Using your toxic traits for good.
Poison has its uses....
Written by jack friks
Last Updated: Aug 1, 2023
Most self-help books cover Why you're so great & how to avoid toxic things, people, or bits of yourself.
very few go over how to identify your toxic traits, & how to use them to your benefit.
this is what I will attempt to cover today, & uncover in your mind: What your toxic traits are, & then how to use them.
I recently wrote about reaching freedom & the imbalanced nature of life, in this text I mentioned that to live life is a completely & utterly unbalanced act. Toxic traits are unbalanced parts of yourself too.
The lack of balance is what helps us excel in areas of our life & later on it may “balance out” but there will be very few balanced moments of actually being or living.
When everything is calm & still, is when you’re in a flow state, deep work session, or meditation for short periods of time: but living life in the day-to-day, things are not this way.
Toxic traits are in everyone & can work to our own benefit in a number of ways, to break through life hurdles. Perhaps you can think of something without me giving you any examples, but nonetheless, examples will be provided in the following text.
First, though, what is a toxic trait?
What is a toxic trait?
A toxic trait is partially subjective, but It’s my impression that any given toxic trait usually has some type of counterbalancing benefit (in one way or another).
The benefits to be had from any given toxic trait could be desirable to you, but quite the opposite to the people around you.
I asked an artificial intelligence model how it defines the term, here is what it spat out:
”A toxic trait refers to a negative or harmful characteristic or behavior that can have detrimental effects on both the individual exhibiting it and the people around them” — GPT 3.5
This definition is quite accurate by the means in which the majority of people see toxic traits, but there is something more to this… “that can have detrimental effects”.
Can meaning not always, meaning in some form of reality, there is a place where one’s toxic trait does not provide a negative outcome… maybe even a positive one…
Before we go any further I want to make it abundantly clear that almost everyone has some form of toxic traits, but not all of these are excusable especially when they consistently put others down or don’t add value to anyone life.
Gossipping badly about others for example is not a toxic trait I can see having any positive outcome, some toxic traits are pure in poison & only good for just what they are: being poison.
Other examples of more irredeemable traits of being toxic are basically anything that makes you hurt others
After all, we are here to talk about how to use toxic traits for good, not evil or malicious intent. I’ll give some examples on how you can do that next.
Quick non-toxic intermission: If you’re enjoying this writing or any of my writing, please consider leaving the publication a testimonial.
All testimonials are shown on my landing page & bring some water to my eyes when I read them. Only takes a minute or two!
Using toxic traits for good
Now, let’s go over a few examples of toxic traits people may possess & how they may be used for good.
— 1st Example —
Toxic Trait: Overworker: someone who works constantly & can’t shut it off they are in love with work as opposed to their family & friends.
Potential Benefit: This person can use this trait they have to enjoy their work, this is a great thing that most people cannot do: to find something that feels like play to them but looks like work to others. This is the person who builds something no one else can, & potentially a product or service that changes lives.
— The overworking is shown in cases like Elon Musk, who is an amazing creator of companies that have changed the world & continue to do so, sleeping in the factory floor some nights even. This makes Elon Musk excel in this area of his life, at the cost of other things, to him, I assume he is spending his time on what matters most.
“I remember him saying, ‘Being with me was choosing the hard path.’ I didn’t quite understand at the time, but I do now. It’s quite hard, quite the crazy ride.”
— Talulah Riley, who has twice been divorced from Musk.
There was another quote about Musk I heard years ago from another one of his ex-wives, the quote mentioned how Elon is an incredible leader, but not the best partner.
This is to highlight that by excelling at such a high level like Elon Musk has, there will be large imbalances in nonbusiness aspects of his life.
This toxic trait Elon Musk possesses to work on what he deems critically important has positive benefits & negative ones, but the positive one nonetheless is still there, & its shiny & helpful to millions of people around the globe.
— 8 More Subjective Examples —
Toxic Trait: Assertiveness: Being excessively assertive (sometimes comes across as aggressive or domineering)
Potential Benefit: In certain situations, assertiveness can be channeled positively to stand up for yourself or others, advocate for important causes, and negotiate effectively (avoid being scammed).
Toxic Trait: Perfectionism - Having an obsessive focus on perfection and being overly critical of oneself and others.
Potential Benefit: A moderate level of perfectionism can be beneficial in certain professions or situations that require high attention to detail, such as medical surgeries, engineering, or creative projects.
Toxic Trait: Independence - Being overly independent and resistant to seeking help or collaboration.
Potential Benefit: Independence can be advantageous in roles that require self-motivation, entrepreneurship, leadership, or in general when we want to create something without outside influence.
Toxic Trait: Skepticism - Excessively doubting or questioning the credibility of information or others' intentions.
Potential Benefit: In fields like scientific research or investigative journalism, a healthy dose of skepticism can lead to critical thinking and accurate conclusions.
A quote to add about critical thinking —
Yes, in a microwave world, thinking is a superpower
Toxic Trait: Competitiveness - Being overly competitive and prioritizing winning above all else.
Potential Benefit: Controlled and sportsmanlike competitiveness can drive individuals to push their limits and achieve personal growth and success. When paired against competition or a newly set high people find a way to push past their prior limits.
Toxic Trait: Resilience - Being overly resilient and refusing to acknowledge or process emotions in challenging situations.
Potential Benefit: Resilience can help individuals bounce back from adversity and continue to pursue their goals, fostering strength in the face of difficult times.
Toxic Trait: Confidence - Overestimating one's abilities and disregarding others' opinions.
Potential Benefit: Having a reasonable level of self-confidence can inspire others, facilitate decision-making, and allow for taking calculated risks. Being overconfident could also work in one’s favor especially as opposed to having a lack of confidence.
Putting this into practice
Now that you have some examples, you may be wondering how you can put this into practice.
Well, first things first: I have a lot less answers for you than you do. (sorry)
What I mean is that in order to figure out what toxic traits you have & how you can use them for good, you’ll have to think for yourself.
This is probably the most important part of excelling in anything that you value in life, to think for yourself. or to think at all.
Not thinking in an overthinking sense about some out-of-your-control experience, but thinking about things that matter to you.
& then inspecting the world around you to make the things that do matter to you a priority in how you take action from one day to the next.
Using your “toxic traits” for good is really just you thinking through & realizing you have these traits & you’ve already been able to excel to some extent using them.
What others think of you as skeptical, someone out there thinks of you as an explorer, find the good in your so-called toxic traits & milk it for what it’s worth. (
— or at least that’s what I’ll be trying to do… im stubborn in many ways, but this can be a large benefit to have me reach my goals & what’s important to me in life.
Too Long Didnt Read
Self-help books often focus on positivity and avoiding toxicity, but few address leveraging toxic traits for good. Toxic traits can excel in certain areas of life, like overworking leading to career achievements. Being skeptical can be beneficial in critical thinking. The key is to think for oneself, identify toxic traits, and find ways to use them positively to achieve personal goals.
thank you so much for reading, I hope this article made you think in some shape or another. If it did, let me know :)
sincerely, from my mom’s basement,
Interested in writing?
If you want to write for fun about things you enjoy, to make money, to grow a newsletter, to connect with others, or to build an audience then…
Use Beehiiv, the all-in-one platform for newsletters & blogs.
the link above is an affiliate link: I earn if you click & later spend money — I only promote awesome stuff that I personally use.
If you enjoyed this article, then click one of the three buttons below because:
not only do they do cool things, but they also make me smile when you click them :) — maybe it’ll make you smile too who knows… try it! ↓
sidenote: I will give you a virtual cookie & hug if you take 2 minutes of your day to leave a testimonial for Frik It Filosophy (& it shows on my landing page)
Free useful stuff
Just before we dive further, recently I’ve made a free really cool thing which I might as well tell you about.
Because if you’re reading this, then the odds are you’ll be someone who finds this free thing I made useful.
I used to use a daily planner every day to stay on top of my work, but I’ve found a better system for me that you may enjoy too.
It’s a simple to-do list template, that divides things in a way to keep you from being overwhelmed & getting things that matter most done.
Download it here (free)
This came from me reading 4000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman this last week & near the end of the book it recommends a best practice to-do list, so I went ahead & followed the Instructions then turned it into a template for myself & for you.
Go get it here (free)