The Pendulum Swings : Accepting & Appreciating Your ‘Negative’ Traits

Are you bossy? Controlling? Manipulative? Arrogant? Patronising? Sarcastic? Naughty? Rebellious?..
When you beat yourself up for these qualities did you know that you may be imposing limits on who you are?
Have you considered that certain personality traits seen as flaws or weaknesses simply require your loving acceptance?

Have you ever met a person who doesn’t give a damn what anybody else thinks of them? ‘Flaws’ and all? How free that person is.
I have a friend who has a lot of sage advice. He doesn’t care what people think of him and people often call him arrogant (mainly those who want to be right). He laughs this off and he accepts his ‘flaws’ and doesn’t feel the need to change them any more.
How many of us have spent years on the self-help/spiritual path ‘trying’ to fix those flaws? Wash those demons out? I know I did for the longest time. Until I started living with my ‘arrogant’ friend (smile).
I began to realise that if I were to accept and move towards loving who I am, I must accept ‘all’ of who I am. This doesn’t mean trying to change but learning to thrive and relish my personality quirks and to find the positive in them.
This is not to say that the quirks won’t ever change, they may well do, but they will do so naturally of their own accord, as and when it is necessary or needed.

Negative Traits

Some examples of my quirks are:I have been called a bossy bitch on many occasions by family and friends, and I used to think it was a bad thing, so I berated and beat myself up for having this quirk. I now view my ‘inner bossy’ as my inbuilt need to be in charge of my life, my independent streak, my divine right to be selfish and want what I want in life. 

I am finally accepting I don’t like working with people. I could not work in partnership with anyone right now. Things may shift in the future but now I like things ‘my way’. When I was employed by businesses in the past I hated doing what other people wanted. Always an independent self-employed me striving to open the door and be my authentic self. Most of the time people didn’t live up to my expectations (because I did not live up to my expectations of living my truth and being my authentic self). Team-work was not for me. I work better alone and I thrive. So my ‘bossy self’ is beautiful, significant and valuable.

weird man

What inner ‘negative’ do you have that could do with some serious acceptance?

Another personality quirk of mine is manipulation when in relationships. I used to beat myself up over this also but I now recognise it as simply amplified creativity. My pendulum has swung in one direction but also I know where this comes from – the same core. The desire to be my own person, have and do what I want.
Some of the self-help industry and even ‘spiritual’ teachers have been sharing false beliefs about who we are. Our past, our teachers, our parents and society’s conditioning, where people waved disapproving fingers at us as children cemented within us the wrongness of natural quirks. Compare this to the smiling and the pats on the back we received when our behaviour was ‘good’. This makes all the difference to which way the internal pendulum swings.
We have been indoctrinated to be ‘good’ and as a result the petulant, pouting, angry, bossy, manupulative (whatever quirks you may have) have been buried by many of us. And like anything shovelled under the carpet eventually it will turn up again, often bigger and stronger. With no outlet it can become extreme or be repressed so badly that it causes health issues, depression and other kinds of stress.
This conditioning that most of us have received makes our inner pendulum swing so strongly in one direction. And if the critical grown-ups of our past (or present) had not praised the ‘good’ a natural balance and outlet for this energy would have taken place internally.
And so my challenge to you (and to me) is to let your quirks show up, allow them the opportunity to flow, take the cork out of those repressed ‘wrong’ emotions and express them. Not necessarily at others (but if you have a great friend who lets you – this is very supportive) but in some way – be it small at first. Take it easy as some of those traits may have been deeply buried for so long. 
Over time, if they need to settle down, so that your emotional dial is turned down or your pendulum is coming to the middle again, it will happen, naturally.
No force. No fixing. No trying to change who you are.
No more beating yourself up for being what conditioning has created within you. Let that caged bird sing and spread your wings and fly.
(If you liked this post you may want to check out this earlier post written in 2007 called Divinely Selfish)
Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

Find me on: Web | Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Julia
    November 1, 2011 / 2:19 am

    I love this message, Kelly! I'm forever trying to fix my flaws- be better. Maybe I should just embrace who I am. The good and the "bad."
    It doesn't bother me!

  2. November 1, 2011 / 10:44 am

    Hello Julia, lovely to see you again (have you got your new site up and running?). Totally, not flaws, its only 'other' people after all that make them wrong in the first place. To me, now, they would probably settle down, relax if they were not resisted. Much love xxx

  3. November 5, 2011 / 7:05 pm

    Wonderful post, Kelly! Made me stop and think about what I haven't been accepting about myself and I'm feeling more relaxed ; )

  4. November 5, 2011 / 7:05 pm

    Wonderful post, Kelly! Made me stop and think about what I haven't been accepting about myself and I'm feeling more relaxed ; )

  5. November 6, 2011 / 6:50 pm

    Hello Marla ((hugs)), thank you. So good to hear you feel more relaxed. Much love to you xxx

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