Being Agreeable - How Do You Keep This in Control?
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In our daily lives, we have to interact with a range of people. They have diverse opinions and choices. Some, we may like and the others we may not like. There will be times when we must agree or disagree. To be agreeable, we must support these opinions and answer yes to most of them. When we agree with a large range of matters, it’s called being agreeable.
Thus, this pattern becomes a personality trait. It belongs to the big five theory that psychologists use to determine overall personality. A person having high agreeableness can show kindness. He can be very understanding as well. A person having low agreeableness can show anger and can cause disputes.
Want to know whether you are being agreeable? Read the signs described below.
Signs of Being Agreeable
Friendly people agree easily. They are kind and easy to deal with. Since they are open and close with others, they agree more than less friendly people. Further, because of their agreeableness, people tend to like them more. You will often see others praising them. Because of their large friend group, they are very popular among people.
People help when they believe in the same cause. Some people are very helpful. They are known for their helping nature. As they agree with the helpful cause or idea, they help. This is another sign of being agreeable.
People who promote peace and harmony in the world, are very agreeable. They prefer bonding over the same values, rather than fighting over different ones. Even in a dispute, they are likely to understand and agree with the other party. They try to be fair, most of the time. Peacemakers enjoy world peace over their own needs.
Positive to be around
Agreeable people are very positive to be around. They have an optimistic view about matters. Unlike negative people who always find a way to avoid a task or disagree with an opinion, they are more likely to agree with it. If you identify with this, you may be a very agreeable person.
Empathetic people understand other’s feelings. They can understand and feel for other’s pain, grief or loss. Having high empathy is another sign of being agreeable. After all, to empathize, we need to agree with other people to a certain extent.
Easy to work with
Undoubtedly, people who are easy to work with, are agreeable. When you work with them, there will be little to no misunderstandings or disputes. Interacting with such people do not drain us. Most of the time they are group-oriented and like to mix with many people. Additionally, if you’re one of them, you might’ve had people complimenting your easy-going nature.
What Causes You to Be Agreeable?
Being agreeable can be learnt behavior as we grow by looking up to adults. If your parents had an agreeable nature, you’re likely to mirror the same behavior. On the other hand, your parents could have brought you up to be kind and friendly. As a result, you may have grown up to agree more. As this trait is usually perceived as good behavior, it is common for parents to instill it in their children.
Another cause of being agreeable is age. The older you get, the more you prioritize other people’s feelings over your own. This can be due to habit. For example, parents putting their kids’ needs over theirs will cause them to have more empathy. So, as a habit, they agree more.
Furthermore, as we get older we value spending more time with other people. This is because of our improved emotional intelligence. We get less concerned with materialistic goals. We grow to be more mature and understanding. As a result, we become more agreeable to maintain positive relationships with others. This can explain why kids bond more with grandparents than their parents.
Personal factorsSome people become more agreeable because of their personalities. Helpful people are willing to support others. so, they tend to agree more. If you are kind, you will always consider other’s opinions and requests. Therefore, making you agreeable.
Another factor that adds to agreeing is position. We are likely to agree when we interact with higher authority or someone with a higher title than us. We do this to get their praise and to show respect. In workplaces or schools, these are common manners. In contrast, a lack of self-confidence can make us agree more than usual too. Not being able to stand up for ourselves and disagree make us highly agreeable people. In other words, a ‘”yes man”. This behavior will have us saying yes to anything and everything.
Like being a “yes man”, some people agree to look good in front of others. They try to be nicer and kinder, to be liked by others. This behavior can help them make friends and be popular too. So, they use it to their advantage. Although it means that they have to agree with things they don’t even believe in.
Being agreeable isn’t harmful. Yet, it can affect your life in the long run.
When Is It Harmful?
Making others feel bad
Agreeing too much will make you seem insincere. Others could interpret your kindness as a weakness. This means you will give an idea that the reason you don’t disagree is to avoid hurting their feelings. For example, going to watch a movie that your friends know that you don’t like. To your friends, this may seem out of sympathy. Although you are just being nice, doing this repeatedly may hurt their feelings.
Getting behind at work
Always agreeing and being nice will reduce the chance of work benefits. Having different opinions bring value to a company. Employers appreciate honest feedback and criticism from the staff. Always going with what others suggest or do, can indicate a lack of courage and confidence. Further, it is easier for others to take advantage and walk all over you. If you become too obliging, you will work overtime without receiving extra pay. Employers will abuse your kindness and get their work done. If you are scared to disagree and advise much better recommendations, you’re less likely to be promoted.
Can come off as a pushover
A pushover is someone that can be easily influenced. Being too agreeable will make you seem like a pushover. People do not keep pushovers in high regard. So, they will expect you to be okay with anything. Moreover, others will not make space for your ideas, as they are used to you being agreeable. On the other hand, they will think that you lack confidence. They will also think that you’re trying to impress them.
Becoming judgmental of others
As an agreeable person, you may be used to being kind and understanding. Therefore, you can judge others for not being agreeable. Especially if they don’t agree with you, there’s a chance you will get offended. You expect others to make you happy just like you do. This means that your agreeability is a form of being liked by others. This can be toxic to you and everyone around you.
Further, you might believe that being friendly and social is civil. So, you could judge others for being rather to themselves. Even worse, you may force others to be agreeable just as you are and make them feel uncomfortable.
No respect for yourself
Saying yes every time, to please others means that you put other’s happiness above your own. While this is acceptable to a certain extent, doing this as a habit harms your self esteem. It can mean that your happiness depends on others and not on your own. Further, it means that you do not respect yourself enough to do what you love. When you have no respect for yourself, others would not respect you either.
Benefits of Being Agreeable
How it benefits you
Firstly, people tend to trust you more because of your agreeable nature. They know they can count on you, anytime. So it is easier for you to get closer to people and be friends. In addition, if you’re someone who likes to help others, you feel satisfied and happy when you do so. It is very fulfilling for you. Along with this, because of your agreeable nature, you become more understanding and empathetic. This will help you, in the long run, to be compassionate and thoughtful.
How it benefits others
It’s easier to make plans with agreeable people. Since they are cooperative, they make colleagues you can collaborate with. Moreover, you are less likely to have differences in opinions when dealing with agreeable people. As mentioned above, we can trust them easily as their intentions are pure and usually harmless to us. They can also be great listeners because of their empathy .
Another benefit is that when you are agreeable, you tend to put other’s needs in high regard . This can be helpful in raising kids and living with a spouse.
How to Keep It at a Healthy Rate
Assess the situation
Do not agree to everything you are asked of. Make sure to assess before you agree with them. Understand the risks and benefits it holds. Does it make you happy? Are you just being nice? Is this decision bad for you? This way you will save yourself from any trouble. In addition to respecting yourself, it is important to respect your values.
Focus on the idea, not the person Reduce agreeing with an idea just to honor someone’s title. By doing this you may even support bad ideas. It is important to look at the idea or request someone brings in rather than how superior they are to you. Most often, they too want your honesty and will appreciate it f you react authentically.
It can be hard to disagree or criticize someone else’s ideas. You may not want to come off as rude or hurt their feelings. The best way to avoid this is to give alternate options when you reject someone’s idea offer. Giving others helpful suggestions can be of good value to them.
Stop doing it as a habit
Sometimes you may be agreeable, simply due to habit. You are used to going along with others as you do not have strong opinions, in general. Moreover, you would not prefer to go over an idea and go through the decision process. However, this habit can make you agree with things that are harmful to you. So it is important to be aware of what you are agreeing with and its consequences.
Agree to disagree
If you do not agree with some idea, you can acknowledge them and respectfully disagree. This is helpful especially if you know discussing it further will not change your opinion. Further, you can agree with some parts of an idea and then politely disagree with the rest. If you are a kind do-gooder, this can help you to voice your opinion healthily.
“I would love to spend time with you , but I do not like horror movies”
Select challenging careers If being agreeable is hard to get rid of on your own, you can choose a career that requires disagreeing. When you get exposed to an environment that values contrasting opinions, it helps to reduce being harmfully agreeable. Over time, you get comfortable with disagreeing and being confident in your opinions.
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