Weaknesses ARE Important Gifts
I know the gifts that my disordered neurology brings to my life. Just as important however, I know my weaknesses. I can be impulsive and speak before thinking. I am forgetful at times. I can miss social cues. As a result, I work hard on my weaknesses to make them my strengths. I focus on the social cues during interactions. I purposely consider the perspectives and feelings of others. I reflect upon my actions and words and review (in my head) how people reacted or responded to my communication. Empathy is now one of my strengths. For most people, the ability to reflect is a learned one, but I realize that it is a gift/curse of OCD. When younger, I was tortured by reliving past conversations and situations. Now, I have learned to regulate these “mental replays” in a constructive way. I have conscientiously turned the curse into a gift. Thanks to my curse, I now excel at establishing and maintaining trustworthy relationships (which can be tenuous for others’ who have my neurology). I often laugh at myself because I know I need to be honest at all times, because I can’t remember my lies. Besides, I’d obsess about it.
The key gift of having weaknesses is that they make you take personal inventory.
I stop to think about how people are responding to me. I think about how I sound and look. By observing other people closely (to counter my weakness in observing social cues), I have learned that many people fail to consider these things. Being one of the unfortunate “perfect people”, they have no reason to question themselves ! Devoid of self doubt or fear of failure, they often don’t have reason to pause and reflect upon the impact of their behaviour or words on other people. Perfect people often don’t question why people do the things they do – they just get angry or judge their behaviour (or statements) based on their own perspectives, rather than considering the reality of others.
I realized that it was the “perfect people” that I feared most. I thought they would judge me as weird, or laugh at me. I now understand that I don’t need to fear them. Thanks to the “gifts” I have, I have seen that perfect people can be the most challenged people I know.