4 Signs That You Are An Extravert

The considerable advantages of being an extravert — especially in the work environment.

The considerable advantages of being an extravert — especially in the work environment.

Extraverts typically seek out new experiences, prefer to take charge and are outgoing and talkative.

Introverts, meanwhile tend to be emotionally reserved, quiet and harder to get to know.

A review of the research finds that extraverts tend to enjoy a variety of advantages in the workplace.

Extraverts tend to have better social skills, they feel more positive emotions and are more motivated.

Positive emotions are important as happier people tend to work harder and are seen as better leaders.

Better social skills are linked to persuasion, which is also a key leadership skill.

On top of these advantages, extraverts tend to perform better at work.

This benefit probably springs from their personalities, said Dr Michael Wilmot, the study’s first author:

“If you’re motivated to achieve a goal at work, if you’re feeling positive and you’re good at dealing with people, you’re probably going to perform better on the job.

These advantages appear to have a cumulative effect over the span of one’s career.”

However, introverts should  not be dismayed, as they have different skills which are sought after in certain occupations.

In addition, most people are ‘ambiverts’, with a mix of extraverted and introverted traits.

Dr Wilmot said:

“You might be more introverted, but if you’re intelligent, work hard and bring other things to the table, you’re probably going to do well.

At the same time, if you’re more extroverted, but lack the cognitive ability or work ethic, you’re probably not going to be as successful.”

The results come from a review of 91 separate studies conducted around the world on the link between extraversion and work-related factors.

The studies looked at things like work-life balance, motivation, performance and emotional well-being.

The results showed that extraversion was beneficial for 90 percent of the outcomes they examined.

The study was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (Wilmot et al., 2019).

This Personality Type Is Most Likely To Cheat

Between 40 percent and 76 percent of people cheat on their partners over the course of their relationship.

Between 40 percent and 76 percent of people cheat on their partners over the course of their relationship.

Men with performance anxiety and who like to take risks are most likely to cheat, a study finds.

Women, though, tend to cheat if they are dissatisfied with the relationship.

The standard of a man’s relationship does not have much effect on whether he cheats.

Instead, it is a man’s personality that is especially important in whether or not he cheats.

The study supports the stereotype that men who are cheaters will continue to cheat, whatever kind of relationship they are in.

Risk-takers tend to be impulsive and can have problems controlling themselves.

Gambling, drug-taking and aggressive behaviour can all be signs of someone who is a risk-taker.

Cheating is one more way for this type of man to find excitement.

The pattern is different among women, where unhappiness in their current relationship predicts cheating.

In fact, women who are dissatisfied with their relationship were twice as likely to cheat on their partner than those who were satisfied.

The study included almost one thousand men and women in (supposedly) monogamous relationships.

The results showed that 23% of men and 19% of women admitted being unfaithful at some point.

Men’s infidelity was predicted by personality factors like risk-taking.

Professor Milhausen, who led the study, said:

“All kinds of things predict infidelity.

What this study says is that when you put all of those things together, for men, personality characteristics are so strong they bounce everything else out of the model.

For women, in the face of all other variables, it’s still the relationship that is the most important predictor.”

The study was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior (Mark et al., 2011).

The Positive Personality Trait That Increases With Age

The study underlines the surprising resilience of the human mind in the face of life’s tragedies.

The study underlines the surprising resilience of the human mind in the face of life’s tragedies.

People get more optimistic as they get older, research finds.

From the age of 15 until mid-life, people’s optimism tends to increase and remains at a high until they reach their 60s or 70s, when it starts to drop again.

Even health problems, divorce and bereavement fail to dent people’s fundamental optimism.

The study underlines the surprising resilience of the human mind in the face of life’s tragedies.

Dr William Chopik, the study’s first author, said:

“We found that optimism continued to increase throughout young adulthood, seemed to steadily plateau and then decline into older adulthood.

Even people with fairly bad circumstances, who have had tough things happen in their lives, look to their futures and life ahead and felt optimistic.”

The study included 75,000 people in the US, Germany and the Netherlands.

They were asked about their levels of optimism, along with life events such as new jobs, marriage, divorce and bereavements.

Dr Chopik was surprised by how the most serious life events affected people’s optimism:

“Counterintuitively — and most surprising — we found that really hard things like deaths and divorce really didn’t change a person’s outlook to the future.

This shows that a lot of people likely subscribe to the ‘life is short’ mantra and realize they should focus on things that make them happy and maintain emotional balance.”

The results showed that, on average, people become more optimistic between 15 and 60 or 70 years old.

Dr Chopik said:

“There’s a massive stretch of life during which you keep consistently looking forward to things and the future.

Part of that has to do with experiencing success both in work and life.

You find a job, you meet your significant other, you achieve your goals and so on.

You become more autonomous and you are somewhat in control of your future; so, you tend to expect things to turn out well.”

Old age brings a decline in optimism as people face health concerns and their own death.

Nevertheless, people do not become fully fledged pessimists, said Dr Chopik:

“Retirement age is when people can stop working, have time to travel and to pursue their hobbies.

But very surprisingly, people didn’t really think that it would change the outlook of their lives for the better.”

People’s resilience is remarkable, Dr Chopik said:

“We oftentimes think that the really sad or tragic things that happen in life completely alter us as people, but that’s not really the case.

You don’t fundamentally change as a result of terrible things; people diagnosed with an illness or those who go through another crisis still felt positive about the future and what life had ahead for them on the other side.”

The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Chopik et al., 2020).

2 Surprising Personality Traits Linked To Stronger Immune System

Although people high in this personality trait generally suffer from more stress and anxiety, some have a surprising health advantage.

Although people high in this personality trait generally suffer from more stress and anxiety, some have a surprising health advantage.

Being neurotic can be good for your health in some circumstances.

So-called ‘healthy neurotics’ are people who combine neurotic personality traits with being conscientious.

Healthy neurotics have lower levels of markers of inflammation in their blood, suggesting their immune system is functioning better.

The self-discipline of being conscientious counteracts unhealthy neurotic behaviours like overeating and drinking too much alcohol.

Dr Nicholas A. Turiano, the study’s first author, said:

“These people are likely to weigh the consequences of their actions, and therefore their level of neuroticism coupled with conscientiousness probably stops them from engaging in risky behaviors.”

A survey of 1,054 adults found that those who were both neurotic and conscientious had lower levels of inflammation in their blood.

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is an immune protein that is linked to chronic disease.

The neurotic and conscientious also had fewer chronic health problems and lower body-mass indexes.

The results are somewhat surprising as neurotic people tend to suffer more from stress and anxiety, which are also linked to worse health.

Dr Turiano said:

“Speculation is that healthy neurotics may be hyper-vigilant about their lifestyle and about seeking treatment when a problem arises.

It’s their conscientiousness that guides their decisions to prevent disease or quickly get treatment when they don’t feel well.”

Better physical health is not the first advantage identified for the neurotic, as I’ve written previously:

“High levels of creativity may go hand-in-hand with neuroticism.

It’s because the area of the brain which is linked to creativity also has the tendency to overthink things and worry.

Neuroticism is characterised by negative thinking in a range of areas.”

Neurotic people also seem to suffer from indecision as a result of worrying about the future.

One way to reduce this is to start learning to take action:

“Learning to value taking action is an important way of reducing the harmful effects of neuroticism.

People high in anxiety and neuroticism dislike taking action, recent research reveals.”

→ Read on about the harmful effects of neuroticism.

The study was published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Turiano et al., 2012).

How To Develop A More Conscientious Personality

Conscientious people are systematic and dutiful and are more likely to follow through on their plans than their less conscientious peers.

Conscientious people are systematic and dutiful and are more likely to follow through on their plans than their less conscientious peers.

Being more conscientious is simply a matter of faking it until you make it, a study suggests.

Far from being impossible to change, people can increase their conscientiousness by starting to behave in more hard-working and organised ways until it becomes second nature.

People in the study did things like make to-do lists and tidy up their homes.

Increased conscientiousness is one of the changes to personality that people desire the most, along with increased extraversion and emotional stability.

Conscientiousness is one of the five major aspects of personality.

Conscientious people are systematic and dutiful and are more likely to follow through on their plans than their less conscientious peers.

Conscientious people are also are more careful, efficient and self-disciplined — and they aim for achievement.

Personality change, though, is often seen as something that is very hard or even impossible.

Dr Nathan Hudson, the study’s author, begs to differ:

“The idea of personality trait change  especially other people trying to change an individual’s personality  can sound scary.

But whether we recognize it or not, society is filled with interventions designed to try to change our personality traits.

For instance, elementary school is a giant intervention designed to help children become more intelligent, yes, but also kinder and more sociable, responsible and hardworking.”

For the research, Dr Hudson tested college student’s ability to change two aspects of their personality: increase their conscientiousness and increase their emotional stability.

The results showed that conscientiousness could be increased through simple practice, whether or not the students were motivated to change.

Dr Hudson said:

“Motivation is largely irrelevant to interventions targeting conscientiousness, as long as participants adhere to the intervention.”

However, emotional stability could  not easily be increased when the students were not motivated.

Dr Hudson thinks it comes down to the nature of negative emotions:

“For many people, it can be difficult to ‘just stop feeling angry’ or ‘just stop being stressed.

My hunch is that indirect strategies for changing someone’s emotions, such as writing in a journal or thinking about positive things, can only really work when people want to use those techniques to change their emotions.”

Dr Hudson thinks organisations and schools could help people improve some personality traits:

“This provides promising evidence that schools, companies, or other organizations could ask people to make relatively minor changes that could help improve their lives by making them more organized and responsible over time.

In contrast, it appears that emotional stability might require a bit more investment from the people who partake in an intervention.”

→ Read on: How To Change Your Personality

The study was published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Hudson, 2021).

2 Personality Traits Linked To Chronic Anxiety

The two personality traits can interact with each other to produce chronic anxiety problems.

The two personality traits can interact with each other to produce chronic anxiety problems.

People who are both neurotic and introverted are more likely to experience anxiety problems, research finds.

Signs of introversion include preferring to be in a quiet, relaxing environment and having a rich mental life.

Neurotic people have a tendency towards sadness, irritability and self-consciousness.

The two personality traits can interact with each other to produce chronic anxiety problems.

It may be because people who are both introverted and neurotic tend to pay more attention to things going wrong, rather than to potential rewards.

Over the years, focusing on problems rather than rewards may condition people with these personality traits to experience more anxiety.

This is hardly surprising if all a person sees is problems everywhere.

Another contributing problem could be that introverted and neurotic people are less likely to get help from others, the study’s authors write:

“…perhaps an introverted neurotic person is prone to experiencing greater anxiety because of a lack of social support to aid in the amelioration of such anxiety (an introverted person may not seek much interaction with others).

Thus, an introverted person may not have the coping strategy of seeking social support as an option, which then maintains and potentially exacerbates anxiety…”

The conclusions come from a study of 466 young adults who were assessed twice over three years.

The results showed that those who were both neurotic and introverted were more likely to be experiencing high levels of anxiety issues three years later.

The study’s authors write:

“Low extraversion and high neuroticism relate to greater susceptibility to negative affect, less susceptibility to signals of reward, greater susceptibility to signals of punishment, and higher vulnerability to arousal and anxiety.”

On their own, being neurotic or introverted may not cause a major anxiety problem.

For example, people who are highly neurotic, but also outgoing and extraverted, may be protected from anxiety, the authors write:

“Even if an individual is highly neurotic, this same individual with high extraversion would more likely also be sensitive to signals of reward, which may offset or mask feelings of extreme anxiety.”

People who are just introverted, but with a stable personality (non-neurotic), were no more likely to be anxious, the study found:

“…even if an individual is highly introverted, this same individual with low neuroticism and low emotional reactivity would be less likely to react to signals of punishment with negative affect such as anxiety.”

The study was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Gershuny & Sher, 1998).

7 Signs You Have A Wise Personality

Wisdom can protect us from loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Wisdom can protect us from loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Wisdom — a modifiable personality trait — is linked to greater happiness, resilience, and mental well-being.

It is also linked to less depression, anxiety and loneliness.

Here are seven signs that you are a wise person:

  1. You remain calm under pressure.
  2. You do not postpone making major decisions.
  3. You engage in self-reflection to understand myself.
  4. You approach situations where your help may be needed.
  5. You find it easy to give helpful advice to others.
  6. You enjoy being exposed to diverse viewpoints.
  7. Your spiritual beliefs give you inner strength.

Professor Dilip V. Jeste, study co-author, said:

“There are evidence-based interventions to increase levels of specific components of wisdom, which would help reduce loneliness and promote overall well-being.

Like the COVID-19 vaccine protects us from the novel coronavirus, wisdom can aid in protecting us from loneliness.

Thus, we can potentially help end a behavioral pandemic of loneliness, suicides and opioid abuse that has been going on for the last 20 years.”

The results come from a survey of over 2,000 people who were asked about seven major aspects of wisdom.

These are:

  • self-reflection,
  • pro-social behaviors (such as empathy, compassion and altruism),
  • emotional regulation (understanding and controlling your emotions),
  • acceptance of diverse perspectives,
  • decisiveness,
  • social advising (such as giving rational and helpful advice to others)
  • and spirituality.

Increase your wisdom

Like many other personality traits, wisdom can be difficult to change, but not impossible.

Here are two examples of ways to increase components of wisdom.

1. Increase emotional control

One method that has been tested scientifically is to practice referring to yourself in the third-person (Weng et al., 2013).

Instead of saying “I feel hurt and angry,” a person might say to themselves, “He feels hurt and angry.”

The simple technique helps people distance themselves from the strong emotions they are feeling in the moment.

2. Increase compassion

Compassion, another component of wisdom, is also not something you either have or you don’t — it can (and should) be learned and nurtured.

Participants a one study took part in one-day course in loving kindness meditation to improve their self-compassion.

This helps foster benevolent and loving feelings towards the self and others.

After the self-compassion training, people felt better in themselves, were more compassionate towards others and there was more activation in the areas of the brain associated with love, affiliation and positive emotion.

→ Related: Decision-Making Skills: 16 Ways To Improve

The study was published in the journal International Psychogeriatrics (Thomas et al., 2021).

The Personality Trait Linked To Positive Aging

This personality trait is linked to living almost 8 years longer on average.

This personality trait is linked to living almost 8 years longer on average.

Optimists are most likely to hold positive beliefs about aging, researchers finds.

Critically, optimists believe they can control their lives and make improvements.

This means that believing in a healthy, engaged old age is a self-fulfilling prophecy — people with these views tend to experience better health and are more active and social.

Ms Shelbie Turner, the study’s first author, said:

“How we think about who we’re going to be in old age is very predictive of exactly how we will be.”

People who imagine themselves more positively at 50-years-old tend to have better health 40 years later, studies have found.

They are less likely to suffer a heart attack, have better memory, greater will to live and are less likely to die prematurely.

Professor Karen Hooker, study co-author, said:

“Previous research has shown that people who have positive views of aging at 50 live 7.5 years longer, on average, than people who don’t.”

For the study, 244 people were tested for their optimistic traits and for how they saw themselves in the future.

Each person listed two ‘hoped-for’ future selves and two ‘feared’ future selves.

For example, people feared being chronically sick and in pain and hoped to be healthy and active.

The results revealed that optimistic people were more positive about aging.

Overcoming ageist stereotypes

Older people are often stereotyped as suffering memory problems, having difficulty exercising and being poor drivers.

Professor Hooker said:

“Kids as young as 4 years old already have negative stereotypes about old people.

Then, of course, if you’re lucky enough to live to old age, they eventually apply to you.”

Even older people sometimes reinforce these stereotypes themselves in the way they behave and think about aging.

Professor Hooker said:

“People need to realize that some of the negative health consequences in later life might not be biologically driven.

The mind and the body are all interwoven.

If you believe these bad things are going to happen, over time that can erode people’s willingness or maybe even eventually their ability to engage in those health behaviors that are going to keep them as healthy as they can be.”

The social mixing of young and old would help generate positive views of aging, says Professor Hooker:

“The more you’re around older people, the more you realize that it’s not all bad.

Older people can do some things better than young people do. Increasing opportunities for intergenerational relationships is one way we can make people more optimistic about aging.”

Increase your optimism

People naturally become more optimistic with age, studies have found.

However, exercises such as visualising your ‘best possible self‘ have been shown to increase optimism in the short-term.

Visualising your best possible self may sound like an exercise in fantasy but, crucially, it does have to be realistic.

Carrying out this exercise typically involves imagining your life in the future, but a future where everything that could go well, has gone well.

You have reached those realistic goals that you have set for yourself.

Then, to help cement your visualisation, you commit your best possible self to paper.

The study was published in the The International Journal of Aging and Human Development (Turner & Hooker, 2020).

This Change In Personality Indicates Dementia

Older people given personality tests were followed for many years to see who developed dementia.

Older people given personality tests were followed for many years to see who developed dementia.

Increases in the personality trait of neuroticism are a sign that someone will go on to develop dementia, research finds.

Neuroticism is a personality trait that is strongly linked to anxiety, sadness, irritability and self-consciousness.

People higher in neuroticism find it harder to deal with stress and tend to see threats everywhere.

The conclusions come from analysis of data from almost two thousand people in the US and the Netherlands.

Older people given personality tests were followed for many years to see who developed dementia.

The study’s authors explain:

“These findings provide reliable evidence of a consistent pattern of neuroticism increases preceding dementia diagnosis, and, further, suggest that change in neuroticism may occur early in the disease process.

Additionally, these results indicate that individuals who remain undiagnosed have markedly different trajectories of neuroticism compared to individuals not diagnosed with incident dementia or MCI [mild cognitive impairment].”

Along with increasing neuroticism, the researchers also found that people who went on to be diagnosed with dementia also saw decreases in extraversion.

They write:

“Assessments of extraversion, conscientiousness, openness and agreeableness were also available…

Our analyses revealed significant decreases in extraversion only, and solely for individuals with MCI [mild cognitive impairment].

These results may indicate that individuals with MCI might feel more cognitively challenged in the presence of others, possibly leading to avoidance of social activity.”

The study was published in the The Journals of Gerontology (Yoneda et al., 2018).

An Admired Personality Trait Linked To Higher Suicide Risk

This positive personality trait linked to more suicidal thoughts and suicide itself.

This positive personality trait linked to more suicidal thoughts and suicide itself.

People who have a tendency towards perfectionism are at a much higher risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide itself, research finds.

Perfectionists find it harder than others to deal with a world that is fundamentally flawed.

Perfectionism involves being highly self-critical, constantly striving to meet the standards of others (typically parents or mentors) and being unsure about the efficacy of one’s own actions.

While a certain amount of perfectionism is adaptive and necessary, when it becomes an obsession, it can lead to a vicious cycle.

People in professions which have a strong emphasis on perfectionism — like lawyers, architects and physicians — are at a higher risk of suicide.

Mr Martin Smith, who led the research, said:

“We tend to think of perfectionism as potentially a good thing.

We’re told, ‘Aim high, reach for the stars’.

But for some people, even excellence isn’t good enough, and that’s where they run into issues. Insisting on flawlessness is simply not mentally healthy, adaptive or advisable.”

The conclusions come from 45 studies involving almost 12,000 people.

The ‘meta-analysis’, which draws together the results of lots of different studies, found that perfectionism was strongly linked to suicide.

Mr Smith continued:

“We can’t at this point say perfectionism is a cause of suicide.

But we can say the two correlate closely.

The drive to be perfect – whether it’s because of internal or external pressure to succeed without ever failing – can be an unbearable and untenable strain.”

People with high levels of perfectionism do not often seek help because it would be an admission of failure.

The study’s authors write:

“Our findings join a wider literature suggesting that, when people experience their social world as pressure-filled, judgmental, and hyper-critical, they think about and/or engage in various potential means of escape (e.g., alcohol misuse and binge eating), including suicide.”

The study was published in the Journal of Personality (Smith et al., 2017).