How the Big Five Personality Theory Can Help You Understand OthersBy Allison Michelle Dienstman
We all want to feel understood. Taking a little time to appreciate the people around us can make the world a less lonely place. The Big Five personality theory gives a simple blueprint to understanding others, improving relationships by knowing why people tend to behave the way that they do. You can even use the theory to help better understand yourself and how to get along with others better than ever before.
Best of all, the theory has an easy to remember acronym:
OCEAN: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. You can go through each to see if you or someone else ranks high or low for each category. In doing so, you can make better connections and improve your people skills.
1. Openness to Experience
Openness to experience refers to a person’s willingness to try new things. A person with a high level of openness tends to have a big imagination, preference for variety, and loves to learn new things. A person low in openness tends to prefer routine and stick to their comfort zone.
Is this you?
- I love to try new things.
- I have a big imagination.
- I always try new activities.
If you answered mostly yes, chances are that you are high in openness to experience. If you disagreed, you are probably low in openness.
Conscientiousness refers to how a person gets something done. A person with