Posts Tagged ‘personal strengths and weaknesses’

That Thing People Notice About You

December 11, 2014

There’s always something about you that makes an impression. If you have sufficient amounts of whatever it is, people often feel compelled to tell you about it. If it’s negative, they comment to others. What’s that thing for you? On the positive end of the spectrum, it could be your looks, sense of humor, the way you make others feel good about themselves, your affability, your leadership skills, your intellect. On the negative it might be the fact that you’re a control freak or are weird about money; maybe you have no social skills or you glom onto people or are so intense about whatever it is that you leave no room for others to breathe (well, not you, of course). Maybe you have a terrible temper or have a noticeable tendency to disappear when things get tough.


You’re not alone.


Of course, it’s always easier to appreciate the pluses and diagnose the negatives for others than doing so for ourselves. Despite the fact that we may, at least in theory, recognize what we do right and wrong, we have little in the way of genuine understanding when it comes to how impactful our behaviors are on those around us. And, to develop this point a bit further, it’s even harder for us to concede when we take a positive characteristic too far and in the wrong direction.


Take me for instance. Now, I expect that having read my blog, it becomes pretty clear that I have a definite opinion on most matters. I express myself clearly. This is part and parcel of my particular personality. However, it is these exact same qualities that have gotten me into trouble from time to time. Over the years, it has (ah hem) come to my attention that, perhaps, neither I, nor the situation at hand, is well served by my expressing my opinion in so direct and clear a manner. Perhaps it would be best if I not expressed my opinion at all. I repeatedly forget how intense I can be. I don’t appreciate that this forcefulness can be too much for others. I neglect to notice that many folks want a spoonful of sugar with their medicine.


See how that works?


The tempering of how we utilize our strengths (and our weaknesses) is an ongoing responsibility of being a mature adult. It’s why counting to ten before we speak, employing humor whenever possible, reminding ourselves that how we deliver a message is nearly as important as the message itself, and asking ourselves if what we want to say is truly helpful to those involved are all techniques we can employ when leveraging our strengths to best effect.


So, what are your strengths? Do you ever express them poorly? Do you even realize that you do this? What has it cost you?


Ok, so now that you’re fully sobered as to the risks associated with your positive qualities, I want to turn the tables on you. Think about something that people favorably comment on about yourself. Not your looks, not anything like that, but some behavioral characteristic, something you do or something about the way you are. For instance, you’re calm in a crisis, you’re friendly, your make others laugh, you’re a great mentor, you’re always there when the chips are down–that sort of thing. Whatever “it” is, I am here to tell you that people only comment on it because it makes a big difference to them. You doing whatever “it” is has had a powerful, positive impact on others. Pay attention to this because you are doing something important. Feel good about what they say and let it in! Trust that they’re telling you the truth.


If you’re anything like me, you may be afraid to believe compliments. You may diminish whatever it is for which people praise you, but I’m telling ya—they’re not blowing smoke! Let their adulation wash over you. Let the weight of their words settle onto your heart…




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