Sunday, 25 October 2015

How can I get my kids to steer clear of disagreeable people? #BritishDadStuff

I think the hardest thing to pass on to my kids is that there are disagreeable people in the world.

It's an actual thing - Agreeablenes is one of the "big five personality traits"
(along with Openness To Experience, conscientiousness, extraversion and neuroticism)
- and there are people who score very low on the agreeableness scale.

They happily look after their "email trails" and use words like "outcome", "scope" and "by end of play".

And what sucks is... you end up doing it too.

Because it's the only way you can communicate with them.

They expect you to work for them... even if you don't. Let's take a really low level example.
I had an old mate over visiting me at work.
A disagreeable producer, let's call him Dan, sees me after and he knows my mate from way back.

"(GLUED TO HIS SCREEN) Can you give me his contact details."

"Sure, it's..."

"(GLUED TO HIS SCREEN) Just email them to me."

(I CAN GIVE THEM TO YOU RIGHT NOW) "Sure, but I've got them right here, it's..."

"No, just email them to me".

I've got to work for you.
We all do.
Even though we don't work for you.
Because you are disagreeable.

I've got a theory that I haven't thought through.
That all of these are connected, and are this way round:

Alpha and Beta Males
Concrete and Abstract senses of humour.
Disagreeable and Agreeable

(and there might be a touch of extrovert and introvert in there too).

So I'm calling this current theory a disagreeability strain.

Our interactions - all of them - on a one to one basis, or of nations, or multinational companies - all the friction is caused by people who score low on the agreeability scale.

And the rest of us have to indulge it.
There's no way round it.

People who are disagreeable run things.
And what I want my kids to know is that Nature has a beautiful balance.

Because when they get exactly what they want...
...they are still not happy.

All my British Dad Stuff is here

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