Romantic Relationships and the OCEAN Big 5 Personality Traits

Researchers have found that adult personality traits are fairly stable throughout life, in a process that starts in childhood. The traits are:

Openness: characterized by imagination, curiosity and seeking out new experiences vs. cautiousness

Conscientiousness: being organized, deliberate and conforming  to rules, and social, group or personal  norms vs. carelessness

Extraversion: being outgoing, assertive, easygoing, deriving satisfaction from interaction with others vs. aloofness

Agreeableness: being kind, helpful, easygoing, pleasing others vs. unkindness

Neuroticism: being anxious, nervous and self critical and/or in touch with feelings vs. confident

We all have one core trait and we express other traits to some degree, according to situations, cultural context and the people we are with.  The Big 5 are found in all cultures and vary according to age and nationality.

How does this affect your romantic relationship? If you and your partner have similar degree of conscientiousness, this is likely to lead to relationship success.

Openness is another trait that contributes to a good relationship, as it promotes a feeling of greater connectedness and satisfaction,  because it is linked to  the ability to solve conflict and to better communicate.

Life experiences will alter the prevalence of one trait over time in a dynamic process,  and  you can actually increase your level of openness by practicing with a number of  cognitive training tools.

More information about the Big 5 Personality traits: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~johnlab/bigfive.htm

Free Big 5 personality test: http://personality-testing.info/tests/BIG5.php

Author: Pascale Aline

Psychotherapist & Performance Coach, I specialize working with tools for self enhancement, growth, productivity and healing (Biofeedback, EMDR, Mindfulness training)

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