Thursday, January 8, 2009


Introduction to Agreeableness

section of your profile describes your interactions with other people.
The ways we communicate our feelings, beliefs and ideas to others are
influenced by our cultural backgrounds, the way we were raised, and
sometimes which side of the bed we got up on this morning. Some of us
are very mindful of others making decisions we hope will be in their
best interests, even if it means sometimes neglecting our own
interests. Others of us believe each person should be responsible for
themselves, taking deep pride in our own character and independence
with a firm belief that others are best served by doing the same. The
following describes how you engage with others; illustrating the
dimension of your personality that determines your independence or your
desire to reach out and touch others in meaningful ways.

You are best described as:


Words that describe you:

  • Understanding
  • Unquestioning
  • Humane

  • Selfless
  • Gentle
  • Kindhearted

  • Gullible
  • Indulgent

A General Description of How You Interact with Others

one important truth about you: you have a tender heart. Yes, you know
that others need to learn to take care of themselves. Yes, you know
they need to accept the consequences of their foolish or bad behavior.
And sometimes, even when your instinct is to help them, you will let
them fend for themselves and let them suffer the consequences of their
choices or circumstances.

But most of the time you are there to
help when they need you. If they are in trouble, you offer compassion
and go out of your way to be helpful. If they need someone who will
listen, you are trustworthy and sympathetic. And you are direct with
them; when they need advice or counsel, you offer it in a
straightforward, direct manner, without beating around the bush.

You're also smart enough to know that you cannot take good care of
others if you fail to take good care of yourself, so you listen to your
own wants and needs. If you've run out of sympathetic energy, you spend
time restoring yourself. If you've ignored your own pain or
frustration, you find a friend who will listen well, or go into your
own private healing place and give yourself permission to focus on you.

But before long, you're back at it with your friends, offering
a sympathetic ear and compassion on which they learn to trust, also
giving straightforward advice and counsel when they ask for it. You do
know how to take care of yourself, but your genuine interest is in
taking care of others.

Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward You

people might be embarrassed by you. While they're using their time and
energy almost exclusively on themselves, they see you giving time to
others, and your kindness puts them in a bad light.

they'll think you're a phony, that you use your altruism to get others
indebted to you so they'll then owe you a favor. Or perhaps they'll
accuse you, directly or behind your back, of focusing on the needs of
others so no one ever focuses on your foibles or your genuine wounds.

All of these are false accusations; yours is a genuine compassion,
because you truly have a tender heart. One criticism might be more
substantial, though. People might notice when you let things get out of
balance and spend so much time responding to others that you neglect
your own needs.

Perhaps it's true to some extent that you are
more comfortable when the focus is on someone else's needs than when
you and your needs are front and center, and this may be a criticism
worth paying attention to.

Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You

responses to you are likely to far outweigh negative responses. For
many people, your genuine kindness will be an example of a way to treat
others and a way we want others to treat us. They will see in you the
traits of compassion and sympathy which they might want to focus on in
the development of their own character.

For those people you
help you will be the friend they need, there at the right moment to
help them when they've stepped into yet another thicket of pain or
confusion. They will be grateful for your listening, for your straight
talk when they need straight talk more than anything, and for the hand
you extend so they can find their way, with your help, out of whatever
tangle they've gotten themselves into.

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