Have you ever been berated for possessing ‘bad’ qualities? Who decides what is good and what is bad? Not only do these definitions change from place to place and time to time, but from person to person. As they say, ‘one man’s bread may be another man’s poison’ — ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are, for the most part, truly relative terms.
If you’ve been the victim of such condemnation, and if it’s affecting the way you feel about yourself, this post’s for you. Here’s some of those so called bad qualities that might not be so bad after all:
1) Being a “Busy Body”
“You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” ~ Will Smith, ‘The pursuit of Happiness’
Some of us are overtly active and have the innate urge to learn it all. We just can’t let things be. We need an answer for everything. We are naturally curious and love to know anything new that happens in the neighbourhood.
Naturally, we’re labelled ‘busy bodies’. They feel we should stop being so pushy and mind our own business.
Tell them to take a walk. There’s a difference between being nosy and being interested; between being a gossip and knowing how to be a decent friend and member of the community.
How are you expected to learn new things by being passive and reticent? Your quality of curiosity is what propels you forward in life. There’s so much to learn, and the way forward is to actively involve yourself in as many things as possible. For you, growth is simply not possible if you’re complacent and feel you know everything.
2) Being a “Slow Poke”
“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
Contrary to the first point, you’re not the fastest of the lot. You’re methodical, preferring to take your own sweet time with things. You’re not bothered about what the others are doing and at what speed.
But does anyone have the right to call you lazy just because you’re slow on the take and are not too quick to act? Is it necessary to always be on the move and do things the moment they’re thought of?
Nope! What others see as lazy in you may not really be a bad quality. Haste definitely makes waste. Why be in such a hurry that you do things without thinking them through? Is the world going to speed off and leave you behind if you’re a bit slow?
Sometimes, a well thought out manoeuvre requires time, and that comes from not jumping the gun. You have a special ability to be calm in trying times, to think of all the pros and cons before making a well thought-out decision.
While you’re aware enough not to fall into the trap of overthinking, taking more time to act than the average person gives you the space to strategize and introspect, so you actually end up making fewer mistakes than most. Speed is not always a good thing, and this is what works for you. Don’t let naysayers sway you from this rare and desirable quality.
3) Being Proud
“Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” ~ Jane Austen
You have high self-esteem and love what you do.You’re not afraid to take risks and strike when the iron is hot. Yes, you’ve made your mistakes, but you make up for it ten-fold with your successes. Just look at your track record: you’ve done a great job and have no qualms about the world knowing it.
Yet your friends call you ‘proud’. They feel you’re always showing off and you’re ‘too confident’. Sometimes, too, they feel you’re reserved and snooty, or ‘too good’ for certain things.
Don’t let it get to you. Being confident is not a bad quality. It’s very important to feel good about yourself and your abilities and accomplishments — if they’re truly genuine. And who’s the only one who knows that? You. You alone know the efforts you’ve put in, so no one ‘out there’ has the power to take the glow of satisfaction from you when things work out.
As long as you show consideration to your fellow beings, and encourage and celebrate their successes too, there is no harm in being proud. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. If anyone calls you a proud peacock – preen.
4) Being Introverted
“Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.” ~ Laurie A. Helgoe
In a room full of laughter, chatter and movement, you prefer being the odd one out. You’re more comfortable in your corner being a silent spectator. You don’t feel the need to be the centre of attention in every gathering; neither do you feel the burning need to prove your point every time you open your mouth.
Your friends, however, tend to take you for granted and often overlook you because you’re so quiet. They take your silence for weakness and, many a time, ride roughshod all over you. They make decisions and expect you to follow them. Your well-wishers tell you to show more spine, but you are quite comfortable the way you are.
This is a good thing. This means you don’t share the same level of narcissism the rest of us do. It is not always necessary to be the heart and soul of every conversation. It takes a great deal of confidence to sit quiet and really listen to others. Staying quiet while others are doing their thing also gives you a great opportunity to observe people and to study them carefully. People who chatter incessantly may miss out on many important cues and rush in to make a faux pas.
Unless you are really comfortable in your skin, you cannot be a bystander. What you have is something very unique! Don’t let anyone take it away from you by goading you to believe that being a silent onlooker is a bad quality.
5) Being a Pessimist
“A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.” ~ Don Marquis
The buzzword today is to look at the half full part of the glass and not at the part that is empty. A lot has been said about positivity and the need to look ahead with hope for the future.
You have been chided constantly by your friends for being negative and always seeing the dark side of the issue. You are naturally cautious and don’t find it easy to believe in the inherent goodness of man and his many creations. Are you wrong? Do you have to change this bad quality that you have?
Stop that thought! Are you sure that being pessimistic is a bad quality? No doubt, the person who lives with hope has a better chance of achieving his dreams, but is life really that simple? Usually an optimist is ill-prepared to face difficulties, because he has not envisaged many things that could go wrong along the way– things a pessimist has undoubtedly covered mentally already.
The only thing said to be constant in life is change. While it is good to adapt to changing times and according to the need of the hour, it is neither necessary nor advisable of change your basic DNA just because of peer pressure or societal expectations.
So live life on your terms in a way that suits you. If anyone doesn’t agree or feels differently – that’s something they have to deal with – don’t you think?