Are you one of those people that is always falling out with people, and often at the center of drama? This article looks at how you can reduce conflicts and fall outs with others, have better relationships and generally become more like-able.
In personality psychology there is a personality model called the Big Five Personality Traits, also known as the Five Factor Model (FFM). If you’re one of these people that is always falling out with others, it’s very likely that two of these personality traits are primarily responsible. These traits are agreeableness and neuroticism. Neuroticism is the negative emotion trait, related to stress, anxiety and general emotional instability. Those high in neuroticism are generally more sensitive and more likely to take things personally. How extroverted someone is, will also be a big influencing personality trait when it comes to getting on with others.
Trait agreeableness I feel is really the personality trait that should be focused on, because it seems like the more foundational trait that can influence relationships, as-well as those other mentioned personality traits.
High in agreeableness people can be described as cooperative, compassionate, polite, with a high importance on trust. They have a strong focus on people, being helpful, showing an interest in people’s lives, considerate to their feelings, disliking conflict and generally being nice.
Low in agreeableness people, or disagreeable people are often more naturally selfish, competitive, so a desire to beat others in some way. They’re also often more blunt and harsh with their language, less considered to others feelings. It should seem obvious that if someone was low in agreeableness, how problems with people can arise. Disagreeable people often come across as arrogant and selfish.
What to do?
These personality traits are what we naturally and unconsciously tilt to. So if you leave your unconscious to it, you will always react with you default program. If that default program is being disagreeable, then your actions and words will be controlled by those disagreeable tendencies.
If you suspect that your disagreeable side is causing you problems in life, then you need to consciously work on becoming more agreeable. This could involve spending some time everyday doing something for someone. For example, if you normally just get yourself a coffee, ask someone else if they also want one. Let people out in busy traffic, and generally work on being more cooperative, helpful, polite and considerate to others. Also be genuinely interested in the lives and relationships of others.
How it helps extroversion and neuroticism
By working on becoming more agreeable, you will reduce conflicts in your life, therefore reducing the stress and anxiety you may suffer via your high neuroticism. Also if you tend to be on the quiet side, say from you being on the introverted spectrum, working on being more agreeable will open up more opportunities to speak, engage in small talk and perhaps make more friends or acquaintances.
At first it may take much conscious effort on your part to become more agreeable, however with time and persistence those agreeable characteristics should become more automatic and unconscious. You may have to consciously wake up those circuits within your brain which could be lying dormant.