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RabidMongoose

Hiding your Positive Qualities

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RabidMongoose

Human nature has always fascinated me, particularly the negative side of it.

In the UK our culture tells us that we should be individuals, that we should let our positive qualities shine through, and that we should wear them with pride on our sleeves. But I realised several years ago that this idealistic approach to life causes problems in relationships. The reason being is a lot of people are unhappy in life, and therefore it attracts resentment from them.

When I was younger I wasn't politically minded at all. I had to learn the hard way to hide my positive qualities. Does anybody else do this? I found reading The Prince to be very illuminating and think the genius of Machiavelli is often understated when it comes to dealing with other people.

With human psychology everyone likes to believe they are special and are destined for great things. Its a self-delusion that we all engage in. We are all deeply flawed, to varying degrees. Yet we bury our negative qualities into our shadows pretending that they dont exist. That is until we encounter someone that has a positive quality which we are missing and that causes us to experience resentment.

We might try to bury those negative emotions, we might indulge in them, but they are present in all of us. That is the essence of human nature. The life strategy I adopted was to list out my positive and negative qualities. Then I worked on hiding my positive ones as best I could, while making other people aware of my negative traits. Sometimes I have even pretended to have extra negative traits.

The sad thing is that it works, that life is so much easier and that we get so much further when doing it. We like people that arent as good as ourselves, and we hate people with positive qualities that we lack. We also lie about it to others and ourselves when confronted with it.

What is funny is I can spot other people doing it as well.

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CD_Stargazer

Interesting concept. In a way, I think you're right. There definitely do seem to be a lot of people who hate people who are better than them; or, at the very least, they feel some resentment for them. I think there's more nuance than you're suggesting, though. I won't lie. If I'm having a lot of bad days and there's this super chipper guy around me talking on and on about his blessings and how lucky he is, I'm going to feel resentful and annoyed. But, if that same guy were often more quiet and down-to-earth and they get a lucky break? I'm celebrating. Even if I'm having a bad day, I'm celebrating. I think the big difference is that in the first case the person feels like your antithesis; you can't relate. But, when it's 'one of your own', so to speak, it can be a lot different. 

People who are overly boisterous about their positive qualities are the ones I think most people tend to resent. It's the wealthy guy that insists on wearing the expensive watch and driving the showy car; it's the happy-go-lucky one that greets you loud and proud at 5am before you've had your morning coffee; it's the very moral one that has to tell you about their positions on things and finds a way to bring up how vegan or straightedge or whatever they are in every other conversation. I think it's less that people are upset by positive qualities, and more that people don't like the obnoxious.

Negative qualities can have the same effect. How much do you care that your coworker is an alcoholic? Does it bother you, so long as they show up and do the job they're meant to do, and they're overall pleasant to be around? It only becomes a problem when their negative trait affects *you* negatively. In the same way, an overly chipper coworker affects you negatively in a different way. 

What I think you're on to is two things; 1) That people just don't like to be annoyed, even if by positive qualities, and 2) that people tend to feel uneasy and become suspicious around those who don't seem to have any vices. Can't trust a man who doesn't drink, right? That's long been a saying. Once you know a person's vices, you know how much of a threat they pose; and you have something up on them - you're friends with a few of their skeletons. If you don't know a person's vices, they remain an unknown and nothing is more threatening than the unknown. It's much easier to relate to people who are flawed because we ourselves are flawed.

In conclusion, I don't think it's so much necessary to hide your positive qualities and it definitely isn't necessary to invent negative ones. Everyone has enough flaws as it is, and showing a few of them is certainly a good way to disarm people. But, people don't just want their friends and companions to be the same as them. We don't look up to characters who are exactly like us; we look up to characters that have flaws that we can identify with, but also strengths that we can aspire to. I think we do the same when we seek to get to know the people in our daily lives. 

Edited by CD_Stargazer
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joc
On 2/17/2020 at 5:32 AM, RabidMongoose said:

We like people that arent as good as ourselves, and we hate people with positive qualities that we lack. We also lie about it to others and ourselves when confronted with it.

I  prefer to be around people who have positive qualities.  I do see the negative and positive traits in people and I tend to shy away from those who have lesser positive qualities.  I think it might be because I am the most positive person I know.  I also think though that what I abhor in some other positives is an underlying 'bragadociousness' which is, in and of itself, a negative quality.  While I don't think that I am 'better' than anyone else, I dislike being around those who think that they are.  Hence, shying away from those who think negatively predominately and also shying away from those who 'seem' to be very positive minded, yet have an inherent negative quality about them that overshadows their positives.

If that makes any sense...

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jypsijemini
23 hours ago, CD_Stargazer said:

it's the happy-go-lucky one that greets you loud and proud at 5am before you've had your morning coffee

That makes me obnoxious??

Wow. I would have never seen it from that perspective before.

Sure, sometimes I do get the grumpy old furk who isn't impressed by someone seeming so optimistic, positive and friendly - but that's a reflection of where he's at and the day he's having. Doesn't make me an obnoxious sAss-hole.

I work in customer service and usually do the graveyard shift. It may just be the laid-back friendly Aussie culture but I get people commenting all the time on how bright, bubbly, smiley and happy I am all the time. And you know why I push myself to be like that at work? Because people walk in all foggy, on autopilot, not giving a rats sack about the other people around them - and I'll twist their arm into a conversation and get them walking out the door with a smile.

Because we're humans. We're made to interact. We're social creatures. And in this day and age, people are stuck in their own sad little worlds.

I like to kick the door down with a smile and invite myself in.

Sure, not everyone appreciates it - but MOST do. You'd be surprised.

And I'm not an insensitive kent. I read people's body language and reactions and if I can see that they're just not having a bar of me, I'll ease off and just put through their sale and gently wish them well. I'll change my tone of voice to something calmer and quieter. I'll hold off from too much meaningless yammering. I can see when people are tired or stressed.

Smiles are infectious. Worse than yawns. People like it when you remember their name or how they like their coffee. Last night (midnight - dawn shift) I lost two hours because the truck drivers like my company so much they just wanted to stay and chat a while - and there were about seven of them in a row. They remember MY name. They remember my stories - because after a few times, they realise that all I do is ask them about themselves. I've had people stop talking and say, "You always ask me how I am - how are YOU doing?!"

People are amazing. Crazy, weird and sometimes unbelievably frustrating - but they're also caring, thoughtful, considerate, respectful and incredible.

Yin and yang, baby. We're not all meant to be little unicorns shooting rainbows out our bum freckles! There's a balance of good and bad and that's what UM has really taught me lately (there are a few really wise gems floating around here in UM cyberspace). Channel and use your anger where it's deserved and warranted. There are plenty of situations where it's the only 'right' thing to do. Sometimes kindness, understanding and forgiveness will get you nowhere and actually make the situation worse. Sometimes things and people deserve your anger.

I think one of the meanings of life is to learn this - when to channel your yin energy, and when it's time for some yang.

x

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joc
5 hours ago, jypsijemini said:

People are amazing. Crazy, weird and sometimes unbelievably frustrating - but they're also caring, thoughtful, considerate, respectful and incredible.

...and most importantly...people are stupid!   We are all stupid.  Every last one of us.  We know this or that.  We are talented in this or that.  But we are ALL stupid.  

But we can wash all of the stupidity of people away as easy as soaping and rinsing our hair...when we view them as caring, thoughtful, considerate, respectful and incredible.  Even the stupidest of us are incredible.  Trust me, I can vouch for that!  We all have our moments of genius, we all have our moments of stupidity, and we all have our moments of despair...

...and we can never really know what is in another person's head.  They may be all chuckles and grins and hiding behind that...or they may be all sullen and depressed.  The one thing we have that we can give every person we meet, regardless of race, creed, color, gender or lack there of....the one thing we have to give them all is a smile.  I smile at everyone.  Because I care.   And when we smile at someone...it is a sign of recognition...the smile says...Hey, I don't know you but I recognize you for the person you are trying to be.   If I don't smile at someone as I pass...I am left with a selfish feeling...a feeling like sitting next to a hungry and homeless person on the same bench and eating a cheeseburger and fries and acting as if they didn't even exist.  

...and afraid.  People are very, very afraid.  A smile let's them know that they aren't alone...okay...done... I just really enjoyed reading your post @jypsijemini

:)

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Jujo-jo
On 2/17/2020 at 6:32 AM, RabidMongoose said:

Human nature has always fascinated me, particularly the negative side of it.

In the UK our culture tells us that we should be individuals, that we should let our positive qualities shine through, and that we should wear them with pride on our sleeves. But I realised several years ago that this idealistic approach to life causes problems in relationships. The reason being is a lot of people are unhappy in life, and therefore it attracts resentment from them.

When I was younger I wasn't politically minded at all. I had to learn the hard way to hide my positive qualities. Does anybody else do this? I found reading The Prince to be very illuminating and think the genius of Machiavelli is often understated when it comes to dealing with other people.

With human psychology everyone likes to believe they are special and are destined for great things. Its a self-delusion that we all engage in. We are all deeply flawed, to varying degrees. Yet we bury our negative qualities into our shadows pretending that they dont exist. That is until we encounter someone that has a positive quality which we are missing and that causes us to experience resentment.

We might try to bury those negative emotions, we might indulge in them, but they are present in all of us. That is the essence of human nature. The life strategy I adopted was to list out my positive and negative qualities. Then I worked on hiding my positive ones as best I could, while making other people aware of my negative traits. Sometimes I have even pretended to have extra negative traits.

The sad thing is that it works, that life is so much easier and that we get so much further when doing it. We like people that arent as good as ourselves, and we hate people with positive qualities that we lack. We also lie about it to others and ourselves when confronted with it.

What is funny is I can spot other people doing it as well.

Interesting view, some very good points in there too, sounds like you're human and pretty normal ; )

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Tuco's Gas
On 2/17/2020 at 5:32 AM, RabidMongoose said:

Human nature has always fascinated me, particularly the negative side of it.

In the UK our culture tells us that we should be individuals, that we should let our positive qualities shine through, and that we should wear them with pride on our sleeves. But I realised several years ago that this idealistic approach to life causes problems in relationships. The reason being is a lot of people are unhappy in life, and therefore it attracts resentment from them.

When I was younger I wasn't politically minded at all. I had to learn the hard way to hide my positive qualities. Does anybody else do this? I found reading The Prince to be very illuminating and think the genius of Machiavelli is often understated when it comes to dealing with other people.

With human psychology everyone likes to believe they are special and are destined for great things. Its a self-delusion that we all engage in. We are all deeply flawed, to varying degrees. Yet we bury our negative qualities into our shadows pretending that they dont exist. That is until we encounter someone that has a positive quality which we are missing and that causes us to experience resentment.

We might try to bury those negative emotions, we might indulge in them, but they are present in all of us. That is the essence of human nature. The life strategy I adopted was to list out my positive and negative qualities. Then I worked on hiding my positive ones as best I could, while making other people aware of my negative traits. Sometimes I have even pretended to have extra negative traits.

The sad thing is that it works, that life is so much easier and that we get so much further when doing it. We like people that arent as good as ourselves, and we hate people with positive qualities that we lack. We also lie about it to others and ourselves when confronted with it.

What is funny is I can spot other people doing it as well.

But what exactly "works" when you hide your positive qualities? And what exactly gets easier?

Surely not excelling at your job. Being productive. Helping your family. Or even growing emotionally and spiritually. 

The only manner in which I can see flaunting one's shortcomings and denying your strengths and attributes would help or "work" is for befriending those insecure types who are bitter and jealous of those who succeed. Do you really want that?  Is it worth it? Not to me it is not.

I'd rather do my best and act the way I want and play to my strengths. Why compromise yourself for the lazy. I see no way that such duplicity and self denial can end well nor provide one with a fulfilling life.  Not in the long run. 

Besides, not to sound harsh, but screw those people who resent quality and talent. I'd rather hang with winners. Or at least positive, non-threatened people.

I dunno: your entire strategy and post made little sense to me. Maybe it all depends on what one wants from life.

Peace.

Edited by Tuco's Gas
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Manwon Lender
On 2/17/2020 at 3:32 AM, RabidMongoose said:

Human nature has always fascinated me, particularly the negative side of it.

In the UK our culture tells us that we should be individuals, that we should let our positive qualities shine through, and that we should wear them with pride on our sleeves. But I realised several years ago that this idealistic approach to life causes problems in relationships. The reason being is a lot of people are unhappy in life, and therefore it attracts resentment from them.

When I was younger I wasn't politically minded at all. I had to learn the hard way to hide my positive qualities. Does anybody else do this? I found reading The Prince to be very illuminating and think the genius of Machiavelli is often understated when it comes to dealing with other people.

With human psychology everyone likes to believe they are special and are destined for great things. Its a self-delusion that we all engage in. We are all deeply flawed, to varying degrees. Yet we bury our negative qualities into our shadows pretending that they dont exist. That is until we encounter someone that has a positive quality which we are missing and that causes us to experience resentment.

We might try to bury those negative emotions, we might indulge in them, but they are present in all of us. That is the essence of human nature. The life strategy I adopted was to list out my positive and negative qualities. Then I worked on hiding my positive ones as best I could, while making other people aware of my negative traits. Sometimes I have even pretended to have extra negative traits.

The sad thing is that it works, that life is so much easier and that we get so much further when doing it. We like people that arent as good as ourselves, and we hate people with positive qualities that we lack. We also lie about it to others and ourselves when confronted with it.

What is funny is I can spot other people doing it as well.

I think that personally if you choose to hide your positive qualities and openly expose your negative qualities your going to be a very lonely person. Negative qualities make people repellent, no one wants to be around a negative person there is just nothing enjoyable about. I personally believe that the key to successful relationships is to learn how to read people, and to key in on what they are feeling and saying. The key to becoming popular is to never directly criticize the opinions of others, you can disagree with comments that others make, but it's how you disagree that's important.

In my opinion if you disagree with someone you should never only point out the negative portion of what was said. You can tell someone there wrong, but you can also point out positive things about what was said, because in context nothing someone says is completely wrong. Because by not openly challenging another persons ideas in a negative manner, you can present your ideas without making the other person feel bad or embarrassed. If you embarrass the other person by attacking their thoughts or ideas you will cause resentment which in most cases will destroy any chance of a positive relationship.

In closing I believe that keeping an open mind and paying attention to how others feel and what they are saying will present you as someone others want to be around, and someone who's ideas and thoughts on subjects are as valuable as the other persons are. Like they say to attract others all you need to do is be understanding, courteous and positive when it comes to how you communicate your ideas and feelings to others.

Peace

Edited by Manwon Lender
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RabidMongoose
6 hours ago, Tuco's Gas said:

But what exactly "works" when you hide your positive qualities? And what exactly gets easier?

Surely not excelling at your job. Being productive. Helping your family. Or even growing emotionally and spiritually. 

The only manner in which I can see flaunting one's shortcomings and denying your strengths and attributes would help or "work" is for befriending those insecure types who are bitter and jealous of those who succeed. Do you really want that?  Is it worth it? Not to me it is not.

I'd rather do my best and act the way I want and play to my strengths. Why compromise yourself for the lazy. I see no way that such duplicity and self denial can end well nor provide one with a fulfilling life.  Not in the long run. 

Besides, not to sound harsh, but screw those people who resent quality and talent. I'd rather hang with winners. Or at least positive, non-threatened people.

I dunno: your entire strategy and post made little sense to me. Maybe it all depends on what one wants from life.

Peace.

The majority of people play office politics in the work place.

You dont get anywhere in life by ignoring what human nature is actually like. If you work hard, your productivity is high, and you show genuine ability, then you will turn your work colleagues against you. You will have singled yourself out as a threat to their career ambitions. The targets of bullying and office politics in the work place are those who fall outside its cultural norms of performance. They are:

Underperformers: Those who are bad at their jobs turn people against them. This is because people resent having to tidy up after them or do their work.

Overperformers: Those who are good at their jobs turn people against them. This is because they are a threat to the career ambitions of everyone else and make them look bad in their jobs.

The aim is not to be the strongest or the weakest link in the workplace, but to insert yourself into the middle. I have never seen someone in a management position who wasn't politically astute when it came to work relationships. The ability to get somewhere at work is basically the ability to manage your relationships with other people so that they are your allies rather than opponents. You dont do that by being an under or over performer.

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XenoFish

I don't know about positive qualities, but I face my own darker aspects on a daily basis. The eternal pessimist. Try your best, but don't expect the best. 

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Tuco's Gas
5 hours ago, RabidMongoose said:

The majority of people play office politics in the work place.

You dont get anywhere in life by ignoring what human nature is actually like. If you work hard, your productivity is high, and you show genuine ability, then you will turn your work colleagues against you. You will have singled yourself out as a threat to their career ambitions. The targets of bullying and office politics in the work place are those who fall outside its cultural norms of performance. They are:

Underperformers: Those who are bad at their jobs turn people against them. This is because people resent having to tidy up after them or do their work.

Overperformers: Those who are good at their jobs turn people against them. This is because they are a threat to the career ambitions of everyone else and make them look bad in their jobs.

The aim is not to be the strongest or the weakest link in the workplace, but to insert yourself into the middle. I have never seen someone in a management position who wasn't politically astute when it came to work relationships. The ability to get somewhere at work is basically the ability to manage your relationships with other people so that they are your allies rather than opponents. You dont do that by being an under or over performer.

Your experience obviously has been vastly different than mine. Ive never encountered hostility due to excelling at anything.

Sucks to be You I guess. LOL 

Then again, I'm a veteran. Combat vet. Former college athlete. I live in Texas.  I don't hang with losers and malcontents. IOW I've been exposed to environments where talent and competence are appreciated and rewarded, not denigrated.

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