Tardiness: Why it Might Be Your Best Trait!

By Jasmine Naim


Everyone knows someone or IS that someone who is perpetually late … to everything. Whether it’s a class , a doctor’s appointment‍‍, a flight✈️ , a wedding, some people just cannot seem to get anywhere on time no matter how important the ordeal is. While there are many negative side effects of being tardy, such as getting labeled the “unreliable friend,” receiving a lower grade in class, or getting fired from your job, the worst part of being a late person is the shame associated with being the tardy one. No one wants to be on the receiving end of constant tags in those memes about the girl who tells her friends she’s on the way when she’s really lounging in her bathtub. It’s a rough life, especially when you or your friend tries time and time again and consistently fails.

However, there is a silver lining to the looming cloud that is tardiness☀️. Studies have shown that there are three main traits associated with tardy people, and they aren’t half bad! The three traits are 1. Optimism, 2. A type B personality, and 3. The ability to multitask. So before you bash on yourself or your loved ones for being permanently tardy, here is a little more about the positive driving forces behind lateness.


  1. The number one trait associated with tardy people is optimism. Tardy people  tend to end up late because they think they can accomplish the impossible in a shorter amount of time. In the words of Diana Delanor, the author of Never Be Late Again, “you remember that single shining day ten years ago when they did all those things in sixty minutes flat and forget all the times they took much, much longer.” Tardy people tend to shoot for the moon… when they should really be shooting to get down the street within the next twenty minutes. But optimism does not just make you tardy; studies have shown that optimism leads to higher sale rates, and psychological as well as physiological health benefits. Statistics show that the top 10% optimistic salesmen sold 88% more than the lowest 10%, the pessimists. Optimism also leads to a greater belief in one’s own abilities which leads to success. In a study on coronary heart disease and mortality by the University of Pittsburgh, the top quartile of optimists had fewer occurrences of coronary heart disease mortality and total mortality. So the reason people are perpetually late, their optimism, could be the reason that will make them live longer and more successful lives.
  2. The next trait associated with being late is having a Type-B personality. Type A personalities are typically more concerned with social status, accomplishments in life, and self esteem. These priorities lead type A people to have more domineering, impatient, and volatile personalities. Type B personalities are more laid back, even tempered, and less stressed. They tend to play not just to win but for the love of the game itself. Because of this, Type B people tend to be more accepting of their failures which leads them to higher levels of satisfaction in life. Maybe that’s why your late friends are always in a better mood?😉
  3. Being late is associated with the ability to multitask. This one is crucial in today’s workplace. Employers are always looking to hire people who have a broader range of activities. People who are better at multitasking can handle the peripheral work that needs to be done along with their main work in a smooth manner. Because they are always in a rush, tardy people have developed the skill of multitasking, which leads to increased overall productivity. So, if you are a boss looking for the most bang for your buck, that kid who showed up late to his interview might not be your worst option.


Next time you’re ready to blow your brains out because your friend is keeping you waiting at a restaurant … AGAIN.. and you’re starving because you waited to eat with her and she promised she wouldn’t be late… AGAIN … just think about all the great traits she has as a result of her tardiness. Aaaand maybe don’t believe her next time.


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