16 Apr Are you a nosey parker or someone with an underutilised curiosity strength?
This article is the first in what may well become a new series focusing on underused and underappreciated strengths. You see happiness comes in part to those who are aware of and who use their strengths but many of us are ignorant of our own strengths and in fact many, unfortunately, perceive their strengths to be weaknesses and faults…as they may be if they're not used properly.
The reality is that every strength has a "dark side"; or another way of thinking about this is that over-used, or mis-used strengths can backfire and cause problems.
Consider, for example, the nosey parker or gossip. Are you (or is someone you know) always prying into the lives of others? Do you find yourself voyeristically staring at the couple or family next to you in the restaurant? Are you the person who's always asking about how others are faring in the office or at the school pick-ups or when you gather with friends for coffee and a chat?
If so, have you ever been criticised for this "inappropriate" interest in the lives of others?
Well, there's no doubt that at times this sort of behaviour can be problematic and unhelpful and…unwanted!
But there's also no doubt that this type of behaviour could also be seen as a sign of curiosity and/or an interest in others and in the world. And if this is actually what's going on then this may well be one of the "signature strengths" as noted in the VIA classifaction (HERE) and therefore one of the attributes which if used properly can lead to flow and positive emotion and…success and happiness!
Curiosity in the world is a wonderful characteristic and again, according to the strengths based model within positive psychology (the science of happiness), one of the 24 ways we can get the most our of ourselves and achieve a flourishing and thriving life.
So if one of your "faults" is actually the strength of curiosity misinterpreted by others or misused by you then the good news is that you could create more happiness and success in your life by finding different ways to more appropriately use this stength to ensure that you don't offend or upset others thereby ensuring that you achieve what you want out of life via the strengths based pursuit of a great life (some TIPS HERE).
PS: I'd love to know if you've found this article interesting and/or useful because if so, I plan to write a whole series focusing on other "faults, weaknesses and limitations" that might actually be hidden strengths waiting to blossom! Post your thoughts, comments or questions on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page HERE