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Strengths Overuse

As with many good things in life, balance is key. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “people with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.” 

The character strengths at the top of your profile are those qualities that come most naturally to you (view your profile here). They may be as automatic to you as breathing; but these strengths can also be brought forth too strongly for a particular situation and then you or others could be negatively impacted. 

Maybe you are currently dealing with a problem or issue that has arisen because you are overplaying one of your best qualities? Let’s explore!


Strengths Use Continuum

Picture a horizontal line with three sections: Underuse on the left, Optimal Use in the middle and Overuse on the far right. See example below. 

Now, take a moment to think of one of your top character strengths (sign in to view your profile again here) and explore how that strength would be expressed in each of the sections on the continuum. 

For instance, if you were expressing kindness to the appropriate degree in a particular situation (optimal use) you would be expressing warmth and compassion. However, if you were underusing kindness you might come off to others as indifferent and apathetic or alternatively, if you were overusing this strength you may be perceived as intrusive and overbearing. 

Each of the 24 character strengths can be overused or underused, at which point it is no longer considered a strength. In fact, researchers have found that character strengths overuse and character strengths underuse were linked with less flourishing, less life satisfaction, and higher depression, while optimal use of character strengths was linked with significantly higher flourishing, higher life satisfaction, and less depression (Freidlin et al., 2017). 

Your in-depth, personalized VIA Pro Report includes specific sections on overuse and underuse for each of your signature strengths. You can sign in to your account and get your report now (it is ready and waiting for you!) to review what it would look like for these strengths to be out of balance. The next step would be to explore how you are expressing these strengths and whether or not it might be contributing to a current stressor or issue. Get your VIA Pro Report now to get started. 

Want More Help Finding Balance?

Our online, on-demand course, Creating a Strengths Based Life, is the perfect introduction to learn more about your strengths and how they impact your happiness. Dr. Ryan Niemiec will give you strategies to help you see challenges from different perspectives and teach you how to harness particular qualities that you already possess to reach goals and improve your relationships. Register and get started immediately. 



Register Now