These “ Bad ” Personality Traits Can Actually Be Good.

Categorizing things can help us humans process them, and personality is no exception. We tend to think that these traits are either positive or negative. For example, being kind and humble is good , but being lazy and pessimistic is bad. However, it’s not always that simple: here are 10 traits that people often think are negative, but which can actually be quite useful.


Being a little messy is hardly a mortal sin, but many people equate it with unproductiveness, which is a myth . In fact, many people with messy desks are more inclined towards creativity and risk taking . Clutter can be inspiring. Just don’t leave the dirty banana peels lying around and you should probably be fine.


Of course, it’s bad to think only of yourself and ignore others, but perfect selflessness has its problems. Many of us could become a little more selfish and learn to say no (without being jerks ). If you will please people, it will only cause you stress and divert precious time of your life on the really important things. So consider saying no to this next project. File for bankruptcy by email , even if some go unanswered. And don’t forget to self-serve . You must help yourself in order to help others.


The big ego is often looked down on, but it comes in many forms. As we all know, arrogance is bad : arrogant people humiliate others in order to rise. On the other hand, self-confidence , that is, self- satisfaction, is good . It will help you get ahead at work, find a romantic partner, and more without humiliating others. So don’t be afraid to give yourself confidence . It’s good to think of yourself, unless you’re an arrogant moron.


Too many people see shyness as a weakness . Of course, being overly shy can lead you to miss out on opportunities, but it has its strengths : Shy people tend to be more thoughtful and observant than outgoing people – and they often listen better as well. Overcoming shyness can help you assert yourself more, but don’t discount your benefits . (And don’t confuse shyness with introversion.)

Inclined to be distracted

If you are distracted, it will be difficult for you to concentrate on work – look, squirrel! – but it can also help you get more creative . When you are not focused, you are looking at a wider range of information and thinking outside the box . Concentration and distraction play an important role in our lives, and one without the other can shut down all possibilities for you.


There’s a difference between a cynical and a cynical jerk . In fact, many people may be more critical of the world around them. Letting go of your emotional attachment to things will help you become more rational, and being skeptical will help you avoid fraud and other falsifications . Unless you’re a jerk, small doses of cynicism can be hugely beneficial.


According to an article in American Psychologist , neuroticism means “the tendency to respond with negative emotions to threat, disappointment, or loss.” These kinds of things can negatively affect your health, but some research suggests that you can respond positively to this anxiety by showing some awareness to balance it. And as we already know, awareness can be the number one important trait of successful people, so it’s time to start using it.

Thin skin

Taking criticism is hard, which is why the world is telling you to get thicker skin. And, of course, to a certain extent this is good, but complete disregard for criticism will lead nowhere. Instead of learning to brush it off, learn to take criticism without taking it personally and use it to improve yourself. Just don’t let it hurt you too much .


Nobody likes negative Nelly, but a healthy dose of pessimism is good. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong will help you plan for these situations and ultimately avoid them. It can also help you achieve your goals . The ancient Stoics even believed that if all of this did happen, it would help you cope with the loss . Unless you’re fatalistic, a little negative thinking can go a long way.


For every 10 hardworking people, there is one who is too lazy to get the job done, so instead he finds a way to automate the process. Laziness can be the mother of ingenuity if used correctly. This can motivate you to find a job that you enjoy and keep you from procrastinating . And of course, being lazy can make you more efficient. (In short, this is the ultimate motivation for hacking your own life.) Just don’t let your sloth get the best of you, or you’ll never get out of bed.

This story was originally published in October 2014 and updated on December 29, 2020 to add new information, update dead links, insert a new title, and change content to match the current Lifehacker style.


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