The 7 Most Common Negative Personality Traits (And What They're Trying To Teach You About Yourself)

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The 7 Most Common Negative Personality Traits

Learn from them.

When I was 24, I became pregnant with my now 5-year-old son but I was too afraid to tell anyone for fear of judgment. After all, I grew up poor and was raised by a single mom — what would people say if they knew I was following the same path? Besides that, I was working as a bartender in New York City and living in a shared apartment with two other people. I was barely capable of supporting myself — let alone another person. 

My fear was so encompassing that even as I entered my second trimester I kept my secret sealed. I thought if I told anyone I'd face ridicule and judgment, and be coerced into making a decision I wasn't ready to make. 

Eventually, I was too far along to do anything but embrace what was happening and tell people the truth. To my surprise, almost everyone was supportive — except my father. When I told him about my son, he called me "dirty" and told me to "take care of it." His words hit me like a dagger, and I broke down in tears feeling defeated and worthless. Had I told him or anyone else that may have been disapproving earlier in my pregnancy I might have made a different decision and my son might not be here today —  a thought I can't fathom now. 

In retrospect, I now realize my fear is what protected my son and me during that vulnerable time, and I'll always be grateful for my fear because I needed it. 

You see, that's the thing about "negative" personality traits — many times they coming baring a beautiful silver lining, and to find it we just need to embrace them. 

Unfortunately for many of us, we're taught to ignore our negative personality traits, and only focus on our positive ones — but this does us a big disservice because it disconnects us from ourselves, our true feelings and sometimes even our purpose. 

Here are seven common traits which are often perceived as negative but are really meant to teach us about ourselves, and usually come bearing gifts: 

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1. Fearfulness

While excessive fear isn't good as it will prohibit you from taking action when you should and living your life to the fullest, a healthy amount of fear can actually save you from making irrational decisions that you'd regret later. 

What's more, a bit of fear will also cause you to map out a variety of scenarios for what "might" happen, thereby giving you options in case you need a plan B!

2. Pessimism 

Like energy attracts like energy, so if you're always pessimistic about life, quantum physics says you're going to attract primarily negative experiences into your life. That being said, a healthy dose of pessimism goes a long way! Here's why:

For pessimists, life isn't all rainbows and butterflies — and that's okay! It's good to deal with the reality of life and its challenges as they come. 

Take navigating relationships as an example — if you always have an unrealistic expectation of everyone around you, you'll be eternally dissatisfied. But, if you have a more well-rounded, realistic view of relationships and understand sometimes they're difficult and challenging then you won't end up disappointed or heartbroken when things go wrong.  Instead, you'll understand that relationships aren't perfect, and they come with their own set of unique challenges. Sometimes they last, sometimes they won't — but in all cases, there's always a lesson to learn. 

3. Selfishness

Being helpful, loving and generous to those around you is one of the most altruistic and beautiful things you can do. But, if you always give to others and take nothing in return, eventually you'll burn out and may end up feeling resentful. 

That's why a healthy dose of selfishness is good for you! Being selfish at times allows you to focus on yourself and what you want out of life. After all, this is YOUR life and it's the only one you have — you need to live it for yourself first and foremost. 

What's more, selfishness empowers you to say NO to things you don't want to do without feeling guilty! 

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4. Messiness

If you live like you belong on an episode of A&E's Hoarders or you always start projects you never finish then you've definitely taken your messiness to an unhealthy extreme. However, a little bit of messiness is a healthy stimulant when it comes to your creativity.

If you can only focus when everything around you is perfect and organized, then you'll struggle to get things done when this isn't the case. Plus, you'll waste a lot of time cleaning and organizing the things around you that you could otherwise spend working on a project or completing a goal. What's more, according to an academic study conducted by two leading creativity experts, creative people tend to balance multiple projects at once, often teetering from one project to the next in a non-linear fashion. To an outsider, this process might seem chaotic and messy, but to creatives it allows them to switch focus when they're feeling stuck thereby allowing them to experience creative epiphanies. 

To illustrate how this process of getting unstuck works, imagine you want to call a friend you had a falling out with several years ago. Every time you pick up the phone, you agonize over what to say and put it back down. Eventually, you want to clear your mind so you decide to take a shower. And then when you're in the shower, like lightning, suddenly inspiration hits and you know exactly what you're going to say!

5. Aggressiveness

If you're always forceful and pushy when it comes to situations and other people, you'll likely go through life turning a lot of people off and making them feel uncomfortable. However, a healthy dose of aggressiveness goes a long way because it enables you to be seen and heard when it's necessary to get things done. 

Take, for example, same-sex marriage rights — if supporters hadn't been aggressive and pushy in order to overturn outdated and unfair laws, then America still wouldn't have same-sex marriage rights. 

Being confident, blunt and persistent is necessary for certain situations in life, and it's nothing to be ashamed of as long as it's done tactfully — instead, it's something that should be celebrated. 

6. Laziness 

While chronic laziness can rob you of reaching your full potential and demean your time, occasional laziness can actually refresh you and make you more productive. Imagine someone who's always sitting around watching TV, playing video games or aimlessly scrolling through social media versus someone who takes the time to rest after finishing a project, working out, or to recover from an illness. If you're occasionally lazy, meaning you listen to your body when it needs rest, and you allow yourself to indulge in relaxing things that make you feel good, then you'll be positioning yourself for a more productive future. 

No one can function at 100 percent all of the time, we all need rest, and that's why it's good to let your mind and body take a break once in a while so when you need to use them they're healthy and ready to go!

7. Impatience 

If you're one of those people who's always waiting for the next thing, the next day, the next opportunity etc., then you'll live your life in a perpetual state of "impatiently waiting." But, if you're one of those people who is impatient when it comes to taking action — for example when learning a new language, starting a new project, studying for a test etc. — then your impatience will serve you well in life because rather than waiting for the "perfect" time to begin, you'll just dive right in and learn as you go which will enable you to reach your goals faster. 

Now you know why negative personality traits aren't always negative. In fact, they're often positive and can actually teach you a lot about yourself if you let them. 

Make a list of your "negative" traits, and then write down the ways in which they've served you in the past. You will probably be pleasantly surprised to learn there's a lot of good that comes from them!

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Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card readerHer website is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.