One of the journal prompts I will give my students this fall is to discover weaknesses they may have. This will lead to another prompt; How can a manipulator use my weaknesses against me? Surprisingly, I found this to be challenging personally. Sure, all the immediate weaknesses came to mind, smoking, eating, and a bunch more but how could someone hurt or manipulate me with those? I had to dig deeper and I found a simple quiz on strengths and weaknesses.

The goal of this assignment isn’t to find our weaknesses to change them or feel badly about ourselves. Weaknesses can be strengths and strengths can be weaknesses. It’s all about balance and all of our beautiful flaws are accompanied by our greatest strengths, usually. For example, I know that I’m a one way communicator and poor listener due to many reasons. One of the main reasons is my ADD and I have to really work hard on some of these challenges.

I’ve had some manipulating people see my weakness of poor listening and use it against me.  They swore they told me or didn’t tell me something. Once or twice after this happened;  I made sure to really listen to these individuals in the future. Yes, a few times my poor listening was a weakness which lead to some confusion in my life and happened infrequently. However, the people who I’ve had repeated misunderstandings, confusion, or issues more times than I can count ended up being manipulative people.

I’m not saying being a poor listener is great and wonderful but it’s a weakness in me I’ve struggled with all my life. Honestly, I probably will continue to struggle but I’m aware and will get better at listening. I’m not going to beat myself up over it or punish myself. On the flip side this weakness is also my Wonder Woman strength. I can tune out the most annoying people in the world, filter through BS, stay calm in ridiculously long meetings, and work at the same time. I can turn my listening on or off. 

Pictured is the quiz I took, Which of the four animals are you? I got a lion and I listed all the strengths and weaknesses of the lion. I hope you enjoy.Lion

Disclaimer: I don’t want to debate or argue that people can change and turn bad behavior into a positive behavior. We can’t take every flaw and fix it realistically in my opinion; we are NOT robots. Unless your behavior is harming you or others; make a change. But I’m talking about weaknesses that you may not notice, causes no harm, or quirks.