In between trips to the pool and cocktail hours…we found ourselves decorating the house for the festivities.
Everyone was given a job: Balloon blowing, hat making, ribbon twirling…oh and there was a list to be made too!
And guess who was called to make said list. That’s right — yours truly.
It always feels nice when you are recognized as being good at something. I like it when people ask me for list-making tips because it’s fun to help people, but it’s also gives me a little confidence boost to be an expert.
But then it hit me.
Being good at something can actually be bad!
I know – the overachiever in me is totally gasping for air as I type this…but hear me out on this one.
I thought back to a time when I worked in live TV in NYC and we would produce a 1 hour newscast with several staff writers.
When I was a copy editor it was my job to assign stories for each of the writers to produce for the newscast. After a while it became clear who was quickest, most accurate and most pleasant to work with.
Those writers got more work.
Yep – their workload was heavier because I knew I could count on them.
They were the good ones. And they got rewarded with more work because they could handle it.
If there was breaking news — one of those go-to, nice to work with, meticulous wordsmiths would be chosen to handle it.
They were good and sometimes got overworked because of it.
It’s the same thing with friends. Do you have a friend who is the “organized one?” Or maybe it’s you!
Regardless — that person becomes the go-to for making restaurant reservations, calculating the check splitting and coordinating calendars. Am I right?
I’m usually that person.
When planning a trip — I become the one who keeps the lists, itinerary and plans. I do like doing these things but it’s a stress and sometimes I feel like all that accountability is a burden.
That’s why I love going on vacation with our friends Peter and Nicole because Nicole is even more organized (read: neurotic) than I am and often gives me a break by taking over some of the planning. (If you haven’t read her guest post Packing for Two Weeks in Europe in Carry-on Luggage you must — it’s one of the most popular posts on my site!)
This “problem” can spill over into all aspects of your life.
At a party you’ll often see the most technology competent person in the corner setting up the speakers. Or a doctor diagnosing people’s weird arm lump over cocktails.
It makes sense. When you have a friend who’s good at something you feel much more comfortable going to them to solve your issues.
But the little things you do to help others can start to add up and wear you out.
Being the go to person because you are good at a certain thing can be tiring or even overwhelming. Sometimes you might wish that you could ‘turn off’ your knowledge.
So why is this so taboo to admit or talk about?
Probably because it comes across as really arrogant and pretentious. When I hear myself say these things I don’t like how it sounds. Complaining about being too good at something is like complaining about having too much money. It’s ridiculous.
The thing is though we’re all experts at something or other. So I assume this is probably a fairly common feeling.
Ok your turn — what are you good at that can sometimes burden you?