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Personality Traits: Positive, Negative, In the Workplace & Examples

Everyone has a unique set of personality traits. Some individuals tend to be more aggressive, while others are pacifists; some are introverted, while others love the social spotlight.

These are just a few examples of personality traits shaping how we see the world, communicate with others, feel, and have we act.

For the longest time, psychologists have puzzled over personality traits. They wonder if there are genetic components to personality trait inheritance, which personality factors help leaders succeed, and so on.

It turns out that differences in personality play a major role in our lives. Understanding your own traits and harnessing them to your advantage is key in today’s competitive world.

In this article, we will describe the many different personality profiles, and how you can use your traits to help you stay happy. 

Personality Traits

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What are Positive Personality Traits?

To understand what positive traits are, one must understand what a trait is, and how one can be beneficial.

In general, the human personality is made up of a plethora of traits. Every individual has these traits in various amounts, even if they are not a major aspect of your personality.

A trait is simply a characteristic of your personality. It impacts how you respond to stimuli, which job you find attractive, whether or not you succeed in a test, the way you view the world, and virtually any other aspect of your life.

Traits affect you everywhere you go; in certain instances, they drive how you make decisions.

When a trait is positive, it benefits you. This could mean the trait helps you stay calm under pressure, boosts your confidence, decreases levels of anxiety, gives you hopeful tendencies, inspires you to improve your physical health, and so on.

They are simply qualities that fuel positive behaviors and result in you persuading positive life outcomes.

In certain instances, what is once a positive trait could become a negative one. For instance, attention to detail is crucial when performing neurological surgery.

However, over-analyzing your negative qualities could lead to an increase in depression and emotional instability. Traits are positive or negative given the circumstances and environment you are in.

Your own perception of right and wrong, and your values, also influence which traits you classify as positive.

For instance, someone coming from a traditional family which holds conservative views may not view self-expression as a positive trait in most circumstances.

Someone who is LGBTQ+ likely holds a different opinion on the self-expression and openness trait (a much more positive view).

Examples of Positive Traits

Although positive traits depend on the perception of the individual, some traits are almost universally recognized as positive and beneficial. Some of these qualities include being:

  • Trustworthy
  • Honest
  • Resilient
  • Dependable
  • Loyal
  • Independent
  • Responsible
  • Analytical
  • Ambitious
  • Organized
  • Analytical
  • Passionate
  • Wise
  • Studious
  • Creative
  • Curious
  • Decisive
  • Confident
What are Positive Personality Traits

What are Negative Personality Traits?

As previously mentioned, how one perceives traits depends on a variety of factors, such as us bringing, values, environment, personal experience, current job, and so on.

In general, negative characteristics are traits that limit your ability to pursue your goals and achieve success. They actively set you back and cause negative outcomes to occur.

For example, one common negative trait is impulsivity. With impulsivity, you may consistently make the wrong decision simply for the sake of being fast.

If your goal is to lose weight, impulsivity could force you to choose an unhealthy meal rather than the healthy one. This sets you back on your progress and actively causes negative outcomes.

Just like positive personality traits can be negative in certain moments, vice versa is also true. Being confrontational is generally viewed as a negative trait to have.

However, it could help you get the truth out of individuals quicker. Thus, it could boost efficiency.

When we call a trait negative, it is called that because it usually leads to us making bad decisions and negative outcomes following.

However, it is good to remember that even normally negative traits can sometimes be helpful.

Examples of Negative Traits

Negative traits are present in everyone. It is important to recognize and understand them so you can overcome them. Generally, the following traits are considered negative:

  • Impulsivity
  • Pushiness
  • Childishness
  • Indecisiveness
  • Self-indulgence
  • Resentfulness
  • Insecurity
  • Ungratefulness
  • Greed
  • Stubbornness
  • Pompousness
  • Laziness
  • Jealousy

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How to Determine Personality Traits?

Now that you understand the many different personality traits, you may be wondering: which of these traits do I maintain?

Luckily, there are numerous ways to find out which traits are most present in your personality.

One of the simplest and most accurate ways to do so is via taking a personality assessment. There are a plethora of tests available both on and offline for you to choose from.

One of the most famous trait assessments is the Big 5 Test. Here, you get information about 5 key core personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness.

Although only 5 traits are accounted for, the test is still provides valuable information and key insights about these crucial traits and to which degree you maintain them.

Another test you may take is the Enneagram or 16 personalities test. These tests specifically screen for personality traits and assign you to one of the numerous personality types.

Once you receive your results, you can easily see the list of strengths and traits each personality has listed under their description.

It is recommended that you take multiple tests for the most accurate results, though.

The way questions are worded and the type of questions you are asked depends on the test you take. So, taking multiple will give you more data and additional insights for a full personality trait picture.

If you want to measure your qualities without taking a test, you could perform a self-evaluation. This is less accurate than taking an objective test, though.

To perform this evaluation, try thinking about times when you overcame tremendous hardships. Also, consider your greatest successes in general. Finally, ask yourself what made you accomplish these tasks.

Then, see if there is a pattern between your answers to this question and your different successful moments. If so, you could identify the positive trait that fueled you.

Likewise, you can also consider what holds you back when trying to accomplish something. Consider moments where you failed, and what caused you to not achieve success.

Patterns in failure can also reveal key negative traits you have.

How to Determine Personality Traits

How Do I Create My Personality?

If you recognize that your negative qualities are starting to affect your success, happiness, and quality of life, you may be interested in getting rid of them.

Anyone can change their personality traits with enough time and commitment.

However, you have to remain positive throughout this process. It does not occur overnight, as personality traits are often difficult to change.

One way to acquire new positive traits and weaken your negative traits is by targeting bad habits. Often, your habits are directly aligned with your traits.

Thus tackling your everyday activities could greatly change your personality. To get rid of bad habits, try to change your environment. Specifically, remove distractions and temptations.

Then, you should also adopt a personality change plan, start setting goals, and block out time where you work on developing your new positive personality traits.

For example, if you want to build resilience, begin each day with a cold shower or another activity that is challenging. Getting into the routine of doing this will help the trait become more ingrained.

Personality is also highly affected by the individuals you come in contact with and your environment in general.

Those who have to work in a faced-paced environment are more likely to be impulsive, for example. Those that work with sick patients tend to be more empathetic and caring.

So, it can help if you spend time in an environment that facilitates the growth of your desired personality trait.

For many people, such an environment could be a volunteering center, shelter, or similar organization. There, you get an opportunity to support others and bring joy to those who truly need it.

These organizations often desperately need help and accept most individuals as volunteers. If one charity rejects you, try applying to a different one.

While working at the charity, you will also be surrounded by individuals who already have the quality you are trying to acquire.

Outside of charity, there are other ways to get in contact with those who already have the trait you aim to attain.

Networking can expose you to individuals who are hard-working, intelligent, and strategic. They could share crucial insights with you.

The workplace is another potential hotspot for getting in contact with individuals who have positive trait. Try connecting with coworkers you believe already have the quality you would like to have.

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How Can My Personality Affect Others?

You may not realize it, but your personality affects everyone around you. You may have heard that attitudes are contagious, and the same is true with personalities.

You can influence your friends, coworkers, and even strangers via your word choice and actions, which are all influenced by your personality. Similarly, they may influence you in return.

This is why it is crucial to have a friend base that has positive qualities.

Word choice affects the way individuals perceive messages. Your personality is one of the driving factors behind the way you word your messages.

Those that are more outgoing and brash may state something in an extreme manner. Thus, the audience is more likely to be swayed in the direction that the speaker supports.

However, if someone is more gentle, their speech and word choice reflect this quality. Individuals listening to gentle people are less likely to experience radical sways in their opinions.

The behavior one conducts another way that personality traits can rub off on others. Growing up, you may have been told to avoid individuals who get bad grades, smoke, or perform other negative activities.

The reason why these individuals participate in these activities lies in part due to their personality. If someone constantly chooses to miss school and take drugs, they show they value pleasure over education.

Thus, a personal quality they have is over-indulgence and short-term thinking. When you are in constant contact with people who have these traits, they very likely rub off on you, too.

Even quick interactions with those around you could make a lasting impact on them. Those that tend to be aggressive may be prone to insulting individuals.

With their aggressive words, strangers could become upset or start doubting themselves.

For instance, if someone with aggressive personality traits calls someone obese when this is not the case, the outcomes of this quick, one-sentence interaction could be life-changing, especially if that person has already been bullied.

It could lead to self-doubt or punishment. Thus, it is always important to keep negative traits under control to avoid hurting others, even if they are strangers or if you only have quick interactions.

In the workplace, personality plays a key role in employee interactions and overall company success. The leader’s personality is especially influential.

If the individual has vigor and passion, then the entire workplace is more likely to stay loyal, for they recognize that their leader takes their job seriously and is genuinely committed to the company’s mission.

Seeing someone who is resilient also serves as an inspiration to others. Even interns can have an impact on the entire organization if they display tremendous effort and commitment.

Being a positive employee whose actions reflect positive personality traits can change the mindset of those around you.

If they see that you are being praised and achieving your goals, they are likely to replicate your actions. In fact, they may even change their outlook or elements of their personality to achieve similar results.

Clearly, personality is not just something that impacts one person. It has lasting effects on virtually everyone you encounter.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Personality Traits

How can I improve my personality traits?

There are many strategies you can use to improve your personality.

  • Understand the traits that you currently maintain
  • Recognize how your bad habits currently negatively impact your life and how your positive qualities support you
  • Remove distractions and surround yourself with people who have the quality you would like to acquire
  • Stay resilient during your journey and maintain a positive mindset.

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