Many people seem to have that one skill they’re good at, even if it’s inexplicable. Some pick up languages really quickly, others are a whiz in math. But, the vast majority of us also have something we just can’t seem to understand. Between not having the coordination for video games to consistently forgetting someone’s name, these are the things we’re worst at.
#1 Setting Habits
I know a lot of people struggle with this, but for me it’s definitely establishing some sense of discipline and setting a habit. I always imagined myself to become a "If I say I'm going to do something, I'll do it." But, going through with everything and setting my mind to something just hasn't happened so far.
#2 Yes Man
Saying no. I actively try to avoid conflict whenever possible and the result tends to be that I’m too agreeable for my own good. Sometimes I don’t actually want to go out or my friend is making me uncomfortable or I don’t actually want a piece of your fruit cake. But, I don’t want to come off as mean or uninterested, so I go along anyway.
#3 You Hang Up First
My mom and I are terrible about saying goodbye when we're on the phone with each other, maybe in part because we live in different countries. We'll wind down the conversation until we haven't anything left to say, then we'll say goodbye, then someone will go, "Oh! Did I tell you?" Then we'll go for another half an hour. It's great, except when we have other things to do like make it to a doctor's appointment or go to dinner, etc.
#4 The Anti-Gamer
I'm horrifically, terribly bad at video games. I never played as a kid, so I don't have any of the background knowledge or controller familiarity that makes picking up a new game possible. My friend says watching me play is actually painful — he's been gaming his whole life. (The first time I played Portal , I put both hands on the keyboard. I button-mash for Smash because trying to think about what I'm doing would result in the action happening about a second too late.)
#5 Black Magic
I know people have trouble cooking for one, but I have the opposite problem. I try to cook a meal for the whole family and it turns out to be a portion for two. It really sucks when I try to meal prep and all that I cook to eat for the next week can fit in one or two plates. It's some kind of black magic, I swear.
#6 Learning to Feel
Processing emotions. Growing up, I was always taught to bottle them up and be numb to things going on around me. As you can imagine, it led to some pretty bad self-destructive habits. Finally, in my late 20s, I went to treatment for it. I know I process them differently and it takes longer, but I deal with them now.
#7 Who Are You Again?
Remembering names and faces. Meanwhile, I can tell you every phone, credit card, and other unrelated numbers I've ever had. I can also walk you through pre-cataclysm World of Warcraft levels one through 80 by memory. But the name of the guy 20 meters away from me who I’ve known for 12 years but never worked with? No clue.
#8 I’m Getting to It
I have trouble getting to the point. I preface my remarks with much butt-covering first. "Now I'm not saying everyone is this way, but based on my own personal observations here and before you shoot me down, I realize this is a small sample size and I'm extrapolating from incomplete data but hear me out first, okay?"
#9 Climbing the Slope
I spent many years drawing without getting any better at it. I think what I was doing was just drawing the same bad stuff the same bad way, so all I was doing was reinforcing bad drawing habits in my head. Eventually, I found some tutorial that got me started on putting down light wireframes to plot out poses and proportions before drawing a person on top of it. Some harsh criticism from people online also helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. It's still a slow slope of improvement but I’m steadily getting better!
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#10 Working Independently
For me, it’s definitely anything that requires both hands to be working independently. I’m more so talking specifically about musical instruments. Things like the guitar, piano, drums, saxophone, etc. I can't do it. I'm an above-average horn player, though. I never picked up a brass instrument that I couldn't play.
#11 A Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet. I'm thin, so you wouldn't think it, but I have no natural inclination to eat in a nutritionally-motivated manner. I'd get away with it too if it weren't for those meddling health factors! I should add that I was obese 10 months ago and am now on the low end of the healthy BMI. I can eat well when I put myself to it. But now I frequently just eat smaller amounts of still garbage food. Still not great.
#12 Reading Social Cues
Many forms of etiquette. I try to be polite and respectful but I don't know what it is. I'm just terrible at reading situations sometimes and acting according to social norms. I don't know if I'm inexperienced, insecure, or if I'm actually slightly on the spectrum. I don't even know if that's rude to say. The only way I know how to cope with it is when it's during a conversation. I just over-explain because it's better to be insecure or an idiot than rude or disrespectful.
#13 There’s No Road Here
Driving. I'm fine at literally driving, like operating a motor vehicle, but I’m bad at getting places. Unless I've driven to that place five times, I need my GPS to get anywhere and even then, I have a hard time following it sometimes. However, I have successfully driven over six hours before without getting lost to a place I've never been recently, so I think I'm getting better.
#14 Think Before You Speak
I’m not great with thinking before I talk. I don't like lying to people, so I often just talk reactionarily because it's usually the most truthful way. Boy howdy, that is not a good strategy for 80% of social interactions. If I gave myself, like, two to five seconds to respond, I would do much better at everything.
#15 Breaking Out
Chemistry. There was a point in my life where I wanted to be a dermatologist so badly. I love biology, I love skincare, so it seemed like a good fit. Then I took a summer chem course and did spectacularly bad. I failed the final and ended up with a C overall. The idea of taking O Chem gave me hives. So now I work in marketing.
#16 The Usual?
I can remember faces, but not names. I'm a bartender now, so it's kind of important. It's stupid. I remember the face, can probably recite the conversation we had last week close to verbatim. But, I can't remember the name. I figure as long as I remember the drink so I can say, "How have you been? The usual?" I'll be okay.
#17 Something Wrong
I was taught to hide my emotions growing up and as a result 95+% of the time I don't feel any emotion. There have been so many times where I knew I had to feel something — sad, excited, happy but I rarely do. Heck, I haven't cried in at least half a decade. Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me.
#18 One Small Problem
Posting on Reddit. I get so excited when I find something interesting I just know the community will love. I set it up and copy-paste the link and there you go. I use a good title and then it looks okay, but I put a little bit of text. Okay, great… Did you not read the rules?! This post can’t be submitted in the form of a double negative dangling modifier with a question mark. Then I give up.
#19 Keeping it In
Dealing with conflict. Jeez, I'm so bad at bringing up things that bother me that I keep it in until I can't anymore. It's bad because it causes me to overthink even the slightest situations. I'm just paranoid that bringing up a difficult conversation or expressing my unhappiness will make the other party dislike me.
#20 Leftover Math
Math. I have a fifth-grade level comprehension of math with pockets of algebra leftover. But to be honest, I have no idea what the point of having to measure angles and triangles, converting percentages to fractions, to GCF and LCD's. Ugh, just give me a typewriter or canvas. I'll stick to the arts and history.
#21 Tennis Pro
Tennis. I’m nearly 40 and at least competent at every other sport I have tried. But for some reason, the sprinting plus precise racquet swings needed to not be a waste of skin just don’t exist in me. So every time someone has convinced me to try the game, it’s just me running then hitting the ball over the fence. I don’t have high expectations, but I suck.
#22 Making Small Talk
Making conversation with people I don't or barely know. I feel so awkward after asking what their name is. I’ll say, “Nice to meet you” and sometimes forget to tell them my own name. If they don’t say much afterward or make eye contact, I instantly regret initiating and try to find a stupid excuse to walk away.
#23 Gift Giver
Figuring out what gifts to give people for special occasions. Please just give me some kind of list so I’m not left in the dark when the time comes. I get so much anxiety when people don't tell me exactly what they want for birthdays, Christmas, or anniversaries and I'm left to come up with something myself.
#24 A Good Partner
Being a good boyfriend. I love my girlfriend tremendously, but lately it's just felt like I'm not doing enough with her other than just sitting around watching Netflix after work and living our own lives. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong! It must be me, as this happened in another relationship too, but it sucks and I suck.
#25 Face to the Name
I’ve been with my wife for 25 years, yet wouldn’t recognize her if I bumped into her somewhere where I wasn’t expecting to see her. I’m in my 40s and it’s only been in the last 10 years or so that I’ve come to realize most people don’t have the same problems I’ve always had recognizing people! It’s suddenly made a lot of things in my life make sense!
For example, I often have trouble following films if it cuts to different days and everyone has changed their clothing. I’ve also never been able to understand what the point of photo ID is. I’ve never understood how someone can match a photo with a face, even when they’re both standing right in front of you.
#26 Elaborate Qualifications
I over qualify my remarks. It drives my wife nuts. She’ll ask, "How much is in our bank account?" "300 dollars." "300?" "Well, I don't know the exact figure, I checked the balance yesterday at noon and since then, I spent about 55 bucks. I think the figure was roughly 350 when I checked, though it might have been plus or minus 20 or 30, and also you may have spent some money since then that I'm not aware of. Plus, our electricity bill should go out this week but I think not until tomorrow." She would actually rather have me stick to the 300 and be wrong than give her this elaborate qualification.
#27 Trying to Quit
Quitting smoking. Such a cliché, but still. I am constantly “smoking my last one,” only to light up again the next time I have a chance. I only smoke between four to seven a day, but I still feel such relief and shame with each one. I feel like garbage, I use it as an excuse to procrastinate in all areas of my life, and I have lots of reasons to stop. It's my top secret, but I just can't quit because I'm absolutely awful.
#28 Artistic Ability
Anything, and I do mean just anything requiring an artistic ability. Drawing, painting, music, just anything that requires art skills I just suck at. I have to put in 10 times the effort for half the results of someone with any sort of artistic flair. For example, my son can learn and master a new song on guitar in a fraction of the time it takes me.
#29 Facing Your Fears
Admitting when I'm afraid. I let it bubble up and then, when it's bad, spend days in an anxious cloud of mental waking nightmare spirals. That is until I admit I'm afraid and talk about what's scaring me, or making me anxious. But I don't want to burden anyone with my crushing fears. And so the cycle continues…
#30 Fitting In
Socializing. Dear Lord am I bad at socializing. My boyfriend wanted me to go to his friend's BBQ yesterday with his friends and their girlfriends. It made me remember how bad I am at talking to people. It takes me back to those times in middle or high school where I was super awkward. It just makes me so anxious.
#31 Master of Time
Time. You know how some people are just hopeless with directions? They never know where they are or how to get from A to B? I'm that way with time. How long ago did I move here? No clue. How long have I been with my girlfriend? A year or five or something. I just have no sense of when things happened, how long they took, or what events coincided with what.
#32 Following Advice
I'm very direct when giving people advice. I don't beat around the bush and don't sugarcoat for the person who came to me for advice. Some people don't like that, but to me, it's a very important and meaningful thing to do. Problem is, I don't apply this philosophy to my own life. I let myself get treated like second best. I find excuses for people when they're awful to me and I sugarcoat it to make it easier to cope with. So, I guess what I'm awful at is following my own advice.
#33 I Remember You
I'm really bad at remembering names. I constantly forget the names of people in my major and there's only around 40 of us. We also have almost all of our classes together along with hundreds of hours spent together in the studio. But, for whatever reason, their names just slip my mind the moment I need to remember.
#34 Tough Conversations
Difficult conversations. I live in perpetual dread of the time I have to approach someone I care about when it comes to something like assault, self-harm, or something equally heavy. Like, how am I supposed to be a good friend or family to someone that needs somebody to lean on when I can't even bring up your sprained ankle without being awkward about it?
#35 Wii Games
I excel at most video games that I pick up. Even when a friend introduces a new game to me, I can usually kick their butt within the day. However, I find it impossible to be good at Wii games. My girlfriend, who barely has gaming experience, can kick my butt at any Wii game. I don't know what's wrong with me.
#36 Lingering Feelings
Just being satisfied with myself I suppose. I have two young healthy great children, a wonderful wife who is just fantastic in every way, a three-bedroom in a nice neighborhood with a great support system of family close. I work a good, middle-class job that pays well enough to put us in a position of budgeting, but not broke. But every day I catch myself thinking I just haven’t accomplished anything in life and I’m letting my family down by not doing more. I keep it to myself and deal with it daily. But the feelings always linger.
#37 Parking Job
Parking. I always mess up in parking lots. I'm always looking for that better spot and frequently start to pull into a spot, then quickly turn away and go for something "better" — but decide that it's not good enough, etc. Sometimes I park far away on purpose just because I hate to go through that decision cycle.
#38 Keeping Up
Talking to people. My mom can talk to any random person about anything, but if I have to make small talk, I freeze up, get awkward and try to make a lame joke. I also always end up zoning out when trying to listen to them talk. I end up upsetting a lot of people because I just can’t seem to follow the conversation.
#39 Passing the Time
Let me tell you something. I suck at drawing, but I still love doing it. It's fun, challenging and takes some time out of the day. Whenever I get to the point where I'm not trying to move up in my professional life, I'll probably spend a lot more time drawing and seeing how I can improve my work. It’s helpful for me.
#40 Making a Mess
I’ve discovered that I’ve gotten worse at cracking eggs. In the past several days, I’ve attempted to crack eggs to bake brownies and other such things, but somehow ended up taking off a quarter of the shell without removing that little film under it. I used to be really good at it, but I just don’t have it anymore.
#41 The Stairwell Effect
Reacting appropriately and right away when someone's being rude to me. I'm always like, “Uh, okay" and then 30 seconds later, I think of all of the witty responses that would totally crush that idiot. Except the conflict is over, and it doesn't matter anymore. It’s essentially the Stairwell Effect, in other words.
#42 Scrambling to Cook
Preparing a meal for multiple guests. I’m a pretty decent cook and love experimenting in the kitchen, planning menus, all that stuff. I do all the cooking at home because I love it. But as soon as I have to actually cook for more than myself and my partner, I fall to pieces. I can’t get everything ready at the same time, or I forget something. Then I panic and do something really dumb like forget to turn the oven on.
#43 Mustering the Courage
Working up the courage to just ask a girl out. I’ve spent hours debating if I should or shouldn't. Instead of doing it, possibly going out and eating a decent dinner with a beautiful girl, I ended up eating at home like I always do. And you know the best part? Tomorrow, I’ll think of doing it again and probably will be too much of a coward to do it and I'll feel like a lonely loser.
#44 Let it Go
Letting things go. I feel like I need to explain my feelings and thought processes to people I’m arguing with. Just kind of word vomit all the random, emotionally-triggered thoughts in my brain and not allow you to get the last word. Usually, it’s in an attempt to just keep you talking to me until we get to a point of concession. But mostly I need to walk away. I need to just shut up and ignore it. It’ll either blow over, or it won’t. Either way, I’ll live. Depending on the situation, it might hurt for a while, but whatever.
#45 Waiting in Line
Waiting my turn in a conversation. I enjoy jumping into new conversations, and I always try to have something to add. A lot of times, I end up cutting people off or not listening entirely, and just waiting my turn to speak and barrel ahead without taking what they said into consideration. I need to work on shutting up more.
#46 Rise and Shine
Waking up. I have tried every duration of sleep and every wake-up time to work with supposed “cycles.” I’ve had a sleep test and doctors have told me that I’m normal. Yet, I can’t wake up on time without stumbling all over the place, sometimes falling over, then staying sleepy and somewhat foggy the entire day.
#47 Showing Emotions
Being emotional. It kind of sucks and it's ruined a lot for me. I feel upset and sad all the time, but I was raised where emotions are for babies. I'm not complaining about how I was raised, but, even if I try to be emotional, there's this part of my brain that insults me to the lowest level. In turn, that makes it worse and the cycle continues. I've pushed away all of my friends and lost important people. I'm just numb and I want to take a day off, cry, talk and eat junk food. But I can't.
#48 Next Level
Dating. For me, it's like trying to play a game where you have no instructions and can only advance if you pass the first level 100%. If you pass the first level and fail the second, all progress is lost because each game is different. Everything you say, do, and even how you dress can end your progress immediately. The only way to advance further is through experience and unfortunately, I have very little.
#49 Making the Effort
Being a good friend anymore. For the past six months, I've fallen almost completely off the map. I get home from work and just laze around on my phone and make basically no attempt to reach out. One of my friends is very similar in this regard, so it almost feels strained so to speak. Basically, I’m pushing people away and now super lonely, but it's ultimately my fault for not trying. I have no drive or motivation to do anything.
#50 Chicken Scratch
Handwriting. My handwriting has always been absolute garbage, from kindergarten henceforth. I blame it on being left-handed, but to be completely honest, there's probably not much difference between the right and left hand. I'm a draftsman by trade, so I'm just thankful that computers do the lettering for me.