Your personality is literally everything. It can determine how far you will go in life, who your friends will be, what you will accomplish, what you will prioritize, the kind of entertainment you enjoy, and everything else about you.
There is nothing more definitive about us and the way our lives will take shape than our personality.
Becoming intimately familiar with our personality traits should be one of the most important things we need to do to truly understand ourselves.
It can help us understand our strengths and weaknesses and it can help us see the way others see us.
However, we may not be as complex as we would like to think.
According to most psychologists today, every person in the world can be categorized into one of five major personality types.
This is known as the “five factor model”, while we may be guided by one or two personalities, we all have some level of each of the five.
People who are found to be highly agreeable are generally kind, trustworthy, and affectionate towards those around them.
They are generally involved in altruistic activities and volunteer work, as they enjoy dedicating their time towards enriching their communities with pro-social behavior.
More cynical people usually view agreeable people as passive and naïve.
Note: When looking for a financial investor, you want to find someone who rates highly in agreeableness. Why? Because studies have found that financial investors who are agreeable are also least likely to make bad, unpredictable, and risky trades.
While agreeable people may be agreeable, they are also more risk-averse, as they prefer steadiness and calm.
The worst types of investors area those who are high in openness, as this leads them to being overconfident and taking risks that are likeliest to cost them money.
Those who rate highly in neuroticism are generally people with the least amount of emotional control.
They live their lives with emotional instability affecting most of their decisions; one moment they can be happy and excited, and the next they can be depressed and brooding.
They are excitable, reactive, and they are also the group of people who report to experiencing the highest degrees of negative emotions, such as irritability and anxiety. Those around them see them as insecure and unstable.
Note: If you notice that one of your friends publishes a lot of pictures on social media sites, then that might be a neurotic individual.
Studies have found that neurotic people tend to stray away from controversial comments or updates online, and limit their online interactions to posting pictures of themselves for approval and likes.
People who are found to be high in conscientiousness are generally self-sufficient, dependable, well-organized, and efficient.
These are the leaders and doers in a group; their main goal is always to reach their highest potential, and they do so by planning everything ahead of time and aiming as high as they can go.
Those who are less conscientiousness view these people as overly obsessive, stubborn, and frustrating.
Note: If you want to improve your career, the best personality type you can marry is a conscientious person.
Research has found that after marrying conscientious partners, people develop a much higher chance to rise in their workplace.
This is because being surrounded by a conscientious spouse makes you a more productive and driven person as well.
People who are high in openness have the most vivid imaginations and a variety of interests.
They love to explore the world, and they find curiosity and creativity in everything they do, which is why they generally prefer a life of variety rather than one of strict routines.
Openness individuals are those with the most intense experiences; they like to push themselves as far as they can, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Those who are less open may find these people unfocused or unpredictable.
Note: Out of all five personality types, openness is the only one that consistently determines one’s political agenda.
Researchers have found that people who are high in openness consistently share the same politics: they are all liberals, and they are also likeliest to share what they feel about their politics.
Individuals who are high in extroversion are most activated when they are around others, in the midst of social activities.
They are the most gregarious, and they love interaction. They never shy away from the spotlight and always demand attention. Those outside of them may see them as attention-seeking and overwhelming.
Note: When dealing with an extrovert, you might have to watch out for your hand.
Research has found that men who rank highest in extroversion are also those who have the strongest handgrips; however, this doesn’t apply to women.
Understanding Your Personality
Here’s one fact you may find hard to believe about personalities: the personality you have for your entire life is already determined by the personality traits you had at the age of seven.
Unless you experience something extremely life-changing, your personality will remain stable for your entire life.
[Buddhists have been studying the phenomenon of happiness for millennia. In my new eBook, The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy, I use iconic Buddhist teachings to provide practical suggestions for living a happier and more satisfying life. Check it out here].