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Shortcomings

  • 'When you try bein' cynical, Bill, it's like an elephant trying to do embroidery,' Crook informed him.

  • The fault we admit to is seldom the fault we have, but it has a certain relationship to it, a somewhat similar shape, like that of a sleeve to an arm.

  • Humility is not my forte, and whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the staring defects in other people's characters.

  • There's a flaw in your character, Oliver. You have a problem for every solution.

  • People who live at a distance are naturally less faulty than those immediately under our own eyes ...

  • Many an irritating fault, many an unlovely oddity, has come of a hard sorrow.

    • George Eliot,
    • "Mr Gilfil's Love Story," Scenes of Clerical Life ()
  • I couldn't ever boil potatoes over the heat of your affection. Your love would never bridge a gap; it wouldn't even fill up the hole that the mice came through ...

    • Djuna Barnes,
    • "What Do You See, Madam?" (1913), Smoke and Other Early Stories ()
  • We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.

  • We all have the defects of our qualities ...

  • We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will.

  • I was no pope — I could not boast infallibility ...

  • You marry the day you realize the human defects of your love.

    • Anaïs Nin,
    • 1934, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. 1 ()
  • Everybody has a bugbear fault; a sort of standing characteristic — a pièce de résistance for their friends to cut at ...

  • Your thorns are the best part of you.

  • Sins cut boldly up through every class in society, but mere misdemeanours show a certain level in life.

  • Let's face it — who ever is adequate? We all create situations each other can't live up to, then break our hearts at them because they don't.

  • Since trifles make the sum of human things, / And half our mis'ry from our foibles springs.

    • Hannah More,
    • "Sensibility: An Epistle to the Honorable Mrs. Boscawen," Sacred Dramas ()
  • ... it may be in morals as it is in optics, the eye and the object may come too close to each other, to answer the end of vision. There are certain faults which press too near our self-love to be even perceptible to us.

    • Hannah More,
    • "Thoughts on the Importance of the Manners of the Great, to General Society," The Works of Hannah More, vol. 1 ()
  • ... the more one advances, the more one sees the goal is still far off. And now I am simply resigned to see myself always imperfect and in this I find my joy.

  • Vices are simply overworked virtues ...

    • Laura Ingalls Wilder,
    • 1916, in Stephen W. Hines, ed., Little House in the Ozarks: A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler, The Rediscovered Writings ()
  • Punctuality is not one of their faults.

    • Gertrude Berg,
    • in Gertrude Berg and Myra Waldo, The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook ()
  • Without defeats, how do you really know who the hell you are? If you never had to stand up to something — to get up, to be knocked down, and to get up again — life can walk over you wearing football cleats. But each time you do get up, you're bigger, taller, finer, more beautiful, more kind, more understanding, more loving. Each time you get up, you're more inclusive. More people can stand under your umbrella.

  • To lift off the cover of a tomato-y mixture and let it bubble up mushroom and basil under my nose does a lot to counteract the many subtle efforts a part of me makes to punish myself for all those worst of my shortcomings — those I can neither name nor find a shape for. Terrible brown ghosts with sinews like bedsprings.

  • A 'weakness,' I now realize, is nothing but a strength not properly developed.

    • Fay Weldon,
    • in Clare Boylan, ed., The Agony and the Ego ()
  • 'Each has his fault,' we readily allow, / To this Decree, our dearest friends must bow; / One is too careless, one is too correct, / All, save our own sweet self, has some defect ...

  • ... cracked things often hold out as long as whole things; one takes so much better care of them!

    • Jane Welsh Carlyle,
    • letter (1857), in Alan and Mary McQueen Simpson, eds., I Too Am Here ()
  • Yes, it was to her faults that she turned to save herself now.

  • We live with our defects as with the odors we carry about us: we do not perceive them, but they incommode those who approach us.

    • Madame de Lambert,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • ... I never like anyone till I've seen him at his worst.

  • The mystery of our existence is the connection between our faults and our misfortunes.

  • Faults often talk louder than virtues.

  • ... people don't say what's good about themselves. They tell their faults. Not big ones, see, little ones. Expecting nobody'll believe them, of course.

  • ... though humility and acknowledgement of one's real failings is good, the gratuitous eating of worms not put before us by God does not nourish our souls a bit — merely in fact upsets the spiritual tummy.

    • Evelyn Underhill,
    • 1935, in Charles Williams, ed., The Letters of Evelyn Underhill ()
  • Conformation ... but not much else. Breeding, but too small a heart. You saw it everywhere — in men, in horses, and in women.

  • ... the greatest sin is carelessness.

  • Faults! I adore faults! I can never find too many in any creature.

  • As a driver, Mary Jean was a fine food editor.

  • Our greatest weaknesses are always the flip side of our greatest strengths.

  • ... it would have been a Fault in her, not to have been Faulty.

  • We don't ask others to be faultless, we only ask that their faults should not incommode our own.

    • Gyp,
    • in James Raymond Solly, A Cynic's Breviary ()
  • We all got holes in our lives. Nobody dies in a perfect garment.

  • Only those faults which we encounter in ourselves are insufferable to us in others.

  • You can never make someone punctual who is not, or quick who is slow, or lively who wants to plod on carefully. I have learnt that every fault is an exaggerated quality, nothing else.