January blues

Posted 18 January 2012 by
January Blues

With Monday of this week being dubbed ‘Blue Monday’, a.k.a the most depressing day of the year, many of us are going into hibernation to avoid the cold weather and in a bid to pay off those Christmas debts. But what does your personality say about your likely happiness levels? Are there some personality traits that make you a happier person, more able to quickly shake off those January blues and focus on the positives? We decided to find out!

In general, 58% of respondents* reported being ‘often’ or ‘nearly always’ happy, while 42% felt ‘rarely’ happy or ‘only happy some of the time’. Extraverts report being significantly happier than introverts. Specifically, happier people display higher levels of warmth, social confidence and a greater desire for social contact – enjoying making new friends and keeping in touch with old friends. They are likely to show a more spontaneous and enthusiastic personality, seeking variety and excitement. They may be very good at taking the initiative to pursue new hobbies and joining social groups. Happier people are likely to have a straightforward and open personality, being comfortable disclosing information about themselves to others. This is likely to help them develop close relationships with others, as they will be seen as easy to get to know.

This enjoyment of being with others is likely to transfer to people’s working relationships, with happier people preferring to work in close-knit teams, enjoying collaborative working, and feeling a real sense of belonging from being part of a group. Trust in others is key to happiness, with people who believed the best in people reporting being happier.

Happier people report lower levels of anxiety from day-to-day life. They are likely to be calm and resilient when dealing with problems and stresses, and see themselves in a positive light – being less prone to worry and self-doubt than others.

Finally, more independent people show greater happiness with their lives. Being assertive and undeterred by challenging situations, they report enjoying the opportunity to take charge and influence others. They also tend to experiment more with new and different solutions and ideas, perhaps being more proactive in exploring new hobbies and resolutions for 2012.

So, our top tips for a happier 2012 are…

  • Socialise more – catch up with old friends and invest time in making new ones
  • Add some variety and excitement into your life by starting new hobbies… the more unusual the better
  • Learn to trust people more – not everyone is out to get you!
  • De-stress your life by focusing on the positives, rather than dwelling on the criticisms
  • Be independent and assertive in pursuing your goals: you are the only one who can make them happen.

* OPP used a sample of 1,212 respondents who completed the 16PF personality questionnaire and an online survey, covering a range of different workplace topics. The sample was designed to be representative of the UK and Irish working-age population.

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