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5 “Negative” Personality Traits That May Be Good to Have

Sometimes being a nice person, brimming with cordiality and never being a bother to your fellow humans is not always a good thing.

Of course, this wasn’t the prevailing view during ye olde Dale Carnegie days, but let’s just say that modern psychology has a way of allowing us to get real with ourselves. Let’s face it: more often than not, it really is the awkward, the distracted, the naysayer, and the annoying go-getter that can make it farther in this world than the rest of us.

So here are five supposedly negative personality traits that appear to help more than they hinder. Turns out, if you’ve got a small twinge of antisocial tendencies inside you, it might just be something to be proud of.

#5. Selfishness

This ode to the self-centered among us doesn’t quite excuse a person from using people as rungs to climb the ladder. However, this "good" type of selfish person also doesn’t have to bend over backwards for every single soul.

In a way, selfishness can be seen as an active form of self-preservation. The good kind of selfishness is able to say the magic word: “no.” It’s a word that the selfish unabashedly adopt out of a solemn respect for the limited resources of time and energies. If anything, those good selfish individuals out there tend to understand that they can’t help everybody, and they also understand their real priorities.

This “good kind” of selfishness is also the reason why unpaid internships have come under fire in recent years. It’s not selfish to expect remuneration for your work; it’s simply human.

#4. Laziness

A wise man once told me that if you want to get something done right, then ask a lazy person. I’m not talking about total couch potatoes here; I’m referring to the individual who watches people do a task and says: “Okay, this is just way too difficult. There has to be a way to do this with less effort and time.”

In a way, guys like the late Steve Jobs were enablers of the slothful. One of his analogies was that if you want to get someplace far faster and farther with less effort than walking, then you need a bicycle. Thus, the first few Apple computers were touted as “a bicycle for your mind.” Couch potatoes don’t go anywhere, but the truly lazy actually use technology to get the things done that they would have done anyway.

#3. Hypersensitivity

Here’s to the introverts among us: the socially awkward, the feelers, and the ones who don’t seem to understand why horror is a popular movie genre. Hypersensitive people tend to be fairly aloof because they have a massive capability (or curse) of empathy.

Though, this personality trait has its uses. And darn good ones at that.

They tend to make for the best of parents, committed lovers, family members, teachers, counselors, and even pet owners. It is because they are highly empathetic that they can somehow “download” what others are feeling. It’s either that or they simply have the ability to place themselves in the shoes of others, so they’re fast learners on what makes people tick.

#2. Cockiness

It’s a personality trait that has a way of just making good things happen. At the same time, some might perceive it as cockiness if it’s done incorrectly.

Nobody actually likes a cocky person; it gives off a counterfeit confidence-scent that people can easily pick up a mile off. The real stuff, however, inspires faith and trust in your capabilities. Confidence ranks as the #4 most attractive trait in men for women, according to Men’s Health. One of the main reasons for this is because confidence is a core trait, but it’s also a mindset that tends to feed off itself: once you begin to show it, then the trait soon begins to pay off.

You’re simply at your best when you just believe in yourself.

#1. Inattentiveness

You know that friend who never seems to actually pay attention to what you’re saying when you have a conversation? It’s like she doesn’t even seem to be in the conversation, right?


In fact, her mind was in the conversation – and in everything else, too. She might not have heard every word, but she was there with you. She was also noticing everything in the room.

People who have a tendency to get distracted also tend to be very creative and open-minded. This could largely be because their minds can handle the work of analyzing lots and lots of possibilities and data in short periods of time. If you have a problem, then bring it to someone with ADHD and you might just get one crazy-but-highly-effective solution.

Just make sure you don’t have that conversation next to a squirrel farm, because that solution might take twice as long to be reached.

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