Why every Slytherin is also a Hufflepuff (and vice versa)

As I explained on the why page of this blog: I like Harry Potter.
I like to think about the weird practice of sorting kids by personality type, and I like to think about how personalities might change over time.

I would like to become a Hatstall, if that’s possible.
And I think it is possible – it’s called personal growth. 

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Different traits, same theme?

I feel like the four Hogwarts houses are more linked then they seem though. They are presented as four different character traits (good, evil, smart and miscellaneous), and in some cases even as directly opposite character traits.
But some of the houses are more like different sides of the same coin.

Let’s take a look at the “Slytherin-Hufflepuff-coin” for example (I think there are other “coins”, but I’ll explore that in different posts). 

These two houses seem as different as night and day, but they’re actually dealing with the same theme. And I’m pretty sure that every Slytherin is also a Hufflepuff, and every Hufflepuff is also a Slytherin. 

That might sound weird and counterintuitive, but stick with me, I’ll explain. 

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The Individual vs. The Group

Slytherin and Hufflepuff are both houses that describe how you deal with the people-side of things. How you treat yourself and how you treat others.

If you’re a Slytherin, you go after what you want. You take care of yourself before you take care of others. You will fiercely protect your boundaries, and force others to respect them. 
Good for you.
Basically you are a Slytherin to the group, but a Hufflepuff to yourself. You treat yourself with kindness, taking care of your needs. 

On the other side of the coin we have the Hufflepuffs. 
They put others before themselves. They will fiercely stand up for their friends, their family, and every other random person on the streets who might find themselves in need. 
However, this also means that they’re not always as kind to themselves as they are to others. People can walk over them, or take advantage of their kindness. 
So, you get where I’m going with this. The person who is a Hufflepuff to the group, is a Slytherin to themselves. 

We all start out on one side of this coin. Even if you identify as a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor, you still have a relationship with yourself and a relationship with everybody else.
We all have to deal with people.
We have to find a balance between our group-self and our own identity somehow.
Fun stuff.

So we are one thing to the external world, and the opposite to the internal world.
At least we start out that way.
Because the trick is, of course, to move towards the middle. No matter where you are, or what house you identify with.

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The middle? How the heck do we get there?

I’m not sure.

I myself am on the Hufflepuff side of things. And I’m gonna be honest, it’s not great.
I’m trying to treat myself better, be more kind to me, but it’s hard.
For sure.
Whenever I try to enforce boundaries, for example, I will immediately drop a big fat guiltbomb
on myself and back out.

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The only way I have had some personal growth in this area, just the tiniest little bit, is by cheating of the Slytherins in my life.
Because they are awesome at this. Taking care of themselves, setting boundaries, they got that stuff down.
I’m trying to learn from them, just by analyzing a bit how they are doing it, and then overthinking it a bit, and a bit more, (and then a lot more) and then apply it to my own life.
(That was a lie. I mean I try to apply it to my own life)

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So… no advice?

Well, here’s a little tip, from someone who is still very bad at this:
Practice first in little low-stakes situations.
Just speak up when someone cuts in front of you at the supermarket or something. You don’t know them, you don’t have to take care of their feelings. Your Slytherin friend wouldn’t.

Besides, it’s easier to enforce boundaries with someone you don’t know and who’s opinion matters less to you, then with a family member or a friend.
Second besides, if you’re on the Hufflepuff side of things, you don’t have to worry about hurting their feelings when you’re speaking up. Not for a long time. Not until you have become very, very good at this boundaries thing, will you run the risk of hurting this random stranger’s feelings.

So just try it.
You’re already part-Slyhterin. You’re a Slytherin to your internal world. It is in you, just try to focus it outward, and focus your Hufflepuff-ness inward.
That’s what I’m doing at least.
Sometimes.

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I guess it would look something like this, if you’re more pinterested in a visual explanation:

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