What we can learn from the Slytherins in our lives
April 26, 2020
What up nerds!
Now that we – The Harry Potter Generation – are all grown up, most of us have become comfortable with our own Hogwarts house. And why shouldn’t we? Each house has some pretty good traits.
Amazing as we are though, we could be more amazing still. Just a bit. We can do this by looking at people in our own Hogwarts house, that are just a bit further along on that fun path of personal growth. But we can also look at people who are different, as different as can be, from us.
We can actually learn tons from people in our lives that have opposing personalities (maybe that’s why opposites attract? Because we have so much to offer each other? Or maybe that’s a different question, for a different post). Anyway, for today post, let’s cheat of the Slytherins for a bit. Cause they awesome
#1. Taking care of your own needs
Putting yourself first – Slytherins excel at it. We can criticize them for this, sure. As we should. And have. Because nobody should take this particular trait too far. That said, it’s still a useful quality, one that some of us should definitely try to develop more. Sometimes you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. And – this is important – sometimes you need to take care of yourself period. Not just so you can take care of others, but because taking care of yourself is important in and of itself.
Especially if you’re a spoonie, or an HSP, or an introvert, or all three. When you’re dealing with a chronic illness, chronic pain, or anything spoonie related, you need to get good at self-care. The problem is, just because we need to get good at it, that doesn’t mean we actually get good at it. The small progress I have made though, I made by copying the Slytherins in my life. For real, I started by simply thinking: ‘What would Tessa do?’ and then just fake it. I would basically pretend to be her and act like she would in my situation. I mean, I might have acted out 50% less intense version of what she would do. Still progress though.
Added bonus: when Slytherins take what they need, they can be very generous as a result. Yes, in a weird plottwist, some of the Slytherins in my life are also the most giving people I know. The fact that giving come easy to them, is directly related to the fact that they’re so good at taking what they need. They don’t ever have to worry about ‘not having enough’. Or about something ‘being taken’ from them. Or that if they give a finger to someone in need, that other person will end up taking their entire hand.
Slytherins can afford to be generous with others, because they can trust themselves to draw a line when they need to.
The word most often used when describing Slytherins is ‘ambition’. Well, guess what, confidence is a big, big, big, super big part of ambition. Slytherins are confident enough to believe that they’ll be able to do it. That what they want to achieve isn’t “too ambitious” or that they should try for something less challenging.
It might look like ambition, when that co-worker is going for the promotion they’re not ready for. But they might just get it, simply because they’re so confident. They have so much faith in either their own qualities (I can do this!), or their own ability to develop those qualities very quickly (I’ll figure it out once I get the job).
It’s impressive and alluring. Not to mention effective.
Games! They can be a super effective tool to get people moving. To motivate them. To make them go to the very edge of their abilities to make sure they WIN! If you’re a competitive person. If not, you might be more like, ‘Look at that, I won! That’s nice, the important thing though, is that we all had a good time.’
I know that nobody likes the guy who storms out of the room in a blind fury after losing a silly board game. I get it. But if you are not competitive, there’s a lot to gain by developing that side of yourself. It’s not for nothing that more and more things are being designed as a game these days. Corporations, governments and schools worldwide are using games all over the place. Not just to make things more fun, but also because people perform better when you’re tugging at their competitive side.
#4. Thick skin
Okay, this isn’t in the books, I know. I mean, Malfoy, thick skinned? No. Just, no. You tell him his mom looks like she’s smelling poop under her nose, and he becomes furious, even though he’s been consistently harping on your mom – correction, your dead mom – with racist slurs for year. So yeah, he’s a little sh*t and he is definitely not thick skinned.
Real life Slytherins though. They can take it.
These guys are very thick skinned, and it’s amazing. When other people try and get at them, it will just glide right off. They’re like, whatever, mock me, insult me, bully me, I don’t care. I don’t need your validation. My self-worth comes from within, loser. (Yeah, they will clap back. Just a heads up)
Wrapping it up now
So for the Slytherins reading all of this, and feeling pretty great about themselves right about now: Take it easy okay. You’re great, we get it. But also – you need to work on yourself. So go read up on that here.
For the rest of the readers, all you Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, and of course the Gryffinclaws and the Ravenpuffs and what not: Don’t be afraid to develop these traits in yourself.
You’re not gonna run the risk of becoming all the bad, obnoxious parts of the Slytherins any time soon. Trust me. These things need to be nuanced, sure, but if they are, they’re useful and will improve your life. So go ahead, and start with copying all this from your Slytherin sister, or Slytherin co-worker at first. And then step by step you will get better at it.