Before you go writing a strongly worded letter to Sally about how you will no longer be inviting her to happy hour anymore, we reached out to Dr. Susan Zinn, LPCC, LMHC, NCC and certified trauma specialist to weigh in on Tinx’s rule. Her take: The fatal flaw rule has some flaws of its own.
Though accepting your loved ones for who you are is a great virtue, before you submit to their fatal flaw, you need to ensure that the relationship is a healthy one to begin with. “Most important, before deciding whether you can accept a friend's limitations, it is essential that you first understand what constitutes a healthy friendship,” Dr. Zinn advises. “Toxic relationships can be dangerous to your mental health and wellbeing and can cause chaos in your life. At no point should harmful relationship patterns be considered a friend's ‘fatal flaw’ to be accepted.”
Not only that, but the theory also lacks a bit of nuance. In Sally’s instance, for example, if she’s a solid friend in all other ways, you can always trick her into arriving on time. If you need her someplace by 2 p.m., try telling her the event starts at 1, she might just arrive on time. Granted, Tinx was likely referring to issues that aren’t as minor, but certainly there are several steps to take before completely axing someone out of your life.