It's just a matter of looking at them in a different light.
Admit it. You have parts to your personality and character that society says are "bad." You've grown up being criticized because your room was always a mess, or because you spent too much time daydreaming or procrastinating.
You have this huge lump of guilt now because you haven't changed, even as an adult with "big kid" responsibilities, and your mom's words still march through your head.
Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but there are 12 "bad" personality traits that might actually be good for us to have, at least some of the time. So flaunt them with confidence!
1. Procrastination = You work well under pressure.
Putting things off, and off, and off. And then, at the last minute, comes all the stress of meeting that deadline. You berate yourself, claiming that next time, you'll start earlier ... but you won't. It's just part of your makeup.
But, here's the good thing about procrastinators: They've learned to work this way and do it very well. Yes, there are people who simply do a better job under stress, and you may be one of them. While others plod along and over-think everything, you don't have the time. So you sit down, focus, and after a night of no sleep, it's finished and every bit as good.
2. Selfishness = You're great at taking care of yourself.
Most of the time, being selfish is a good thing. Think about the friends and colleagues you know who are "people pleasers" — you know, those who cannot say "no" to anyone. They spend their lives often being resentful and martyr-like, or they continually seek high praise for all they do. They aren't developing themselves.
Being selfish eliminates stress, and means you take better care of yourself — mentally and physically. You know who you are and what you want. Of course, it's not good in extremes, but those individuals are a minority.
3. Sensitivity = You have more empathy toward others.
Being overly-sensitive means you have a difficult time with criticism, taking it very personally even when the criticism involves something related to work. On the other hand, it makes you sensitive to the feelings of others too, and that's certainly a good thing in many instances.
Being mindful of the sensitivities of others makes you the "diplomat in the room." This trait also means that you're more empathetic than others, and being able to put yourself into someone else's shoes is a valuable skill.
4. Messiness = You're highly creative.
Clutter: some people can't tolerate it; others embrace it. Traditionally, messiness has been connected with laziness and lack of productivity. The facts say otherwise, when you consider that Einstein, Steve Jobs, Mark Twain and Mark Zuckerberg had and have extremely cluttered work spaces.
A study from the University of Minnesota, in fact, determined that people who live in clutter are often highly creative. This makes sense, because creativity is a right-brained activity. Left-brained people are the linear organized individuals who can be neat-freaks.
5. Egotism = You're extremely confident.
We all know people who have this trait to an extreme. They dominate conversations and it's all about them, and they aren't fun to be around. But again, these are a minority.
A healthy ego, even a very strong ego, is often a good thing. It means that you have solid confidence in yourself and that you have sense of self-satisfaction, being comfortable in your own skin and feeling quite capable.
6. Shyness = You accomplish a great deal alone.
Shy people are introverted individuals who have difficulty engaging with strangers and with large groups of people. While others may see this as a flaw, shy people are incredibly reflective and are the ones who come up with the great solutions.
They like to work alone, accomplish a great deal, and don't need approval and praise from others. Introverts are in high demand in today's workplace because they're productive, thoughtful, and quite creative.
7. Neuroticism = You're super-attentive to detail.
Are you a person who can't seem to let things go? Do you ruminate about things that went wrong yesterday and what crises might come up tomorrow? Then you are a bit neurotic.
On the other hand, neurotic people often turn that "flaw" into a true positive in the workplace. They tend to stick with something and persevere until every last detail is hammered out. These are the conscientious, detail-oriented people that are so necessary in certain career positions today.
8. Distractibility = You have unique problem-solving skills.
People with ADD are distractible, jumping from one subject to the next; they can't seem to stick with one thing until it's finished, but prefer several things going on at once.
9. Pessimism = You bring realism to all situations.
"Negative Nellies" is what these people are usually called. They always see the negative side to every situation, so how can they possibly ever be happy? Others tend to avoid them, and they often only have friends with the same trait as their own.
But think about this another way and you'll find an upside to pessimism. When tough decision have to be made, or problem-solving has to be accomplished, the value of the pessimist shines through. This is the individual who can come up with all of the "cons," when everyone else is only thinking of the "pros."
10. Laziness = You're an innovator.
Lazy people are unproductive people — that's just common knowledge. They tend to get by with the least amount of work possible and are often the daydreamers, always finding an excuse for their behavior.
But lazy people are often the inventors and innovators. They spend time trying to discover easier ways to get things done. They're also quite good at finding ways to get paid for the things they love to do.
11. Impulsivity = Your split-second decision-making pays off big-time.
This trait leads to risk-taking, blurting out whatever comes to mind, and making decisions quickly with never a backward glance. This is the individual who wakes up one day, sells everything, buys a camper and goes off to discover the "world."
This behavior then forces him to take action in a new direction which may be exactly what he has wanted to do. Impulsive people may make bad decisions, of course, but when they make good ones, the rewards are marvelous. Life will never be dull.
12. Cynicism = You never fall victim to scams.
Cynics see conspiracies and the "evil" that lurks within everyone. Others always have ulterior motives; government officials are all a bunch of crooks.
But a healthy amount of cynicism is quite a good thing because it keeps one from being the victim of scams and frauds. Cynics tend to proceed with caution — a valuable quality today.
Now, don't you feel better? You probably have one or more of these traits, and now you know how you can justify them and turn them around into pluses in your life.
This article was originally published at www.stevenaitchison.co.uk. Reprinted with permission from the author.