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The Five Pillars of Personality: A Guide to Self-Improvement

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


Personality traits are the distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person. They are the habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion that are relatively stable over time and across situations. Here, we will explore five key personality traits that are widely recognized in psychology, often referred to as the “Big Five”: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.

The Big Five Personalities

Openness: Openness is a trait that reflects a person’s level of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and preference for novelty and variety. People high in openness are more open-minded and receptive to new ideas and experiences. They often have a thirst for knowledge and enjoy exploring new concepts, cultures, and perspectives. Openness is associated with traits like imagination, insight, broad interests, and novelty-seeking. It includes aspects such as intellectual curiosity and creative imagination. People with high levels of openness tend to be more creative, open-minded, and receptive to new ideas and experiences. They often have a deep appreciation for art, music, or any form of artistic expression. They are more likely to appreciate both classic and unconventional forms of art and find beauty in places others might overlook.

Conscientiousness: Conscientiousness is a personality trait characterized by organization, responsibility, dependability, and a tendency to behave in an organized or thoughtful way3. People high in conscientiousness are reliable, organized, and focused on tasks. They are good at self-regulation and impulse control. This trait influences whether you will set and keep long-range goals, deliberate over choices, behave cautiously or impulsively, and take obligations to others seriously. Conscientiousness is associated with organization, productiveness, and responsibility.

Extraversion: Extraversion is a personality trait typically characterized by outgoingness, high energy, and/or talkativeness. In general, the term refers to a state of being where someone “recharges,” or draws energy, from being with other people. People who score high in extraversion tend to be social, outgoing, and energetic. They enjoy being with people, participating in social gatherings, and are full of energy. Extraverts are commonly understood as being a ‘people’s person’ drawing energy from being around others directing their energies towards people and the outside world.

Agreeableness: Agreeableness is a personality trait that can be described as cooperative, polite, kind, and friendly. People high in agreeableness are more trusting, affectionate, altruistic, and generally displaying more prosocial behaviors than others. Agreeableness is a personality trait that describes a person’s ability to be kind and considerate with others. Although this trait does often dictate social behavior, a person’s agreeableness starts with how they treat themselves.

Neuroticism: Neuroticism is a core personality trait characterized by emotional instability, irritability, anxiety, self-doubt, depression, and other negative feelings. Like other personality traits, neuroticism exists on a continuum, which means that people can be high, low, or somewhere in the middle in terms of this trait. Neuroticism is a trait that reflects a person’s level of emotional stability. It is often defined as a negative personality trait involving negative emotions, poor self-regulation (an inability to manage urges), trouble dealing with stress, a strong reaction to perceived threats, and the tendency to complain.

Each of these traits represents a continuum, and individuals can fall anywhere on the continuum for each trait. Understanding these traits can provide significant benefits, allowing us to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, improve our interactions with others, and make conscious efforts to grow and improve.

Benefits and Daily Applications

Understanding these traits can provide significant benefits. It allows us to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, improve our interactions with others, and make conscious efforts to grow and improve. Here’s how you can apply this understanding:

  • Self-awareness: Recognize your traits and understand how they influence your behavior. This can help you make changes and grow personally and professionally.

  • Improved Relationships: Understanding these traits can help you understand the behaviors and motivations of others, leading to empathy and better interpersonal relationships.

  • Personal Growth: Once you’re aware of your personality traits, you can work to cultivate positive traits and manage negative ones, leading to personal growth and improved well-being.


In conclusion, understanding the Big Five personality traits can provide valuable insights into our behavior and relationships. By applying this understanding, we can strive for personal growth and improved well-being. Remember, the journey of self-improvement is ongoing, and every step you take in understanding yourself contributes to making your life better.


  1. The Big Five traits were not derived from an underlying personality theory, but from analyses of the English language terms people used to describe themselves and others in the 1930s1.

  2. The Big Five traits have been widely applied in different contexts and their validity confirmed across studies1.

  3. Almlund, M., Duckworth, A. L., Heckman, J. J., & Kautz, T. D. (2011). Personality Psychology and Economics. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, w168221.

  4. Gosling, S. D., Rentfrow, P. J., & Swann Jr, W. B. (2003). A Very Brief Measure of the Big-Five Personality Domains. Journal of Research in Personality, 37 (6), 504-5281.

  5. The most widely used system of traits is called the Five-Factor Model. This system includes five broad traits that can be remembered with the acronym OCEAN: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism2.

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It is so amazing 🤩

Enfiity Co.
Enfiity Co.
26 ธ.ค. 2566

Glad you enjoyed the article! Stay updated with more content for your mental and physical health as 2024 is starting. Make this year your best yet!

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