Who Am I? Understanding the 5 Dimensions of Personality Traits

We all come with varying and complex personalities that can be classified for simpler understanding. No matter the decade of your life I meet you, there’s a part of you that would barely change although you keep on evolving as a person. It’s your personality; the fundamental root on which your core values and principles are based.

There are five dimensions of personality traits, spelling out the acronym OCEAN; Openness to experiences, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. One must note that how a person is in any of the aspects to be discussed is not necessarily wrong or right in its self. There are good aspects and bad aspects of each of them.

Openness / Closeness to Experience

There are some people who dislike a particular experience for no reason but will never try it out for themselves to know for sure. Others will still be willing to try it out again although the previous experience was bad. It is more like a spectrum. Some on one extreme are very open-minded about new extreme experiences while others on the other side of the spectrum stick to familiar experiences and never try anything out of the blue. It’s in someone’s nature to quickly let go of old experiences in search of exclusively new ones. It’s also in another’s nature to stick conservatively to only what they know and what they came to meet, and have the tendency to paint black any new unfamiliar experience.


Ever come across a “serious” guy or girl? Always diligent. Give him a small task and he or she will go at it like the world depends on it. Usually such people have the enabling energy to keep them on their toes. Not everyone can keep such an energy at such a level for a long time. If you aren’t built for it, you’re likely to crumble or break down. Those who have a lackadaisical attitude rather care less. Their slogan is “why so serious?”. They don’t want to make anything – no matter how serious – look so serious. They believe that at the end of the day, the task will get done. They just don’t need to kill themselves for it.


This is the most well-known and well-understood personality science. Virtually everyone can identify themselves as either of them or a blend of the two called an ambivert. Extroverts are simply people who prefer socially stimulating environments. Introverts rather feel drained after socializing for a long period and regain their energy by spending time alone. Introverts may sometimes act in pseudo-extrovert ways and may have to withdraw for a longer period after that. Extroverts can be out-of-character too but they’d need more stimulation to feel alright. They also communicate differently. Extroverts go straight to the point and can almost always say how they feel. Introverts let much slide but when they do communicate, it’s not as straightforward as it is in their thinking.

Agreeableness / Disagreeableness

Some people just don’t like it when we all seem to agree on one thing. They’d quickly pick up the counter side and argue it out. To them agreeableness is a sign that a few are thinking for a lot; People are not using their brains. Someone must disagree; we can’t all think alike. They can disagree with you even before they hear you out. There’s always the other side of the issue they can stand for. Some other people also easily agree with you. You may be totally wrong but they’ll still find a way to agree with how you’re thinking. They may not necessarily agree with you but they understand where you’re coming from. They don’t seem to have a problem with whatever you have to say on any given issue. After all, that’s your opinion.

Neuroticism / Emotional Stability

Ever met someone who’s so hard on himself or herself? She cried because she had A- and not A+. When he succeeds massively, he still needs someone to convince him that he did well. You can easily give him a bad day by ruining his mood. She’s insecure and asks too many irrelevant personal questions. “Do you think I’m pretty?”. “You haven’t said hi to me for the 34 days.” Their mood swings are the worst. Those on the other hand can keep a “perfect composure” regardless of how stressful their situation is. Never too happy or too sad. To them, life simply goes on, whether it gets smooth or gets rough. They are not easily angered or annoyed. Their large threshold to tolerate nonsense makes them patient and unperturbed.

All of these personality traits are on a spectrum. It’s not necessarily fixed. One amazing thing about life is that our brain is highly neuroplastic, that is, you can evolve into anything you want to be. It all depends on your decisions and how you choose to make them. This change doesn’t permanently alter our personality. It modifies it. We are not only our “superpowers”. We are also our flaws. It’s about time you embraced them because they may not be bad after all. It’s all part of your idiosyncrasy.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on yourself. We tend to act based on our thoughts. Our thoughts are based on our beliefs. We easily believe in values pertaining to how we are (introverts believe so much in peace of mind whereas extroverts believe in expressing yourself) and how we behave according to our personalities. But do work on becoming a better version of yourself, devoid of all the toxic traits associated with your personality.

Who am I? I am Me, and I embrace it.

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