Have you ever been asked in a job interview to “describe your good and bad points”?. If you’re anything like me it’s likely you have been well truly stumped and end up muttering some nonsense about how your only negative points are how overly organised you are. In my last job interview I didn’t even need to tell my boss that I often come out with bad jokes or puns – because unfortunately I gave a live demonstration there and then. (Hint: when asked how old you are, do not under any circumstances respond “I’m twenty-one and twenty-fun”).
An interviewer when asking these sorts of questions just wants to know if you are actually going to turn up for your shifts and not going to become sworn enemies with all of your colleagues. But actually asking yourself – “what are the good and bad things about my personality?” can be a lot more difficult than it seems.
Everyone has good traits. Everyone has bad traits. Others may find what you think are good traits, bad traits. And vice versa. Although there are many things which are generally deemed ‘good’, like being friendly, or ‘bad’, like being a serial killer, there are many traits which are completely subjective. For example, being outspoken. Some may find that you are confident and chatty, others may find it over bearing and annoying. No matter how much you try not everyone is going to like all of your traits, and it is not necessarily your fault or theirs. It’s one of those things that the sooner you accept, the closer you get to being happy with who you are.
I have been thinking for a while about what I think my good and bad traits are and have been making changes for a while. But of course, it doesn’t mean that all of your traits disappear overnight. I’ll talk about a few of them:
– I will always there to help people the best I can. Often, there have been times where I have gone completely out of my way to do this, or have been very generous.
– I form very strong attachments to other people. Others may find this too much or not feel the same.
So let’s start with the good. Helping people is a great thing to do. Whether that’s listening to someone, helping them out with a financial crisis or providing laughter and fun when they are not in a great place. But there are reasons why this isn’t always a good thing. You may find yourself being taken advantage of or walked over. Some people help others from a selfish perspective, because it makes them feel better about themselves.
And now the bad. Forming strong attachments when this isn’t requited is like playing with fire. Having a friend who you make an effort for but they do not do so in return can generate feelings of hurt and anger. Or when a new boyfriend/girlfriend comes along, you realise your friendship isn’t as strong as you had originally thought. Some people (me included) like to have a couple of relationships in which a close personal bond is shared. So if you find another like minded person, then having the ability to form a strong attachment is a good thing!
I think the key to it all is to find a good balance. You can be kind and friendly, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be walked over and can’t stand up for yourself. You can be strong and fiery, but it doesn’t mean you can’t cry because someone had a go at you. Social media seems to portray (for women anyway, not too sure about men?!) that you have to be sassy, independent and confident. Which you can be. But, you also can be sensitive, in need of help from others sometimes and shy.
As long as your traits aren’t causing hurt and upset to lots of people around you, then keep doing you. If you aspire to be more or less of a trait, such as more confident or less reactive, then that’s fine too. Don’t change yourself however to be a certain way because of peer pressure, because society dictates to be that way, wanting to impress others or to be exactly like someone else. It leads to a downward spiral where you are the person who ends up the most hurt.
Be happy within yourself and be accepting of others.