How are Personality and Emotions Related?

02 April, 2018

Each one of us is what we are. No one is exactly like those that came before them, that much is clear. But have you ever wondered how much the way you are influences how you feel? To what extent are your personality and emotions linked?

If we’re happy, we’ll have better mental health, feel greater subjective well-being and we’ll be more satisfied with life. Let’s see if your personality traits are making you happier!

“¿Who I am? I’m trying to find out”

-Jorge Luis Borges-

Why is a positive affect beneficial?

Having a positive affect means having a propensity to experience more positive emotions than negative emotions. Pleasant emotions, in turn, result in people having a repertoire of behaviors that is wider and richer than those who feel more negative emotions. In addition, they promote healthy lifestyle habits, preventing future problems.

Another result is greater satisfaction with life. What is “satisfaction with life”? It’s the perception a person has of the quantity and quality of happiness we need to enjoy ourselves.

But how important is this for our well-being? Very. And not only on a psychological level, but also on a physical level. High satisfaction with life is related to higher life expectancy, health and longevity.

 

Personality and emotions: a woman floating in the water.

In fact, it even plays a role in your hormonal balance and your immune system. It is also associated with greater satisfaction with your relationships (of all kinds), work, and even salary. Finally, it arms us with adaptive coping strategies; in other words being happy with life helps us solve problems better.

Personality and emotions: happiness

Numerous studies have been carried out on the relationship between personality and emotions, specifically how personality traits influence the type of emotions that predominate in our lives.

For example, neuroticism is related to negative affectivity, while extraversion is related to positive affectivity. In other words, introverted people tend to score higher in negative affect and extroverted people in positive affect.

“There is an amazing power getting to know your inner self and learning how to use it and not fight with the world. If you know what makes you happy, your personality, interests and capabilities, just use them, and everything else flows beautifully.”

-Juhi Chawla-

Now let’s look at the different types of affective personalities. We have found four. The first is made up of “self-constructing people,” who score high on positive affect and low on negative. This first type, as you’d guess, shows higher levels of happiness or subjective well-being.

The second type of personality is High Affective. These are people with an intense affect, both towards the positive extreme and negative extreme. They are the next happiest. The third type is Low Affective. Who are these? People with low levels of both types of affects.

A happy woman in nature.

Finally, the least happy are those with a self-destructive affective personality type. These people have low levels of positive affectivity, but high levels of negative affectivity. Naturally, their subjective well-being levels are the lowest.

Personality and emotions: resilience

Research has shown that the self-constructive type gets high scores in extroversion and low scores in neuroticism. But not only that, they also get high scores on another feature that we haven’t mentioned yet: responsibility.

 

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”

-Oscar Wilde-

This personality is not only related to higher levels of happiness, but also with greater resilience: the ability to see difficulties as challenges to be overcome. Things that will make them stronger. Thus, people who are not able to cope with situations have a vulnerable or inhibited personality. This is the same as the self-destructive personality type.

As you can see, personality and emotions are closely linked. Our personality greatly influences our overall health and all areas of our life.

Images courtesy of Lesly B Juarez, Haley Phelps and Brooke Cagle.