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  • - So last week, I talked about

  • "The upside of your dark side"

  • a book by Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener.

  • Two pioneering researchers in the field of psychology,

  • who argue that happiness makes us sad

  • and mindfulness might be overrated.

  • Kashdan and Biswas-Diener argue that psychological health

  • means wholeness rather than happiness.

  • And that traits we all construed to be negative

  • are actually essential parts of wellbeing, like anxiety.

  • Wouldn't it be great to get rid

  • of our anxiety once and for all?

  • Well, do you also wanna stop enjoying horror movies

  • and be bored on roller coasters

  • and less prepared for earthquakes or floods?

  • I'm gonna say no.

  • And on top of all these things,

  • anxious people are far more vigilant than their peers.

  • So anxiety stimulates our brains,

  • making us more alert and attentive to potential danger.

  • Anxiety not only makes you pay more attention

  • to cues in the world,

  • but it actually heightens perception.

  • Research has shown that people can see greater distances

  • when they're anxious.

  • Take that LASIK I don't need you anymore.

  • My anxiety is giving me super powers.

  • And when we're anxious we even enjoy

  • a sharper sense of hearing.

  • Anxious people are more likely to react swiftly

  • and find solutions when there is perceived trouble.

  • Or what about anger, right?

  • Would you guess that anger actually enhances creativity

  • and increases your authority?

  • And you don't even have to be the person who's angry.

  • You can actually use another person's anger

  • to crank up your own creativity.

  • Specifically receiving angry feedback

  • increases both the quality of our ideas

  • and their originality.

  • So in an experiment, participants were instructed

  • to come up with as many as possible uses for a brick

  • as they could.

  • However, before beginning the task,

  • some of the participants had received very angry feedback

  • on another assignment.

  • The results, the angry feedback

  • enhanced the creativity of those participants

  • who preferred to feel in control.

  • They found more uses for the brick

  • than those who had previously been given neutral feedback.

  • And what's more,

  • their ideas were much more original.

  • Ideas such as carrying the brick around in a backpack

  • as a way to exercise.

  • In addition, anger can enhance your authority.

  • As angry people are often viewed as being more powerful

  • than their happier counterparts.

  • Demonstrating anger can actually give you leverage

  • during negotiations.

  • Now, of course there's definitely a line

  • between like healthy anger

  • and then just like verbally or emotionally abusing someone.

  • So don't just start screaming at people you love

  • for no reason.

  • And if you've ever felt guilty for feeling guilty,

  • I'm happy to inform you that guilt is a ton of benefits.

  • Guilt not only motivates us to repair any damage we've done,

  • but it helps us respect moral boundaries.

  • Guilt is a terrible feeling.

  • So we avoid actions that are gonna make us feel that way.

  • Researchers have found that adults

  • who are prone to react with strong feelings of guilt

  • are less likely to engage

  • in harmful behaviors like drunk driving,

  • assaulting others or theft.

  • Now, there is a difference though, they note,

  • between guilt and shame.

  • Though we have benefits by feeling

  • and avoiding feelings of guilt,

  • shame, wholly unhelpful.

  • Guilt causes us to want to take responsibility.

  • Whereas shame makes us wanna sweep everything under the rug

  • in self-preservation.

  • Anxiety, anger, guilt, okay these are all pretty solid.

  • You probably could have guessed them

  • but what about narcissistic traits?

  • Can they make you more productive, creative, and successful?

  • I mean, surely the hallmarks of narcissism

  • excessive admiration seeking,

  • a grandiose sense of importance and entitlement,

  • can't be good for you.

  • Oh yes they can.

  • Narcissistic people are more likely

  • to reach the ambitious goals they've set for themselves

  • because they feel entitled to pursue them.

  • They're less impeded by self doubt

  • even when the odds are stacked against them.

  • And they believe that they're entitled to success

  • willing to give anything and everything to succeed,

  • stand out and win the admiration of others.

  • These character traits are pretty off off-putting

  • but what happens when the person displaying them

  • is a medical researcher deciphering the human genome

  • or trying to cure cancer?

  • Great reframe, furthermore narcissism can actually

  • enhance your creativity.

  • Since narcissists are so sure of their individuality

  • and brilliance, what's that like?

  • They are more likely to consider ideas

  • that others may dismiss as just too freaking weird.

  • They have a considerable amount of creative freedom

  • because they pay very little attention to common conventions

  • and the assumptions of other lesser people.

  • Now, if narcism wasn't surprising enough for you

  • how about psychopathic traits?

  • There's no way that those can be good, right?

  • I mean, in popular culture,

  • every psychopath we know is a murderer,

  • but in real life psychopaths are more likely to be

  • in the police force or doctors.

  • Yes psychopathy is often characterized

  • with a ton of what we would consider negative traits.

  • However, psychopaths are incredibly useful to society.

  • Due to their emotional detachment and shallow emotion,

  • they're better at handling crises

  • such as terrorist attacks or hostage situations.

  • And psychopaths also make better leaders.

  • In a study, 121 experts were asked to evaluate

  • the president's personality traits

  • and leadership performance.

  • The researchers took this data

  • and estimated both leadership performance

  • and psychopathic traits from each president's biography.

  • Those precedents with more psychopathic traits

  • were better leadership performers,

  • proving to be more persuasive, willing to take more risks

  • and more likely to keep a positive relationship

  • with Congress.

  • Plus they were more adept at handling crises

  • than their non psychopathic counterparts.

  • Anxiety, anger, guilt, narcissism, psychopathy,

  • though we view these traits as bad

  • and often do whatever we can to avoid them,

  • Kashdan and Biswas-Diener have shown me

  • that negative feelings are an essential part of wholeness.

  • What I see as anxiety is actually a vigilance.

  • Anger is great motivation, guilt sets my moral boundaries.

  • Narcissism gives me the confidence to chase my dreams

  • and psychopathy I mean, I don't have any of that

  • so it's fine.

  • I'm Anna Akana and thank you to the Patreons

  • who supported today's video.

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- So last week, I talked about