We all have strengths and weakness. Our strengths are usually referred to in positive terms such as "smart," "strong" or "talented." Rarely do we view our weaknesses or deficits as potential clues to our strengths. Some common and negatively perceived characteristics can actually help us discover some very positive qualities and underlying strengths.

Following is a list of 7 common negative labels and some other ways we might look at them:

1. Stubborn - People described as stubborn may also be described as being difficult, resistant, and unbendable. However, their underlying strengths may include some positive qualities such as: persistence, determination, and an unwillingness to give up.

2. Controlling - When people are said to be controlling, it usually suggests that they may be firm, manipulative and/or authoritative. On a positive note, they may also be assuring and/or resourceful.

3. Uncooperative - This label may suggest disunity. However, it may also suggest underlying strengths such as independence, a self-starter, inner-directed and motivated.

4. Perfectionist - Sometimes perfectionists are seen as being unrealistic, unhappy and dissatisfied with their best unless it is flawless, without any mistakes. On the positive side, perfectionists may be highly driven and motivated people. They may be persistent in problem-solving and/or highly dedicated.

5. Dependent - This label is sometimes associated with weakness. However, someone who is dependent may also be a social person, flexible and/or cooperative.

6. Nosey - These people like to know secrets and they do not like to miss out on any interesting news or happenings. Their underlying strengths may include a healthy curiousity for knowledge and insight. They might enjoy research and investigation. Their inquisitive nature may help them to ask the right questions and get the answers needed.

7. Sarcastic - This label may seem to be limited in uncovering any underlying strengths since it is often assoicated with being mean, insensitive, cunning and/or selfish. Yet, it is another negative label that can reveal some underlying strengths. Maybe people described as sarcastic may also be pretty clever and perceptive.

Although people have a tendency to use labels when describing others, it is more beneficial to be aware of individual characteristics and qualities. Labels can be very general and may imply different things to different people. They usually are associated with negative traits. However, considering the hidden strengths that can be implied helps us to reconsider the implications of negative labels. We can be more open to uncovering strengths and potentially positive qualities. We can focus on what is good and likeable about someone rather than what is bad and undesirable. It is simply another way to look at things and one in which we are encouraged to find the best in others.

When you look for the good in others, you discover the best in yourself. ~Martin Walsh

People judge by outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. ~1 Samuel 16:7

Look for the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. ~Philippians

7 Common Negative Labels & the Hidden Strengths They Reveal
Copyright © 2012 Krystal Kuehn BeHappy4Life.com NewDayCounseling.org All Rights Reserved

Author's Bio: 

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a licensed professional counselor, best-selling author, teacher, and musician. She specializes in helping people live their best life now, reach their full potential, overcome barriers, heal from their past, and develop a lifestyle of health, happiness, and love. Krystal is the cofounder of NewDayCounseling.org, a relationship counseling, family counseling center, specializing in helping individuals, couples and families with professional counseling services for relationship problems, parenting issues, depression, anxiety as well a s substance abuse classes, anger management groups, and more. Krystal is also cofounder of StopSuicideSong.com and BeHappy4Life.com as well as Facebook.com/WordsOfInspiration and several blogs.