seemingly negative personality traits

These negative personality traits shouldn’t make you feel bad if you have them.

Many of the personality traits that we have been taught are bad, and encouraged to eradicate from our lives, have a surprising number of benefits. So it is worth taking a closer look at our negative personality traits or so-called ‘bad habits’ and seeking the silver lining in our faults.

1. Worrying

Worriers tend to imagine the worst thing that can happen in a situation and it is this very capacity for imagination that means worriers are generally highly creative. Worriers are also more likely to think through the pros and cons of a decision and weigh up the evidence before coming to a conclusion. This means they are less likely to make rash decisions and are also more likely to have a ‘Plan B’ in case things go wrong.

2. Selfishness

Sometimes it pays to be a little selfish. If we put others needs before our own all of the time then we risk being stretched too thin, never achieving our goals, and possibly even getting sick. We can help others best if we help ourselves first, an idea that is validated by the classic advice to put on your own oxygen mask in an aeroplane emergency before a child’s, thus ensuring that you don’t pass out before you can help them. We also tend to be happier when we spend time taking care of our own needs and happier people are more productive, compassionate, generous and creative.

3. Daydreaming

Daydreaming, far from being a waste of time, can help us in a variety of ways. Studies have shown that it can lead to creative discoveries, improve relationships and lower stress. Daydreaming can also improve our empathy levels by allowing us to imagine things from the perspective of others. On top of all that, and a recent Cornell study showed that daydreaming actually improved mental performance.

4. Laziness

Laziness is probably the most common of the negative personality traits. Much is made of busyness and hard work in our society, but laziness is truly underrated. We can’t work at full pace all the time, we need rest, relaxation and to experience new things. Julia Cameron, writer, suggests we take time off to ‘refill the well’ in order to replenish ourselves and encourage new ideas and discoveries. Her advice is spot on because, if we are constantly giving, without ever taking the time to goof off, we risk becoming depleted, stale and depressed.

5. Quietness

Quiet people are often deep thinkers who can focus on details. This kind of focus can be extremely useful, helping them to spot problems or opportunities others miss. Quiet people often have strong, deep relationships. They thrive on close, intimate relationships rather than in large crowds and gossip is rarely their thing. This means that when people have problems, they often turn to the quiet people knowing they can be trusted, which deepens the relationship further. Quiet people often have more insights than others, because they spend time reflecting on issues and thinking deeply about what matters to them.

6. Messiness

A messy room or desk is not necessarily a sign or laziness or disorganization. Many new creative insights have come from putting two unrelated things together to create something new and that’s more likely to happen on a messy desk than in a neat filing system. In a study in the September issue of Psychological Science, Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D, of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, concluded: “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.”

7. Impulsiveness

Now this is a trait where we need to be a little careful. Too much impulsiveness can lead us to do things we regret, such as getting into debt. However, impulsiveness can also mean that we can take advantage of unexpected opportunities and are able to think on our feet. Besides we need a little excitement and spontaneity in life to keep things interesting otherwise our lives can become routine and boring.

8. Egotism

It’s okay to have a healthy ego. If you have achieved something great, you deserve to feel proud and to celebrate. Ego and self-confidence are closely linked and, while boasting and being arrogant are not qualities most of us admire, a healthy feeling of self-worth and pride in our accomplishments can actually help us to achieve more and have the confidence to go for our biggest dreams.

What other negative personality traits you think could be added on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


  1. Psychological Science
  2. Medical News Today

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Kirstie Pursey

Kirstie Pursey

Kirstie is a freelance writer and blogger with a Diploma in Creative Writing from the Open University. She lives on the outskirts of London with her family of people, dogs and cats. Kirstie is a lover of reading, writing, being in nature, fairy lights, candles, firesides and afternoon tea. She loves to explore new ideas, particularly those related to psychology, spirituality and storytelling.