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What Do Your Bad Habits Say About You?

Good news! They're not all that bad.


On the messy side? Tend to procrastinate? Fill up the swear jar at a brisk clip? These so-called vices actually reveal a lot about your virtues. Read on to discover the bright side of your (not so) bad habits!

Always late? You’re a sunny idealist.

Tardiness is actually a proven sign of optimism — you trust every- thing will work out for the best even if you’re unable to arrive exactly on time. Stress-proof and farsighted, you’re a star multitasker and positive thinker. After all, rather than see the clock as a constraint, you have faith that there will, in fact, be time enough to achieve your goals and get the most important things done in life.

Disorganized? You’re an innovator.

The messier the room, the more imaginative the mind. That’s the word from University of Minnesota researchers, who found that folks working in a cluttered space came up with almost 30 percent more creative ideas than their neatnik counterparts. Turns out, gazing at unruly surroundings helps you see novel connections between previously unrelated ideas. It makes sense you’re a bit all over the place — your varied interests can’t fit neatly inside a box.

Bite your nails? You’re a sensitive perfectionist.

Linked with a stellar work ethic, your nervous habit reflects the pressure you put on yourself to meet and even exceed your own high standards. Indeed, you get so immersed in what you’re doing that you likely don’t even realize you’re biting your nails — a testament to how deeply you think about everything from your work projects to your creative hobbies.

Procrastinate? You’re an ace problem solver.

It’s official: “Efficiency” is over- rated. Putting things off a bit
lets your mind do more subconscious work, so when the pressure is truly on, you’ve already stored away original ideas and can easily bring them together into a seamless whole. An intellectual risk-taker, you love experimenting with new ways of doing things, until, well, the last minute.

Fluent curser? You’re a clever wit.

A little strategic swearing signals higher intelligence and stronger communication skills, as these attention-getting words help you do everything from punctuate a point to underscore a punch line. In short, cursing bends the rules without breaking them, just as the cleverest people do.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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