Are there factors which guarantee the success of a relationship and decrease the likelihood of divorce? Definitely, and some more than others. Physical attractiveness, humour, charisma, financial stability are all determinants but one extremely important factor to the success or failure of a relationship is personality.
This doesn’t apply just to marital relationships. It applies to all kinds, relationships with your friends, family co-workers and so on. It is important for us to understand our own personality type, and be aware of the other person’s. This will make us more conscious of our actions and will facilitate better understanding and communication, whilst managing expectations.
There are 5 personality traits psychologists have identified :
As the name suggests, agreeableness looks at how well someone gets along and interacts with others. Some traits that fall under agreeableness include altruism ( selfless concern for the well-being of others), being humble, modest, patient, tactful, kind and polite.
People high in agreeableness tend to be well-liked, respected, and sensitive to the needs of others. They likely have few enemies, are sympathetic, and affectionate to their friends and loved ones, as well as sympathetic to the plights of strangers.
They tend to be more cooperative, have a great deal of interest in other people, and enjoy helping and contributing to the happiness of others.
Conscientiousness is a factor that has to do with achievement, conformity and thoughtfulness. People with high conscientiousness levels have good impulse control, and their behaviors are often influenced by their goals. They are also more organized and mindful of details. They facilitate these attributes by spending time beforehand to prepare, having a schedule, and focusing on finishing important tasks first. These traits give them an advantage over those with lower conscientiousness levels, which they can use to help them in achieving their ambitious goals. There is however a slight risk of perfectionism for these individuals, but if they can overcome this and focus on the end-goal, they can be very successful.
Extraversion, also known as extroversion, is a character we might all be too familiar with. Extroverts are assertive, talkative and enjoy being the centre of attention. They enjoy being around people and generally dislike being alone. They are assertive, active and highly sociable. They are the pick of the bunch as natural leaders, and contributes to the success of high level executives and managers. Over their lifetime, extraversion correlates directly with higher income, relationships and political conservatism.
Furthermore, extroversion is a fairly stable trait, and an example of this is the rarity from which extroverts and introvert shift sides. Since it’s so stable and easy to measure or identify, extroversion is an excellent predictor of effective functioning and a person’s well-being, positive emotions and overconfidence. Extroverts make friends easily and enjoy interacting with others, but might need to consider making thoughtful decisions and the needs of others.
Neuroticism is characterised by sadness and emotional instability. Individuals high in this trait experience mood swings, anxiety and sadness. Additionally, individuals here tend to experience a lot of stress, worry, get upset easily, feel anxious and experience great shifts in mood. They tend to also have lower self-esteem.
It affects their lives because it can result in poorer performance at work due to lack of motivation, emotional instability and vulnerability. Over their lifetime, neuroticism also correlated negatively with being able to stop smoking, drug and alcohol abuse.
High neuroticism adds difficulties to a person’s life, and is negatively correlated with achievement values. Those with high neuroticism can improve their lives by investing in their self-confidence and changing their outlook and perception of life.
Openness to Experience
Openness to experience, like extraversion, has been found to contribute to likelihood of obtaining a leadership position. This could be due to the ability of individuals strong in this trait to contemplate new ideas and think outside the box.
Individuals high in openness levels also promote modest values like peace, tolerance and equality. Because they are open to new experiences, they also tend to have broad intellectual skills and knowledge, which only increases with their age. Much like extraversion, openness is also very stable over the years. It is in fact the least likely to change overtime.
These 5 personality types will drastically affect a person’s happiness, performance, choice of partners and success in life. It is therefore imperative for us to communicate expectations, feelings and opinions to our partners and the people around us. There is no absolute solution to any of the relationship problems we have, and there is no guarantee of success when paired with a particular type of personality. Most importantly, we have to learn to understand our own personal characteristics and appreciate our partner’s. A relationship of understanding and trust is ultimately key to any long lasting relationship.