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Agreeableness Aspect of Personality Development

The definition of agreeableness in personality psychology refers to a personality trait that describes a person’s ability to put others’ needs before their own. Agreeableness encompasses a person’s inclination towards kindness, compassion, and cooperation with others according to the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality. An agreeable person is viewed as warm, considerate, and willing to compromise to maintain peace. Agreeableness is pivotal in how we relate to our peers and navigate social situations, including romantic relationships and the workplace. Individuals with high agreeableness find it easier to form bonds, work in teams, and resolve conflicts amicably, while those with lower levels encounter challenges in establishing close relationships or might be perceived as self-centered or confrontational.

Agreeableness of the Five Factor Model
Agreeableness is one of the main aspects of the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality

Agreeableness is closely tied to social skills according to the Big Five (a common name for the FFM). Those with high agreeableness typically possess a heightened ability to read emotions, display empathy, and are adept at navigating complex social nuances. The skills associated with agreeableness aid individuals in forming deeper and more fulfilling interpersonal relationships.

Agreeableness is a measure of personality on the FFM and NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) typologies. Agreeableness is not considered a specific personality trait on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), but it directly correlates with the Feeling/Thinking dichotomy. Certain Feeling types, such as the INFP or ESFJ, prioritize harmony in their interactions, a core characteristic that is attributed to individuals with higher agreeableness.

Agreeableness in terms of personality definition and development is not a simple descriptor but a crucial determinant of how we interact with the world around us. Agreeableness shapes our relationships, work dynamics, and our inner peace. Through understanding and cultivating agreeableness levels, we build stronger, more harmonious connections in our personal and professional lives.

What is the definition of agreeableness?

The definition of agreeableness, concerning personality development and typology, refers to a person’s propensity towards kindness, compassion, and cooperation with others. Agreeableness is a gauge that measures how individuals typically interact with others. The levels of agreeableness are determined by whether an individual is more self-focused or if they are inclined to put others’ needs ahead of their own.

The concept of agreeableness in the context of personality development traces back to early Greek philosophers. Hippocrates spoke of his theories revolving around four temperaments related to modern personality traits. However, during the 20th century, psychologists systematically studied and categorized personality traits. The FFM (often called the Big Five) and the NEO PI-R emerged in the 1980s and soon solidified agreeableness as one of the primary five dimensions of personality. 

Agreeableness as a personality trait results from a scientific grouping of similar alignment factors within personality assessments. The alignment of characteristics such as kindness, trust, altruism, and cooperation formed the basis of what is now regarded as the Agreeableness trait of human personality. Those with a personality with high agreeableness have more fulfilling interpersonal relationships, higher degrees of empathy, and a propensity towards non-confrontational behavior. Conversely, those with a personality low in agreeableness are more competitive and take a skeptical approach to social interactions.

How does agreeableness impact personality development?

Agreeableness impacts personality development by shaping how individuals interact with their environment, respond to social cues, and build relationships. Evidence from psychological studies such as the 2015 Early Indicators of Adult Trait Agreeableness by Furnham & Cheng has shown that those with high levels of agreeableness tend to be more cooperative, trustworthy, and considerate. Such individuals often exhibit high empathy levels, making them more adept at navigating the social landscape and interpersonal situations.

Agreeableness is primarily associated with having a positive impact on personality development in psychology. However, all personality traits have their own set of potential drawbacks. For example, highly agreeable individuals often overlook their own needs in favor of those of others. Their self-sacrificing nature makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Agreeable personalities look to avoid conflicts even when confrontation is necessary for personal or collective growth. Agreeableness is a beneficial trait for building and maintaining harmonious relationships. However, it is imperative that agreeable types learn about personal assertiveness and the importance of setting clear boundaries.

The positive impact of agreeableness on personality development can be seen in the following four ways. 

  • Relationship Building: Highly agreeable individuals often find it easier to form relationships as they are more attuned to the needs and feelings of others.
  • Conflict Resolution: Agreeable types have strong conflict resolution capabilities as they have a preference to seek out peaceful resolutions through a compromise and understanding of the issue.
  • Empathy: Personalities high in agreeableness are highly empathetic with the ability to put themselves in others’ shoes. Empathy as a trait makes agreeable types more compassionate and understanding.
  • Openness to Collaboration: Agreeableness in personality fosters a cooperative nature making people with this personality trait excellent team players, with an ability to place collective goals over individual gains.

Agreeableness manifests itself in personality formatting in three primary ways. Firstly, agreeable personalities are selfless. An agreeable person readily volunteers to help others without expecting anything in return. Secondly, agreeable types are skilled mediators of the group. People with high agreeableness are the ones often called upon to settle disputes. Finally, agreeableness manifests in personality in the form of strong listening skills. Agreeable types often take the role of confidant within their social circles, offering a friendly and empathetic ear.

Agreeableness is a complex personality trait that offers a significant impact on personality development. As a trait, agreeableness comes with positives and negatives, and it is important for an individual to understand both in order to work on themselves and become healthy and well-rounded examples of their personality type.

How does agreeableness help determine an individual’s personality?

Agreeableness helps determine an individual’s personality type by offering a clear and measurable range of traits that are considered primary dimensions of personality analysis. The Five-Factor Model of personality recognizes agreeableness as one of the key aspects of personality, and it serves as a crucial determining factor in understanding an individual’s personality type. 

Agreeableness determines personality type by reflecting an individual’s inclination towards empathy, cooperation, and interpersonal harmony. Individuals with high agreeableness are characterized by their warm nature, willingness to compromise, and their genuine concern for others’ feelings. Conversely, those with lower agreeableness may be more analytical in their interpersonal interactions, valuing self-interests while being more critical and competitive.

Several standardized personality typology systems identify agreeableness as a key component. One of the most renowned is the NEO Personality Inventory. The NEO PI-R test assesses all five major dimensions of personality, including agreeableness. This test offers structured questions designed to measure the degree to which someone displays characteristics associated with agreeableness, providing insight into their broader personality profile.

The NEO Personality Inventory assesses a personality based on the following five criteria.

  • Neuroticism: Neuroticism as a personality trait is the determination of intensity relating to emotional stability. Individuals scoring high in neuroticism experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and sadness. Those with low scores tend to be more emotionally stable and less reactive to stress.
  • Extroversion: Extroversion pertains to an individual’s sociability and enthusiasm levels. People who score high in extroversion are more outgoing and talkative and gain energy from social interaction, while those who are more introverted prefer interacting with smaller groups and enjoy spending time alone, withdrawing from social interactions to recharge.  
  • Openness to Experience: A person’s openness to experience gauges how eager an individual is to try new things and measures their level of imagination and insight. Individuals found to be readily open to new experiences are curious, creative, and open-minded. In contrast, those who are less open to experiences are more traditional and resistant to change.
  • Agreeableness: Agreeableness is the measure of an individual’s propensity towards kindness, cooperation, and empathy. Highly agreeable individuals are cooperative and compassionate, while those with low agreeableness are more competitive and, at times, confrontational.
  • Conscientiousness: Conscientiousness evaluates an individual’s reliability and self-discipline. Individuals with high conscientiousness are organized, dependable, and goal-oriented. Those with lower levels of conscientiousness are more spontaneous and find it challenging to stick to routines or meet deadlines.

Agreeableness is a pivotal component of personality assessment and offers valuable insights into an individual’s interpersonal behaviors and tendencies. By understanding and measuring agreeableness, we are better able to understand and grow into their personality.

What is the prevalence of agreeableness in personality identification?

The prevalence of agreeableness in personality identification follows a bell-shaped curve. The Agreeableness trait is a cornerstone of the Five Factor Model and NEO PI models, offering essential insights into an individual’s interpersonal behaviors and tendencies. When assessing the prevalence of any core personality trait, it is crucial to understand that traits exist on a continuum rather than in fixed categories. 

Research involving large population samples, such as the 2004 study Interpersonal Conflict, Agreeableness, and Personality Development by Jensen-Campbell, Gleason, Adams, and Malcolm, indicates that the prevalence of agreeableness on this spectrum shows it to be moderate in most cases, with outliers having very high or low levels.

Cultural, societal, and regional factors must be considered when looking at the agreeableness prevalence in personality. These external factors have a direct impact on personality development. Factors like societal norms, values, and upbringing play a role in shaping the prevalence of agreeableness in specific populations.

What is a personality with high levels of agreeableness?

A personality with high levels of agreeableness refers to an individual who displays a strong propensity for kindness, cooperation, and empathy in their interactions. 

When an individual scores high in agreeableness on personality assessments, such as the NEO Personality Inventory, it indicates that they tend to value interpersonal harmony over conflicts. Below are the three common traits exhibited by people with high levels of agreeableness. 

  • Cooperative: Highly agreeable people are more cooperative, making them more likely to work harmoniously in group settings by seeking outcomes beneficial to all parties involved.
  • Trustworthy: High levels of agreeableness make an individual more reliable and less likely to engage in manipulative or antagonistic behaviors. 
  • Empathetic: Agreeable types are more empathetic and have an innate ability to understand and resonate with others’ emotions, making them exceptional listeners and confidants.

People with a personality high in agreeableness have a natural inclination towards nurturing and understanding, which means they fare well in roles requiring collaboration and care, such as nursing, counseling, or team projects. 

What is a personality with low agreeableness?

A personality with low agreeableness pertains to an individual who is more analytical, skeptical, and competitive in their interpersonal relationship. While someone with low agreeableness is not unfriendly or unkind, they prioritize personal goals, autonomy, and objectivity over harmonious social interactions. Low agreeableness types are straightforward to the point of bluntness and are not driven or influenced by social cohesion or balancing the emotions of others.

Below are three common traits exhibited by an individual with low levels of agreeableness.

  • Competitiveness: Low agreeableness types have a competitive streak. Rather than seeking cooperative solutions, low-agreeable personalities strive to achieve personal success, even if it results in direct competition with others.
  • Skepticism: Individuals with low agreeableness are skeptics and tend to question others’ intentions. Low agreeableness types are less likely to take things at face value.
  • Autonomy: Low agreeableness personalities prioritize personal independence and decision-making over group consensus.

Low agreeableness personalities thrive in roles that require assertiveness, analytical skills, and independent decision-making, such as lawyers, journalists, and research scientists.

What are the characteristics of agreeableness?

Below are the seven core characteristics of agreeableness.

  • Empathy: Individuals high in agreeableness are empathetic, often being sensitive to the emotions and needs of those around them. 
  • Good listeners: Agreeable types are good listeners and are adept at understanding the perspectives of others.
  • Cooperation: Agreeable individuals share a willingness to work harmoniously with others. Agreeable personalities seek collaborative solutions and avoid conflict, placing great value on teamwork and mutual understanding.
  • Trustworthiness: Agreeable individuals are trustworthy and reliable. Individuals high in agreeableness value honesty and are seen as dependable by their peers.
  • Kindness: Agreeable types have a natural inclination for kindness and compassion. Agreeable personalities express concern for the well-being of others and are driven by a genuine desire to help.
  • Altruism: Individuals with high agreeableness go above and beyond for their friends. Agreeable individuals put the needs of others or the greater good above their personal interests, often to the point of fault.
  • Aggression avoidant: Personalities high in agreeableness steer clear of aggressive behaviors or confrontations, preferring peaceful resolutions and harmony.

The characteristics of agreeableness paint a picture of a personality that prioritizes harmony, understanding, and compassion in interpersonal relationships. Recognizing these traits is invaluable in both personal and professional settings, helping to foster productive and meaningful relationships. However, agreeableness is just one of the core dimensions of personality. To fully understand how agreeableness impacts an individual’s personality development, it is essential to view the personality as a whole and not just a lens validating one of the parts.

What are the problems associated with agreeableness in personality development?

Below are the four key problems associated with agreeableness in personality development. 

  • Overcommitment: Agreeable personalities have a desire to help and please others. Overcommitting their time and energy leads agreeable types to spread themselves too thin, taking on too many responsibilities, and facing potential burnout.
  • Boundary setting: Agreeable individuals struggle to say no, even when it’s in their best interest. An inability to set personal boundaries and proactive self-care makes agreeable personalities feel taken advantage of or overwhelmed.
  • Conflict avoidant: People with high agreeableness dislike conflict in all forms. However, sometimes confrontation is necessary, yet agreeable people continue to avoid these situations to the detriment of personal or professional growth.
  • Inauthenticity: Personalities with high agreeableness have a natural inclination to maintain harmony. Their ability to suppress their own opinions in favor of the group dynamic sees them labeled as being inauthentic.  

Identifying potential problems with a particular personality trait is imperative if an individual intends to develop their personality healthily. Below are four ways in which a person with high agreeableness can protect themselves from these personality pitfalls.

  • Self-awareness: High agreeableness personalities must learn to recognize their tendency to overcommit or avoid conflict. Building a layer of self-awareness allows agreeable types to protect themselves and identify patterns and triggers ahead of time.
  • Assertiveness: Highly agreeable people must learn to be more assertive and set proper boundaries for themselves. Communication is crucial, and learning how to say no without feeling guilty is the first step towards sensible assertiveness.
  • Seeking Feedback: People with agreeable personalities should engage in open dialogue with trusted peers to learn about their pitfalls and how to recognize them.
  • Skill Development: Participating in workshops or training focused on assertiveness, conflict resolution, or communication provides agreeable types with the tools and techniques needed for healthy personality development.

Understanding the problems associated with a highly agreeable personality is an essential step towards successful and healthy character development. 

What are the benefits associated with agreeableness in personality development?

Below are four key benefits associated with agreeableness in personality development. 

  • Enhanced Interpersonal Relationships: Individuals high in agreeableness tend to cultivate deep, meaningful connections. Their innate empathy and understanding make them attuned listeners, fostering trust and closeness in relationships.
  • Conflict Resolution: Agreeable personalities are skilled at navigating conflicts and seeking resolutions, prioritizing mutual understanding and harmony, making them invaluable in personal and professional settings.
  • Team Collaboration: Personalities high in agreeableness often excel in team-based environments. Agreeable types are naturally cooperative and dedicated to creating a cohesive and productive team dynamic.
  • Social Support: Highly agreeable individuals are trusted confidants with a genuine desire to help. Friends often turn to those high in agreeableness during times of need, valuing their compassionate nature and willingness to listen.

Having a personality rich in agreeableness impacts daily life in three primary ways. Firstly, agreeable types foster supportive and understanding relationships. An agreeable personality enables healthier communication, deeper bonds, and a strong sense of partnership. Secondly, people with a high agreeableness personality are seen as approachable and trustworthy colleagues. Agreeable types’ dedication to group harmony in the workplace leads to a more positive and collaborative work environment. Finally, having a personality high in agreeableness benefits friendships due to their high empathy levels. Being attuned to the feelings and needs of others makes agreeable types cherished friends in diverse social circles.

What are the risks associated with agreeableness in personality development?

Below are the four key risks associated with agreeableness in personality development.

  • Over-accommodation: Highly agreeable individuals prioritize the needs and feelings of others over their own. This self-effacing behavior leads to feelings of being overwhelmed and undervalued.
  • Conflict Avoidance: People with a personality high in agreeableness dislike and actively avoid direct conflict in their own lives. Highly agreeable people dislike getting involved in heated situations, leading to unresolved issues or feelings of resentment.
  • Indecisiveness: Personalities with high agreeableness are prone to over-reliance on group consensus. Individuals with high agreeableness struggle with taking decisive action and instead rely on group consensus,  even when swift individual decisions are required.
  • Naivety: High agreeableness is linked to naivety and an increased risk of being taken advantage of. The natural desire of agreeable types to help makes them susceptible to manipulation or being taken for granted by less scrupulous individuals.

The risks associated with a highly agreeable personality impact life in three distinct areas. Firstly, in relationships, agreeable types desire peace and harmony above all else. However, this leads to suppressing personal needs or feelings, cultivating an imbalanced relationship dynamic. Secondly, being a highly agreeable personality carries risks in the workplace. Personalities with high agreeableness are mistaken for lacking assertiveness and overlooked for career advancements or leadership roles. Finally, the risk of having an agreeable personality impacts friendships. Friends unintentionally overburden highly agreeable individuals with their personal problems under the assumption they are always ready and willing to help.

What is the agreeableness aspect of personality development relative to the MBTI classification?

The MBTI does not have a direct classification for agreeableness. However, the closest of the MBTI dichotomies to agreeableness is the Thinking/Feeling classification. The MBTI categorizes individuals into 16 personality types based on four dichotomies: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. 

MBTI doesn’t directly correspond to the Five Factor Model’s Agreeableness, but parallels do exist between the two opposing logics.

  • Feeling types (F): Feeling individuals share the same characteristics as high agreeableness personalities. Feeling types are more people-oriented and considerate of others’ feelings. High agreeableness personalities on the MBTI are closest to the ENFJ or ISFP types.
  • Thinking types (T): Thinkers on the MBTI system match with low agreeableness personalities on the Five-Factor model. Thinking types prioritize logic and reason. LKow agreeableness personalities on the MBTI are closest to the INTJ or ESTP types.

To develop the agreeableness aspect of your personality, irrespective of whether you use the MBTI or Big 5, there are four key ways to ensure healthy personality development.

  • Self-reflection: For personalities rich in agreeableness, it is vital to recognize the natural tendencies of the full personality. Self-reflection allows individuals the chance to study their traits and tendencies and actively work on developing them. 
  • Active Listening: Agreeable types are great listeners and excel at active listening. By prioritizing understanding others, low agreeableness personalities are able to learn how to listen and empathize with others genuinely.
  • Seek Feedback: For all personalities on the agreeableness spectrum, being open and receptive to feedback is a key part of healthy personality growth. Engaging in open conversations with trusted individuals allows feedback to be given, highlighting areas of personality that need to be focused on for sustained positive development.
  • Practice Empathy: Individuals with lower levels of agreeableness should look to practice empathy. By placing themselves in others’ shoes, low agreeable types are able to cultivate compassion and understanding.

While Agreeableness does not appear directly in the MBTI framework, the base characteristics are relatable for all 16 MBTI personality types. By actively seeking to develop these specific nuances, individuals are able to work on their agreeableness and all other relatable defining traits.

How does agreeableness impact professional relationships?

Agreeableness impacts professional relationships by creating a harmonized environment where everybody feels appreciated and important. 

High Agreeableness in personality development has three primary strengths in professional relationships. Firstly, agreeable types foster a collaborative and supportive work environment. Agreeable personalities work to ensure their relationships are harmonious and supportive.  Secondly,  individuals with high levels of agreeableness are effective listeners and mediate conflicts within their professional relationships. Agreeable types have a genuine concern for colleagues’ perspectives and feelings. Finally, agreeable personalities are great at sustaining long-term professional relationships for the betterment of themselves and all involved parties. Agreeable individuals build deep bonds with people that serve them well in their professional lives. 

Conversely, there are three struggles and potential problems faced by high agreeableness personalities regarding their professional relationships. Firstly, people with high agreeableness are over-accommodating in their professional relationships. Agreeableness types are people pleasers, and this brings the risk of burnout or feeling undervalued. Secondly, agreeable personalities struggle with assertiveness in their professional relationships. High agreeableness personalities struggle with making decisive decisions when action is required. Finally, people with a high agreeableness character are vulnerable to manipulation. Agreeable personalities are eager to maintain harmony which makes them susceptible to being taken advantage of by more dominant or manipulative colleagues.


Agreeableness is a valuable and much-desired trait for fostering harmonious professional relationships. However, it is essential for agreeable individuals to strike a balance and be aware of their weaknesses to avoid sliding into unhealthy personality profiles.

How does agreeableness impact the workplace?

High agreeableness types are an asset in the workplace due to their naturally collaborative spirit and desire for a conflict-free working environment. 

Personalities with high agreeableness have three core strengths in the workplace. Firstly, agreeable types breed strong team cohesion. Agreeable individuals naturally promote a sense of unity and collaboration within teams, fostering an inclusive approach that ensures everyone feels valued. Secondly, high agreeableness personalities bring exemplary conflict mediation skills to the workplace. Agreeable characters’ ability to empathize and compromise positions them as effective mediators capable of resolving workplace disagreements. Finally, high agreeableness individuals build a positive organizational culture within the workplace. Agreeable types bring a genuine concern for their coworkers to the office, and that builds a solid foundation of institutional positivity. 

Conversely, highly agreeable personalities have three primary struggles and potential issues that they must be aware of in the workplace. Firstly, high agreeableness personalities have the potential to overlook individual needs. Highly agreeable individuals neglect their own needs and opinions in favor of group harmony, leading to personal dissatisfaction and burnout. Secondly, highly agreeable types are perceived as being weak leaders in the workplace. With high agreeableness comes a lack of active decision-making, which makes agreeable individuals seem indecisive, which holds back their potential career advancements. Finally, personalities rich in agreeableness are at risk of being exploited in the workplace. Agreeable types’ cooperative nature makes them vulnerable targets for manipulation by more dominant personalities or those with ulterior motives.

High agreeableness personalities bring many positive attributes that are beneficial to a thriving workplace. However, they must also be able to recognize and address potential challenges. Maintaining self-awareness and setting clear professional boundaries is essential for agreeable individuals to reach their full potential in the workplace.

How does agreeableness impact a Romantic Relationship?

Agreeableness personalities bring a high level of dedication and compassion to their romantic relationships. 

Highly agreeable personalities bring three driving strengths to their romantic relationships. Firstly, high agreeableness types actively encourage open communication. Agreeable individuals are good listeners and create a space for open and heartfelt discussions, strengthening the relationship’s emotional bond. Secondly, personalities with high agreeableness have conflict-resolution skills that help keep a relationship healthy. Couples disagree, but agreeable types have excellent skills when it comes to dealing with and settling disputes in their romantic relationships. Finally, high agreeableness characters have a naturally supportive nature. Agreeable types have a genuine concern and care for their partners, ensuring they feel valued and understood in the relationship. 

Additionally, there are three core struggles and potential issues faced by high agreeableness personalities within their romantic relationships. Firstly, highly agreeable types will neglect their personal needs. High agreeableness characters put their partner’s needs before their own, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed or underappreciated in the relationship. Secondly, agreeable characters avoid the difficult conversations that are necessary for a healthy relationship. A strong desire for harmony might lead to high agreeableness personalities to avoid the necessary important relationship discussions, resulting in unresolved underlying issues. Finally, agreeable personalities are over-accommodating. A willingness to concede and maintain harmony leads to one-sided dynamics forming in their romantic relationships. 

Agreeableness characters promote understanding and mutual respect in their romantic relationships. However, it’s essential for agreeable types to find their balance, ensuring they maintain their own identity and clear boundaries in order to build a solid and long-lasting relationship. 

How does agreeableness impact communication with peers?

Agreeableness impacts communication with peers through personality traits of empathy, cooperation, and a predisposition towards harmonious interactions. 

There are three primary strengths of a high agreeableness personality when talking about communication with peers.  Firstly, agreeable types excel at active listening. Agreeable individuals are attentive listeners who build trust and understanding in peer interactions. Secondly, high agreeableness personalities have tremendous mediation skills. Agreeable characters have a natural ability to smooth over disagreements and find peaceful solutions to quarrels and disagreements among their peers. Finally, agreeable types excel at promoting collaborative dialogue: High agreeableness characters have a natural inclination to consider others’ perspectives,  promoting group cohesion and more inclusive discussions among peers.

Conversely, there are three primary struggles and potential issues faced by high agreeableness types when communicating with their peers. Firstly, agreeable types are known for their overly passive communication: A highly agreeable nature manifests as a reluctance to voice dissenting opinions or concerns, leading to suppressed feelings or needs. Secondly, agreeable types actively avoid broaching difficult topics. High agreeableness characters’ drive to maintain harmony deters them from initiating or engaging in challenging conversations, leaving critical issues unaddressed. Finally, highly agreeable types are at risk of misinterpretation. Peers might occasionally perceive an agreeable character’s accommodating nature as a lack of conviction or clear perspective, undermining their influence in group dynamics.

A personality rich in agreeableness enriches peer communication by fostering understanding and mutual respect; by blending their natural predisposition with assertiveness when necessary, agreeable individuals are able to get the most out of their peer interactions.

What is the relationship between agreeableness and disagreeableness?

Agreeableness and disagreeableness are opposite ends of the same spectrum and represent the diverse ways individuals engage with their environment and others. Understanding this spectrum and its nuances can foster better interpersonal relationships and self-awareness.

Agreeableness is a primary factor in the Five Factor Model, gauging an individual’s propensity toward cooperative, empathetic, and harmonious interactions. Disagreeableness is not a factor of personality but a low level but is rather conceptualized as the opposite end of the agreeableness spectrum.

Agreeableness and disagreeableness are two poles of a continuum, with individuals exhibiting varying degrees towards one end or the other based on their innate traits and learned behaviors. A person may naturally lean towards being more agreeable or disagreeable. However, situational factors influence behavior, and thus, the relationships between agreeableness and disagreeableness exist based on an individual’s natural proclivities and their reaction to different external stimuli. 

High agreeableness correlates with behaviors like altruism, compliance, and modesty, while disagreeableness or low agreeableness exhibits skepticism, competitiveness, and a more critical viewpoint.

What are the books about Agreeableness Aspect of Personality Development?

Below are three books that discuss agreeableness as an aspect of personality development. 

  • The Five-Factor Model of Personality: Theoretical Perspectives by Thomas A. Widiger (1995): This compilation presents a deep dive into the Big Five of personality, with dedicated sections elaborating on each dimension, including agreeableness. 
  • Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are by Daniel Nettle (2007): Nettle delves into the Five-Factor Model, dedicating individual chapters to each trait. The agreeableness section explores its evolutionary basis and manifestations in behavior while discussing the balance between its advantages and pitfalls.
  • The Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research edited by Oliver P. John, Richard W. Robins, and Lawrence A. Pervin (2008): A comprehensive handbook is a common study in personality psychology. Agreeableness is detailed within its context, offering readers a nuanced understanding of its role in personality development.

Are agreeable people more empathic?

Yes, agreeable people are more empathetic. A cornerstone of agreeableness is the ability to understand and resonate with others’ feelings, which aligns with empathy.

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing. Characters with high levels of agreeableness have greater empathic concern than those with low agreeableness. Agreeable individuals tend to be more attuned to the emotions and needs of those around them, making them more likely to exhibit understanding and compassionate behaviors.

Are people who are agreeable happier?

Yes, people who are agreeable are generally happier individuals. Agreeable individuals foster positive social relationships. Building and maintaining supportive relationships is a key predictor of happiness. 

Agreeable individuals are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, which are linked to increased feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Acts of kindness and altruism, common among agreeable individuals, lead to what is termed the helper’s high, a state of elevated mood after performing a good deed.

Can you change your demeanor?

Yes, it is possible to change your demeanor. Demeanor is not a static attribute but rather a measure of an individual’s outward bearing influenced by various factors, including environment, mood, and intentional effort.

Three key factors support the possibility of an individual changing their demeanor. Firstly, neuroplasticity allows for the formation of new neural connections throughout life. New connections mean that with conscious effort and repeated practice, people are able to establish and reinforce specific desired behaviors. Secondly, behavioral Interventions Cognitive Behavioral Therapy emphasizes challenging and replacing unhelpful behaviors and reactions. Finally, environmental factors play an important role in an individual’s behavior at any point in time. Our surroundings and the people we interact with influence our demeanor. Being aware of these influences helps us modify our demeanor as desired.

An important differentiation to make with regard to personality development is that demeanor and personality are two separate entities. Demeanor relates to how an individual presents themselves in specific situations, while an individual’s personality type refers to a set of enduring characteristics that dictate an individual’s general feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in response to life stress.

Can you become more disagreeable?

Yes, you can become more disagreeable. Being disagreeable refers to being less cooperative and less concerned with others’ needs compared to one’s own. Agreeableness and disagreeableness are quantitive indicators of the same personality marker.

There are three factors that enable individuals to become more disagreeable. Firstly, individuals become more disagreeable through deliberate practice. People work on their agreeableness levels the same way they work on their communication skills, assertiveness, or negotiation techniques. Becoming more disagreeable does not necessarily mean fostering a negative personality but could imply negative growth in response to trait understanding and a desire for self-preservation. Secondly, life experiences impact an individual’s level of disagreeableness. Certain life events lead individuals to become more guarded, assertive, or less accommodating, lowering the levels of agreeableness. Finally, different cognitive behavioral approaches enable an individual to alter their levels of agreeableness. Techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy help individuals recognize patterns of excessive agreeableness and develop strategies to establish boundaries or assert themselves more effectively.

Becoming more disagreeable does not mean becoming hostile or aggressive. Instead, it’s about asserting oneself when necessary and setting boundaries. Balance is essential for continued healthy interactions with others while maintaining one’s own mental health levels.