What is kindness as a personality trait?

Kindness is a personality trait that, in popular culture, is always seen as something positive and desirable. While this is partly so, it can be said that being very kind can sometimes lead to some inconvenience.

Be that as it may, we will see more in-depth this personality trait, how are people who have it very high, how are those who have it very low and how it relates to professional success and forgiveness.

Within the model of the Big Five, of psychologists Paul Costa and Robert McCrae, kindness, also called cordiality, is one of the traits that shape the personality.

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

Being cordial is related to having an optimistic view of others, in addition to putting the interests outside their own and maintaining good relationships with equals. It seeks to please everyone, to possess social harmony. That is, having a high degree of kindness is related to exhibiting prosocial behaviors.

As a result, friendly people tend to perform especially well in social situations and in activities that are carried out as a team, in addition to fostering a good interpersonal environment, avoiding confrontation and trying to solve relational problems.

On the other hand, people who have a lower score in this dimension tend to be unselfish. They are not so supportive of putting their interests before those of others, being quite common in it to opt for selfish behavior, although this in itself does not have to be something negative. They tend to be more competitive and even manipulative.

Those with low levels of kindness have been related to manifesting higher levels of what is known as the “dark triad” or dark triad, a series of characteristics that relate to negative personality aspects. Among them would be Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. It is possible to say that they are also more prone to suffer cardiac pathology and live more accelerated aging.

Each of the features that make up the Big Five model has been shown to be behind certain positive aspects of life. Kindness, as we were saying before, is a predictor of having good and strong interpersonal relationships.

Friendly individuals tend to be better accepted in peer groups and suffer less bullying situations. In addition, they enjoy better contacts with the desired sex, either during appointments or in more intimate contexts. They enjoy a greater degree of satisfaction in the couple, in addition to being less likely to suffer marital ruptures.

People with high cordiality often enjoy success in professions where social skills are needed or a task is carried out in collaborative work environments. They also tend to be involved in situations of help to the most disadvantaged, such as volunteers, as well as being less involved in criminal situations.