Shortcomings and Flaws: 2018

Years ago a reader accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

After properly refuting the charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. Then I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.

Nice friends. Huh?

So began an annual tradition of posting my list of shortcomings and flaws, starting first in 2011 (the list only had 10 items that year), and continuing in 20122013201420152016, and 2017

I'm happy to report that although the list remains relatively long (34 items this year), I'm removing two items from the list under the advice of my wife. 

ITEM #1: When it comes to argument and debate, I often lack restraint. I will use everything in my arsenal in order to win, even if this means hurting the other person’s feelings in the process. 

Elysha says that I consider other people's feelings much more often when debating now and actively try not to hurt their feelings even when they are ridiculously wrong.

ITEM #2: I am easily annoyed by the earnestness of adults.

Elysha says that I am much more patient with people these days. 

I agree in both instances. 

Also, for the first time ever, no new items have been added to the list. I may finally be evolving into a better human being.  

If you would like to propose an addition to the list, please let me know, and it will be considered.

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Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws

1. I have a limited, albeit expanding palate (though I'd like to stress that my limited palate is not by choice).

2. I am a below average golfer (but making a concerted effort to improve this year).

3. It is hard for me to empathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand and/or are suffering with difficulties that I would have avoided entirely.

4. I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would've done instead.

(I considered removing this item  from the list, but Elysha Dicks said, "Absolutely not.")

5. I do many things for the sake of spite.

6. I have an unreasonable fear of needles (though my PTSD definitely plays a role in this).

7. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.

8. Bees kill me dead.

9. I become sullen and inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game.

10. I lack adequate empathy for adults who are not resourceful or are easily overwhelmed.

11. I can form strong opinions about things that I possess a limited knowledge of and are inconsequential to me.

(Elysha points out that I do this because I find it entertaining, which is true.)

12. I am unable to make the simplest of household or automobile repairs.

13. I would rarely change the sheets on my bed if not for my wife.

14. I eat ice cream too quickly.

15. I procrastinate when it comes to tasks that require the use of the telephone.

16. I am uncomfortable and ineffective at haggling for a better price.

17. I am exceptionally hard on myself when I fail to reach a goal or meet a deadline.

(Elysha feels that this is only getting worse in this regard.)

18. I take little pleasure in walking.

(It remains on the list but there has been noticeable improvement.)

19. Sharing food in restaurants annoys me.

20. I drink too much Diet Coke.

(It remains on the list but there has been noticeable improvement.) 

21. My hatred for meetings of almost any kind causes me to be unproductive, inattentive, and obstructionist at times.

22. Disorganization and clutter negatively impacts my mood, particularly when I cannot control the clutter myself

(Elysha aggressively agreed with this one.)

23. I am overly critical of my fellow storytellers, applying my own rules and standards to their performances.

24. I think less of people who nap.

(Though I've come to accept and even embrace the 10-15 minute power nap in the middle of the work day, I still think that anyone who is napping on a Sunday afternoon for three hours or comes home from work and naps until dinner is at best a disappointment.)

25. I lack patience when it comes to assisting people with technology.

26. I don't spend enough time with my best friend.

27. I have a difficult time respecting someone's accomplishments if they benefited from economic privilege in their life.

28. I believe that there are right and wrong ways of parenting. 

29. I love saying, "I told you so" so freaking much.

30. I wear my wireless headphones way too much.

31. I consistently screw up my wife's laundry regardless of how careful I think I am, 

(I ruined something this week.)  

32. My blog entries contain far too many typos, despite my loathing of typos.

 (It remains on the list but there has been noticeable improvement.) 

33. I leave my credit card at restaurants far too often.

34. I don't ride my bicycle - alone and with my kids - nearly enough.

Shortcomings and Flaws: 2017

Years ago a reader accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

After refuting the charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. Then I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.

Nice friends. Huh?

So began an annual tradition of posting my list of shortcomings and flaws, starting first in 2011, and continuing in 2012201320142015, and 2016.  

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Here is the revised list for 2017. I’ve added three items (the last two) and removed four.
The total number now stands at 36. 

The four that I removed, after careful consultation with several parties (including Elysha) are: 

  • I have difficulty being agreeable even when the outcome means nothing to me but a great deal to someone else.
  • I often lack tact, particularly in circumstances in which tact is especially important.
  • I cannot load a dishwasher effectively.
  • Field of Dreams makes me cry every time without fail.

This last one still applies but after much rebuke from readers is no longer considered a shortcoming or flaw. 

A couple suggestions offered to me that were not added to the list:

  • I can seem unapproachable at times (perhaps because I'm so busy). 
  • I use the word "despicable" too often. 

I questioned many people about seeming unapproachable and could not find any agreement. In fact, it was stressed to me that I am very approachable, and with the number of times I am brought into someone's confidence, I think this is true.

Yes, I use despicable often, but Trump is in office, and it's exceedingly fitting. I don't see it as a shortcoming or flaw. 

If you have a suggestion for a flaw or shortcoming that you do not see on the list, please feel free to submit it for review.

Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws

1. I have a limited, albeit expanding palate (though I would like to stress that this is not by choice).

2. I am a below average golfer.

3. It is hard for me to sympathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand, do not think are worthy of sympathy, and/or are suffering with difficulties that I would have avoided entirely.

4. I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would have done instead.

5. When it comes to argument and debate, I often lack restraint. I will use everything in my arsenal in order to win, even if this means hurting the other person’s feelings in the process.

6. I do many things for the sake of spite.

7. I have an unreasonable fear of needles.

8. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.

9. Bees kill me dead.

10. I become sullen and inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game.

11. I lack adequate compassion and empathy for adults who are not  resourceful or are easily overwhelmed.

12. I can form strong opinions about things that I possess a limited knowledge of and are inconsequential to me.

13. I am unable to make the simplest of household or automobile repairs.

14. I would rarely change the sheets on my bed if not for my wife.

15. I eat ice cream too quickly.

16. I procrastinate when it comes to tasks that require the use of the telephone.

17. I am uncomfortable and ineffective at haggling for a better price.

18. I am exceptionally hard on myself when I fail to reach a goal or meet a deadline.

19. I take little pleasure in walking.

20. Sharing food in restaurants annoys me.

21. I drink too much Diet Coke.

22. My hatred for meetings of almost any kind cause me to be unproductive, inattentive, and obstructionist.

23. Disorganization and clutter negatively impacts my mood, particularly when I cannot control the clutter myself.

24. I am overly critical of my fellow storytellers, applying my own rules and standards to their performances.

25. I think less of people who nap.

26. I lack patience when it comes to assisting people with technology.

27. I am easily annoyed by the earnestness of adults.

28. I don't spend enough time with my best friend.

29. I have a difficult time respecting someone's accomplishments if they benefited from economic privilege in their life.

30. I believe that there are right and wrong ways of parenting. 

31. I love saying, "I told you so" so freaking much.

32. I wear my wireless headphones way too much.

33. I consistently screw up my wife's laundry regardless of how careful I think I am.  

34. My blog entries contain far too many typos, despite my loathing of typos. 

35. I leave my credit card at restaurants far too often.

36. I don't ride my bicycle - alone and with my kids - nearly enough.

Shortcomings and Flaws: 2016

Years ago a reader accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

After refuting the charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. Then I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.

Nice friends. Huh?

So began an annual tradition of posting my list of shortcomings and flaws, starting first in 2011, and continuing in 201220132014, and 2015

Here is the revised list for 2016. I’ve added two items (the last two) and for the first time ever failed to remove an item from the list. The total now stands at 37. 

I considered removing three, but after conferring with my wife was told that I can in no way remove these items from the list. 

If you have a suggestion for a flaw or shortcoming that you do not see on the list, please feel free to submit it for review.

Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws

1. I have difficulty being agreeable even when the outcome means nothing to me but means a great deal to someone else.

2. I have a limited, albeit expanding palate (though I would like to stress that this is not by choice).

3. I often lack tact, particularly in circumstances in which tact is especially important.

4. I am a below average golfer.

5. It is hard for me to sympathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand, do not think are worthy of sympathy, and/or are suffering with difficulties that I would have avoided entirely.

6. I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would have done instead.

7. When it comes to argument and debate, I often lack restraint. I will use everything in my arsenal in order to win, even if this means hurting the other person’s feelings in the process.

8. I do many things for the sake of spite.

9. I have an unreasonable fear of needles.

10. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.

11. Bees kill me dead.

12. I become sullen and inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game.

13. I lack adequate compassion and empathy for adults who are not very smart or resourceful or are easily overwhelmed.

14. I can form strong opinions about things that I possess a limited knowledge of and are inconsequential to me.

15. Field of Dreams makes me cry every time without fail.

16. I am unable to make the simplest of household or automobile repairs.

17. I would rarely change the sheets on my bed if not for my wife.

18. I eat ice cream too quickly.

19. I procrastinate when it comes to tasks that require the use of the telephone.

20. I am uncomfortable and ineffective at haggling for a better price.

21. I am exceptionally hard on myself when I fail to reach a goal or meet a deadline.

22. I take little pleasure in walking.

23. Sharing food in restaurants annoys me.

24. I drink too much Diet Coke.

25. My hatred for meetings of almost any kind cause me to be unproductive, inattentive, and obstructionist.

26. Disorganization and clutter negatively impacts my mood, particularly when I cannot control the clutter myself.

27. I am overly critical of my fellow storytellers, applying my own rules and standards to their performances.

28. I cannot load a dishwasher effectively.

29. I think less of people who nap.

30. I lack patience when it comes to assisting people with technology.

31. I am easily annoyed by the earnestness of adults.

32. I don't spend enough time with my best friend.

33. I have a difficult time respecting someone's accomplishments if they benefited from economic privilege in their life.

34. I believe that there are right and wrong ways of parenting. 

35. I love saying, "I told you so" so freaking much.

36. I wear my wireless headphones way too much.

37. I consistently screw up my wife's laundry regardless of how careful I think I am.  

Seeking submissions for my annual list of shortcomings and flaws

A reader once accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

After refuting the charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and flaws and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. Then I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.

Nice friends. Huh?

So began an annual tradition of posting my list of shortcomings and flaws, starting first in 2011, and continuing in 201220132014, and 2015.

The time has come to assemble my list for 2016, which means I will be reviewing the 2015 list carefully, hoping that I might be able to remove a few and looking to add any that I think might be missing. 

As always, I offer you the opportunity to add to the list as well. If you know me personally or through this blog or my books or my storytelling or my podcast and have detected a shortcoming or flaw to add to the list, please let me know. I will be finalizing and publishing my list in about a week, so don't delay. 

I look forward to hearing about all the ways in which you think I suck. 

Shortcomings and Flaws: 2015

A reader once accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

After refuting the charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. Then I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.

Nice friends. Huh?

So began an annual tradition of posting my list of shortcomings and flaws, starting first in 2011, and continuing in 2012, 2013, and 2014

Here is the revised list for 2015. I’ve added six items (the last six) and removed one item from the list, bringing my total to 35.

The item I have removed:

I am incapable of carrying on small talk for any length of time and become extremely irritable and uncomfortable when forced to do so.

I'm quite capable of this now. Surprising but true.  

If you have a suggestion for a flaw or shortcoming that you do not see on the list, please feel free to submit it for review.

Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws

1. I have difficulty being agreeable even when the outcome means nothing to me but means a great deal to someone else.

2. I have a limited, albeit expanding palate (though I would like to stress that this is not by choice).

3. I often lack tact, particularly in circumstances in which tact is especially important.

4. I am a below average golfer.

5. It is hard for me to sympathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand, do not think are worthy of sympathy, and/or are suffering with difficulties that I would have avoided entirely.

6. I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would have done instead.

7. When it comes to argument and debate, I often lack restraint. I will use everything in my arsenal in order to win, even if this means hurting the other person’s feelings in the process.

8. I do many things for the sake of spite.

9. I have an unreasonable fear of needles.

10. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.

11. Bees kill me dead.

12. I become sullen and inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game.

13. I lack adequate compassion and empathy for adults who are not very smart or resourceful or are easily overwhelmed.

14. I can form strong opinions about things that I possess a limited knowledge of and are inconsequential to me.

15. Field of Dreams makes me cry every time without fail.

16. I am unable to make the simplest of household or automobile repairs.

17. I would rarely change the sheets on my bed if not for my wife.

18. I eat ice cream too quickly.

19. I procrastinate when it comes to tasks that require the use of the telephone.

20. I am uncomfortable and ineffective at haggling for a better price.

21. I am exceptionally hard on myself when I fail to reach a goal or meet a deadline.

22. I take little pleasure in walking.

23. Sharing food in restaurants annoys me.

24. I drink too much Diet Coke.

25. My hatred for meetings of almost any kind cause me to be unproductive, inattentive, and obstructionist.

26. Disorganization and clutter negatively impacts my mood, particularly when I cannot control the clutter myself.

27. I am overly critical of my fellow storytellers, applying my own rules and standards to their performances.

28. I cannot load a dishwasher effectively.

29. I think less of people who nap.

30. I lack patience when it comes to assisting people with technology.

31. I am easily annoyed by the earnestness of adults.

32. I don't spend enough time with my best friend.

33. I have a difficult time respecting someone's accomplishments if they benefited from economic privilege in their life.

34. I believe that there are right and wrong ways of parenting. 

35. I love saying, "I told you so" so freaking much. 

Shortcomings and Flaws: 2014

A reader once accused me of being materialistic after I wrote about my lack of a favorite number, specifically criticizing me for saying that when it comes to my salary, my favorite number is the largest number possible.

You can read about that debate here if you would like.

After refuting the charges of materialism, I acknowledged that I had plenty of other shortcomings and offered to list them in order to appease my angry reader. I did. Then I added to the list when friends suggested that I had forgotten a few.

Nice friends. Huh?

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So began an annual tradition of posting my list of flaws and shortcomings. Here is the revised list for 2014. I’ve added 4 items (the last 4) and removed 3 items from the list, bringing my total to 30.

The items that I have removed include:

  • I forget my EpiPen far too often. - I have enough EpiPens to strategically place them so that I am rarely without one.
  • I cannot snap a onesie correctly. - My children no longer wear onesies, conveniently eliminating this shortcoming.
  • I have developed a tendency to express my displeasure or boredom with people through unconscious verbal exhalations and sighs. - Having been made aware of this two years ago, I worked hard and managed to eliminate this tendency.

If you have a suggestion for a flaw or shortcoming that you do not see on the list, please feel free to submit it for review.

Matthew Dicks’s List of Shortcomings and Flaws

1. I have difficulty being agreeable even when the outcome means nothing to me but means a great deal to someone else.

2. I have a limited palate (though I would like to stress that this is not by choice).

3. I often lack tact, particularly in circumstances in which tact is especially important.

4. I am a below average golfer.

5. It is hard for me to sympathize with adults with difficulties that I do not understand, do not think are worthy of sympathy and/or are suffering with difficulties that I would have avoided entirely.

6. I have difficulty putting myself in another person’s shoes. Rather than attempting understand the person, I envision myself within their context and point out what I would have done instead.

7. When it comes to argument and debate, I often lack restraint. I will use everything in my arsenal in order to win, even if this means hurting the other person’s feelings in the process.

8. I do many things for the sake of spite.

9. I have an unreasonable fear of needles.

10. I become angry and petulant when told what to wear.

11. Bees kill me dead.

12. I am incapable of carrying on small talk for any length of time and become extremely irritable and uncomfortable when forced to do so.

13. I become sullen and inconsolable when the New England Patriots lose a football game.

14. I lack adequate compassion and empathy for adults who are not very smart or resourceful or are easily overwhelmed.

15. I can form strong opinions about things that I possess a limited knowledge of and are inconsequential to me.

16. Field of Dreams makes me cry every time without fail.

17. I am unable to make the simplest of household or automobile repairs.

18. I would rarely change the sheets on my bed if not for my wife.

19. I eat ice cream too quickly.

20. I procrastinate when it comes to tasks that require the use of the telephone.

21. I am uncomfortable and ineffective at haggling for a better price.

22. I am exceptionally hard on myself when I fail to reach a goal or meet a deadline.

23. I take little pleasure in walking.

24. Sharing food in restaurants annoys me.

25. I drink too much Diet Coke.

26. My hatred for meetings of almost any kind cause me to be unproductive, inattentive, and obstructionist.

27. Disorganization and clutter negatively impacts my mood, particularly when I cannot control it.

28. I am overly critical of my fellow storytellers, applying my own rules and standards to their performances.

29. I cannot load a dishwasher effectively.

30. I think less of people who nap.

My annual list of my shortcomings and flaws is being written now. Suggestions welcomed.

In preparation for the fourth annual listing and publishing of my shortcomings and flaws, I invite you to write to me about any shortcomings or flaws that you think I should consider including on the list.

If you’re wondering why a person would create such a list and post it online, you can read about the origin of this tradition here. It may not surprise you to discover that the tradition began via a confrontation with a reader.

Also, if you’d like to look at last year’s list, which I will be reviewing to determine if any items can be removed, you can find that here. Suggestions of items to remove are also welcome, though that tends not to happen.

Thanks so much for the help.

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