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Our Good Qualities Get Us Into More Trouble Than Our Bad Ones

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We can usually see trouble coming when we know our bad qualities are in play. We overspend, drink or eat too much, are disorganized, arrive chronically late, get lazy, behave rudely, procrastinate, or fail to change one of our bad habits.

But – have you ever treated someone well or done a good deed, only to have it blow up in your face?

We don't understand how trouble follows when the intention of our behavior is good. But it's true: our good qualities can lead us into trouble even more often than our bad ones, because we do not monitor how they impact us. If we mean well, we expect the outcome to be positive as intended. We fail to see how being "good" (nice, kind, forgiving, generous, respectable, etc.) can bite into our self-esteem and warp our relationships by attracting the "wrong" people to us.

For example:

  • If we are consistently too generous, we are likely to let others take advantage of us.
  • If we are selfless regarding others, we lose ourselves.
  • When we are easygoing and back down on our opinions in order to please others and keep them happy, our own life becomes less satisfying and meaningful.
  • When we are carefully respectful of the needs of others, we often overlook situations where it is in our best interest to take a stand on our own behalf.

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About Dr. Coach Love

  • Darrel

    This sounds like someone I know.

  • Shari

    I don’t think that being overly kind and solicitous of others indicates a lack of self-awareness. Most people are all too aware of what they are doing and that they can be taken advantage of. That being said, it’s important to distinguish between backing down because it’s pointless to argue with people who are inflexible and not arguing with people out of fear that they won’t like you or in an effort to be liked.

    I don’t offer my opinion to many people because I simply don’t see the point considering their intransigence. And it doesn’t bother me at all to do so, nor does it make my life “less satisfying and meaningful”. Besides, most people are only too quick to spew forth ill-considered opinions as if they were facts. There’s hardly a shortage of overly aggressive arguers.

  • Dr, Coach Love


    Exactly so.You have clarified the thought from another angle. Being aware of acting in an overly generous manner gives you the power and choice to not be taken advantage of by others.

    Self-aware people like you can use their good qualites generously and not get into trouble…you know the line where receiving can begin for balance.
    Being self-aware and conscious of interpersonal boundaries are tools of protection from being used and abused by those who would do that—but we must apply the tools.

    As you point out, there is a difference between backing down out of fear and withdrawing from a conversation because of the righteous or inflexible nature of the other participant.

    Self-awareness and boundaries are only 2 of the keys to a satisfying and meaningful life.

    Thanks for offering your opinion.