How many social workers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
None. The light bulb isn’t burned out it is just lit differently.
Although there are several answers to the above joke, this answer illustrates that Social Workers are noted for being able to find strengths in any person. I have worked in social services for about 18 years and I have never come across an instance I couldn’t find some strength to write about a person.
There are always options. The person is…
~resilient ~loves their family ~hard worker~ willing to attend sessions ~ open to new ideas
~ good sense of humor ~caring ~ smart ~ creative~ full of hope
I know that if I have a little time with a person I can list strengths for virtually every single individual I meet. If I asked you to evaluate people you know – even people you don’t like – you could probably come up with positives for everyone. So why is it, that during my assessment process, when I ask “what are some strengths you have” – there is almost always complete silence. I’ll even give more explanation and say “maybe a personality trait you like about yourself or a role in your life you think you do well or something that you enjoy…” With prompting people will usually come up with 1 or 2 positive characteristics (accompanied by a nervous laugh or stated as a question) but people often seem so uncomfortable stating anything positive in reference to his or her self. If I asked most people to list strengths about any member of their family, he or she would give me a litany of the good traits. Usually, even when individuals say something negative about a family member they slip in a positive.
Stating what is awesome about you and believing that you have strengths is not conceited. You have strengths – that is just true. It doesn’t matter if other people don’t see it as a strength. You know yourself. Tout your own horn.
Right now try to think of 5 strengths you have. Is it easy? Is it difficult? Strengths don’t have to be big and grand. You make a phenomenal spinach-artichoke dip – that’s a strength. It is so easy to get bogged down in what we don’t like about ourselves and what we do wrong that we forget there is this whole delightful side to each of us. We often automatically have lots of negative self talk. When you hear that negative voice in your head try stopping it and yourself permission to like yourself, recognize your wonderfulness and be proud of your strengths.