or others’ idea of a good mother.
Guilt is the byproduct of striving for perfect parenting and perfect doesn’t work in relationships. What works is flexibility, responsive sensitivity, and availability.
Having a good-enough partner implies making some compromises that are contrary to the portayal of romance.
Good relationship compromises include settling for a good-enough relationship, while continuing to improve it. When we think of our partner as good enough, we realize what is most valuable for us. This does not mean that people should not aim to increase the depth of their relationship, but that such improvement will mainly relate to developing the connection with our current, good-enough partner.
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