The Big Five

Hear it Here –

Chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve taken a personality, career aptitude, or relationship test to learn more about yourself.

The answer may lie in the Big Five personality traits, a theory that dissects the human psyche into five broad characteristics.

These five simple factors could determine the very complex question you’ve been chasing: what makes you you.

As you read about these “personality ingredients,” try to see how much of each is in your own makeup, and what insights you can gain from thinking about yourself this way.

The first of the Big Five personality traits determines how willing you are to take risks or try something new.

That’s where the second Big Five comes in: conscientiousness.

When problems do arise, enthusiasm and optimism are two characteristics that can help carry you through, and that’s where extroversion comes in—the third of the Big Five traits.

These kinds of people rank high on the agreeableness scale—the fourth of the Big Five personality traits.

But if you find yourself having lots of those days, to the point where you feel more down than you do up, you may have high levels of the last of the Big Five traits: neuroticism.

Don’t Want to Be Sick. Try Being More Extroverted.

Want to Live Longer. Be More Conscientious.

Want a Healthier Heart. Be More Agreeable.

Want to be Happier. Be More Open to Experience.

Want to Be More in Control. Try Being a Little Less Neurotic.

All of the above may make it seem pretty simple to just alter aspects of our personality, as though we were fine-tuning a dial up or down.

Naturally, the Big Five traits are the broadest categories we can draw for human behavior—they don’t tell us how those traits interact, how they come together to form a unique whole, or how they change with time.

Whether you find the Big Five personality trait model useful or not, it can be illuminating to think about your personality in terms of separate quantities.

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Categories: Voice over Work