Hidden Talents

Monday, April 02, 2012

Andy Selsberg, former staff writer for The Onion and author of You Are Good at Things: A Checklist, spells out all the ways to feel special, from your talent for "noticing new haircuts" to making "the last half ounce of toothpaste last for a month."


Andy Selsberg

Comments [23]

George from Manhattan

I have all my life loved antiques. (Almost anything except for firearms or sports memorabilia.) I have an uncanny sense of how old something might be, or what it was used for originally. I have played a game with myself for many years, going into antiques shops or junk or thrift stores. I try to see how fast I can find the oldest item there, and identify it. I have found numbers of priceless things playing this game. It is also fun to share the information with others.

Apr. 03 2012 01:57 PM

I am left handed when it comes to writing but when it comes to everything else I'm ambidextrous. i can use either hand with a hammer and a nail. So too with holding a hand mixer,stirring a pot,or mashing potatoes.I use either hand holding a handle of a cart or pushing a sroller.I actually have to think about which hand to use in peeling vbegeable or doing any chore.I'm also good at reading people-so I think. But that is my subjective belief-I can't prove that.

Apr. 02 2012 10:54 PM
Kathleen Hennessey from Hudson County

I'm really good at matching colors to the exact shade, even if I don't have the items together. For example, I can buy a pair of shoes to match the certain coral color in a dress without having the dress with me.

Apr. 02 2012 12:25 PM
art525 from Park Slope

OK I have another hidden talent. I am left handed and I can do mirror writing. What that means is that I write completley in reverse which you can then read in a mirror. It is in fact a talent that every left handed person I have met has though most don't realize it. When I see someone like a wwaiter or waitress writing left handed I ask them if they can write backwords. Their initila reponse always seems to be the same. "No. What do you mean?" Then when you show them they can do it too. That's because as a left handed person you actually look at words backwards but have been inculturated (is thst the word?) to adjust to a right handed world. We can also read sifgns in the car mirror automatically.

Apr. 02 2012 12:01 PM
Allison from Brooklyn, N.Y.

I am really good at speaking with a Jamaican accent

Apr. 02 2012 12:00 PM
janice from new york

I'm an office manager and so many little skills are called for. But I think it boils down to paying attention and taking responsibility. The author mentioned telling the restaurant staff about the lack of hand soap; noticing and taking responsibility for doing ones part in resolving the issue.

Apr. 02 2012 11:58 AM
Tara B from Brooklyn NY

I almost always wake up 2 minutes before my alarm goes off in the morning, and I work for myself from home, so I don't have the alarm set for the same time every day. It can be rather disappointing though, because sometimes I want to wake up and see that I still have hours left of sleeping to do.

Apr. 02 2012 11:58 AM
Lola from Manhattan

I'm really good at telling what a tomato looks like on the inside. I'm also exceptionally good at telling what a plum looks like on the inside, or what color a watermelon is without cutting it.

Apr. 02 2012 11:58 AM
M.E.Cummins from Brooklyn

My hidden talent is having very sharp eyes & uncanny hearing. These help me with spotting both drug dealers & undercover cops in a crowd. Usually at or outside bars or clubs, or outside concerts (scalpers). These skills were honed spending countless hours at Saint Peter's square at the Vatican watching the undercover cops swoop in on 'illegal' tour guides and bag sellers.

Apr. 02 2012 11:58 AM
Tom in Manhattan from Manhattan

Get this one: I'm VERY GOOD at putting OTHER PEOPLE'S contact lenses on them, meaning when they have not yester mastered it. I also have to take them out!

Apr. 02 2012 11:57 AM
Michael from Brooklyn from Cinton Hill

Maybe she can find them because the word is pronounced --- Macaroooooooons!!!

Apr. 02 2012 11:57 AM
Eve from Rockaway Park

Three of my favorite superpowers are that I have my own personal on-board GPS (I can tell you which way is north almost always, and usually know where I am when inside large buildings); I can remember identify people by the sound of their voice even if I have met them once many years before; and I can place puzzle pieces by eye without having to pick them up and try them. Now I just need to find a way to earn a living from these abilities.

Apr. 02 2012 11:57 AM
Robert from NYC

I realized a few years back that I was good at maintaining my bicycle.

Without really trying, without any fanatacism or fetishism, I kept a 1994 bike looking and functioning like new until May 2009, when the driver of a Honda 4-door knocked me off it for good.

Even after someone helped me pick it up off of Northern Blvd, it still looked like new from a distance.

Apr. 02 2012 11:56 AM
William from Manhattan

I have a secret skill for flying in dreams, and I will even give up my secret. It's all in the upper body, just let it get lighter, and you catch the slightest breeze - even breezes that others can't feel, even indoors. Really fun to combine with ballet, which I'm also really good at in dreams. The real trick is not to get scared you're going to fall, particularly when you get really high up above trees and buildings etc. And not to get disappointed when you run out of steam, and just can't "get it up" anymore. There's always the next time!

Apr. 02 2012 11:56 AM
art525 from Park Slope

I have the same talent as TOny. I can recognize any car too. Even in fashion adds where you just see a bit of the windshield of a convetible, maybe the door handle and I know exactly what it is. My father always talked about when I was a kid say 4 years old I wold stand in the front seat and name the make every car that went by. So it has always been the case with me as with Tony. Hey Tony let's go for a drive together!

Apr. 02 2012 11:55 AM
Daven Lee from Santa Fe, NM

I'm really proud of the fact that I NEVER use the phrase "my bad"--in lieu of an actual apology; I also NEVER say "gift" instead of "give", as in, "I gifted this book to my friend." Also, I try never to do the "Namaste" prayer hands/bow to people--this is saying a lot for living in Santa Fe, as I do.

Apr. 02 2012 11:55 AM
Katy from Rutherford, NJ

I can remember phone numbers and how much I spent for items long past that knowledge is useful.

Apr. 02 2012 11:55 AM

I write really kick-butt letters of complaint! I actually get results a large proportion of the time. Here are my tips:
- Have a complaint/request that is reasonable.
- Be very well organized.
- Be specific about the results you want.

Apr. 02 2012 11:54 AM
nico from brooklyn

I am good at pretending to be interested.

Apr. 02 2012 11:54 AM
ben major from Joyzee

Hi! Regarding "Hidden Talents". I find I'm very good at lots of little things, for example, I'm oddly ambidextrous, able to thrown and catch a ball equally well with both my right and left hand. I can also do very good imititations of lots of people (family, friends, colleagues, famous...). Given the economy and job situation, I wish I could make a list of all the things I recognize about myself and figure out how the sum of all of them equal some kind of job that leverages...

Apr. 02 2012 11:52 AM
ellen from Manhattan

I'm good at counting out 7 pills on the first shake. Also spotting who on a bus is about to get up and vacate a seat.

Apr. 02 2012 11:52 AM
Debbie from Brooklyn

I can bend my thumbs back in a way that most people think is gross. Very proud of this talent. :)

Apr. 02 2012 11:50 AM
Rah from Manhattan

I am really good at texting in English with a Russian accent.

Apr. 02 2012 11:49 AM

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