What is kindness as a personality trait?

Kindness is a personality trait that in popular culture is always seen as something positive and desirable.. If this is partly the case, it must be said that being very nice can sometimes have its drawbacks.

Anyway, below we will take a more detailed look at this personality trait, how are people who have raised it very high, how are those who have it very low, and how it relates to career success. and forgiveness.

    What is kindness as a personality trait?

    In the Big Five model, by psychologists Paul Costa and Robert McCraeKindness, also known as cordiality, is one of the traits that shape the personality.

    Kindness is described as the tendency of people to be compassionate and to collaborate with others. People with high scores in this dimension are generally viewed as warm, friendly, and diplomatic.

    Being friendly is about having an optimistic view of others, as well as putting the interests of others before your own and maintaining good relationships with your peers. He seeks to please everyone, to possess social harmony. In other words, having a high degree of cuteness is linked to exhibiting prosocial behaviors.

    As a result, kind people tend to exercise particularly well in social situations and team activities, while fostering a good interpersonal environment, avoiding confrontation, and trying to resolve relationship issues.

    However, people with the lowest score in this dimension tend to be altruistic. They are not so much in favor of putting their interests above those of others, being frequent enough in him to opt for selfish behaviors, although that in and of itself should not be a negative thing. They tend to be more competitive and even manipulative.

    Those with low levels of cuteness have been linked to the manifestation of higher levels of what is known as the “dark triad”. or dark triad, a series of traits related to negative aspects of the personality. Among them, there would be Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy. It should be noted that they are also more likely to suffer from heart disease and experience more accelerated aging.

    Each of the traits that make up the Big Five model have been shown to be responsible for some positive aspects of life. Kindness, as we’ve said before, is a predictor of having good, strong interpersonal relationships.

    Friendly individuals they tend to be better accepted in peer groups and experience fewer bullying situations. In addition, they benefit from better contact with the desired sex, whether during dating or in more intimate contexts. They enjoy a greater degree of relationship satisfaction and are less likely to experience relationship break-ups.

    People with great cordiality often succeed in professions where social skills are needed or where work is performed in collaborative work environments. They also tend to get involved in situations of assistance to the most disadvantaged, such as volunteers, in addition to being less involved in criminal situations.

      Facets of this functionality

      In the dimension of cuteness, like the other dimensions of the Big Five model’s personality, we can find several other concrete facets. In the case of cuteness, they are as follows.

      1. Confidence

      This facet would refer to the tendency of assume that most of the people you know are fair, honest, and have good intentions.

      2. Frankness / sincerity

      A nice person tends not to manipulate others, Showing frank and candid.

      3. Selflessness

      It is about helping others and gaining pleasure by performing altruistic tasks. Doing things for others fulfills them, rather than seeing them as a form of self-sacrifice.

      4. Attitude of conciliation

      Confrontations are avoided and aims to get along well with others.


      We understand it by modesty in the way of showing oneself to the world as it is, without exaggerating the positive attributes. This is done without necessarily having a lack of self-esteem and a loss of confidence in one’s abilities.

      6. Empathy / sympathy

      People who perform well in empathy they care emotionally for others and know how to put themselves in their shoes. They are compassionate in the face of the disadvantage that another person may go through.

      Kindness and professional success

      Scoring high in this trait has been linked to career success. This, although partially so, must be grasped with tweezers, since personality traits should be viewed as contextually beneficial. There are some situations in which kindness is beneficial, while in others it can be a problem for the physical and mental integrity of the person.

      In most cases, having social skills and having a generally friendly personality is linked to a good adaptation to the job and a good relationship with co-workers, besides being a factor that can contribute to increasing the salary and promotions.

      As we have seen, nice people are considered to be warmer and nicer. In a work context such as an office, have employees who contribute to the development of a correct interpersonal dynamic in this place it can increase the productivity of the company, In addition to reducing the risk of sick leave. This can be explained by the fact that workers will be more eager to go to work because they meet people with whom they have a good time.

      However, if an unsociable person is found in this same job, it is highly likely that the company will have a serious problem. On the one hand, toxic situations can develop both inside and outside of the office, and on the other hand, the bad person will have very little desire to go to work, which in itself risks the risk of harm. to be fired and others to have to. support someone who does not give everything.

      However, the profile of a likeable person may not be the most appropriate for which professions. For example, in a high school, where the students are teenagers who can potentially be in conflict, it is not advisable for the teacher to always be nice, especially if there is a case of bullying in the classroom or if the one of the young people interrupts the session. The teacher should be firm and kick the student out, or stop the assault in case it happens.

      Another area where having a low cordiality profile can be an advantage rather than a disadvantage that we have in the military. A soldier does not need to be a kind person who sees the best of others, because to do so in a war situation is very likely that he will not see the enemy and will end up paying with his life. In other words, kindness does not prove to be of much help in professions where it is necessary to have a certain competitive spirit.

      What does this have to do with forgiveness?

      Scientific evidence suggests that cuteness could be the most robust predictor of prosocial behaviors such as forgiveness and its antagonism, revenge.

      Forgiveness can be understood as a process in which a person succeeds, through speech, in reestablishing a relationship that had been damaged by performing an act, both physical and verbal, that had harmed another. no one. Asking for forgiveness predisposes you not to attack later, in addition to relaxing the situation generated and reducing negative emotions.

      Since less nice people are antagonistic, hostile, irritable, and tend to show little respect to others, they also seem to be people who choose to take revenge more often instead of forgiving those who might have hurt them.

      On another side, affable people tend to seek more meaningful relationships with othersThus, in the event that they are harmed by a harmful act, such as an assault or an insult, they will opt for stress reduction strategies, forgiveness being the most important and the most recurring of them.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Costa, PT and McCrae, RR (1992). NEO PI-R Professional Manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
      • DeYoung, CG (2010). Personality neuroscience and trait biology. Compass of Social and Personality Psychology, 4, 1165-1180.
      • Goldberg, LR (1993). The structure of phenotypic personality traits. American Psychologist, 48, 26-34.
      • Ozer, DJ and Benet-Martínez, V. (2006). Personality and consistent outcome prediction. Annual Journal of Psychology, 57, 401-421.
      • Rey, L. and Extremera, N .. (2016). Interpersonal agreeability and forgiveness in young adults: the moderating role of gender. Psychological therapy, 34 (2), 103-110.
      • Roberts, BW, Walton, KE and Viechtbauer, W. (2006). Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the lifespan: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 1-25.
      • Soto, CJ, Kronauer, A. and Liang, JK (2016). Five-factor personality model. In SK Whitbourne (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Adulthood and Aging (Vol. 2, pp. 506-510). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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