What combination of personality traits on the big five personality traits/aspects scale potentially create the most difficult personality type to deal with, and generally those that will have the most difficult lives?
High in Trait Neuroticism
This is the most obvious one. Being high in trait neuroticism is to generally suffer with more negative emotion than the average. This includes suffering more with anxiety, self consciousness, depression and being more sensitive to stress.
High in Trait Openness
This is the trait linked to creativity, aesthetic sensitivity, openness to ideas and abstraction. Someone really high in openness will mostly just want to discuss ideas rather than engaging in small talk or gossip. They will have some difficulty with the majority of people because of their preference for discussing subjects that are more serious and unconventional; they will naturally have difficulty relating to the majority of people.
For people high in openness, variety is important to them, they get bored easy, so they often seek change. However if they’re high on openness and neuroticism, big changes are likely to cause them stress and anxiety. It’s a difficult combination because their desire for change and to seek new experiences causes them emotional pain. They seek to saw off the very branch from which they’re sitting.
Low in Trait Agreeableness
Being low in agreeableness often means people are blunt and straight to the point when they talk to others. They’re also more competitive, less compassionate and more selfish. These traits can obviously lend to disagreements and conflicts with others.
Then combine low agreeableness with neuroticism, then you have someone who often causes frictions with others, which in turn causes themselves a great deal of distress.
Low in Trait Extroversion
If someone is low in extroversion they’re often more uncomfortable with large groups of people and social situations. They will get drained by these situations which often causes them to seek solitude.
Extroversion is also the positive emotion dimension, so combine low extroversion or (introversion) with trait neuroticism, and you have a recipe for amplifying negative emotionality.
High in Trait Conscientiousness
Those high in trait conscientiousness often take their work more seriously, and could be described as somewhat uptight in temperament. Combine high conscientiousness with being low in agreeableness and you can have a difficult person to deal with. They will expect others to work as hard, and take things as seriously as they do, and if you don’t, they are likely to be blunt and harsh with how they deal with people.
Combine all these combinations together and I believe you potentially have the most difficult personality type using the big five personality model. This combination will create a blunt, uncompassionate, unconventional, often unfriendly, selfish, competitive, conflicted, less sociable, and become more easily stressed, anxious and possibly depressed.
The Positives of this Type
As difficult as this person could potentially be, they may also be capable of great achievements. High in openness is associated with creativity and intelligence, combine that with high in conscientiousness and introversion, and you will have an intelligent, creative and hard working person that can look past many of the distractions that most people are susceptible to.
In fact many of the world’s greatest achievers have or had a temperament much like the one described above. Difficult maybe, however potentially great.