Using Your Strengths Is Not a Disease

The title of Larissa MacFarquhar’s article immediately caught my eye: “Why Are Do-Gooders So Irritating?” I thought to myself, “What? I’m irritating? Just because I want to make the world a better place?” What is that about?!!“ (Although I have to admit that in high school, I was deemed ‘biggest brown-noser,’ and that probably was irritating!)

MacFarquhar says that the attitude towards do-gooders (that of guilt and irritation) in the U.S. stems from our history of alcohol and Prohibition. She talks of Al-Anon (a group similar to AA for the families of alcoholics) and suggests that wanting to help others can be seen as a disease because “people feel morally obliged to help others.”

But I make the case to take a different approach: I have taken the StrengthsFinder assessment and one of my top strengths is restorative. I like to solve problems. I am energized by it. I enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution. I like making things better. I want to make the world a better place. According to the assessment, solving problems is one of my raw, natural talents – and isn’t it a good thing to want to share it with others?

We all have talents. Let’s embrace them and leverage them, and not try to turn them into something negative.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.