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Science Says People Who Are Always Late Have Superpowers

It turns out that the ever-tardy member of the group may not only live the longest, but be more successful in life, too.

The chronic late-arriver.

You know the type—maybe because you’re the one tapping your watch at the friend who's always showing up several minutes late, a little frazzled, constantly over-booked.


Or maybe because YOU’RE that frazzled friend rushing in the door minutes after everyone else.

Well, praise the anti-punctualists (it’s a word, trust me), because it turns out that the ever-tardy member of the group may not only live the longest, but be more successful in life, too.

That’s right. Research shows that people who tend to be 5-10 minutes late share a few traits that not only lend themselves to a lack of timeliness but also higher levels of optimism, better problem-solving skills, and lower risk of heart disease.

Higher Levels of Optimism

What some call unrealistic, others call optimistic. And those who make running late a habit tend to look at life a little differently than most. They have even found that they actually experience time differently than others. They (and by they, I mean WE, because my family is straight infamous for being late to all the things—my hometown literally refers to the phenomenon as Baxter Standard Time) feel time move more slowly and truly believe they can accomplish more tasks than are actually possible in a set amount of time. But that may mean more enthusiasm, spontaneity, and a positive outlook at work. Cha-ching!

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Better Problem-Solving Skills


Those of us chronically running behind the clock often find we have to be quick on our toes. We have to creatively adapt to situations with less time to prepare. And yes, we’ve put ourselves in that position to begin with, but a positive attitude and the motivating knowledge that we’re constantly playing from behind often work in our favor. And who doesn’t love an underdog?

Lowered Risk of Heart Disease

People who continually show up late often have Type B personalities. And what does that have to do with heart disease, you ask? Well, ask the stressed out, competitive, and/or controlling Type A personalities, whose patterns of behavior have been scientifically linked to heart disease. Plus, that Type B optimism is associated with surgery patients actually healing faster and requiring fewer hospitalizations post-procedure.

So, to those of us who already have this late-arrival lifestyle on lockdown—take it easy, friends. You’re on the right path.


To the rest of you? Don’t be afraid to set your clock back a few minutes and experience the good life.



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