The Psychology of Nice People



Popular culture often describes being nice as a social disadvantage. However, research repeatedly finds that being agreeable is associated with a number of advantages. Literature noting the positive benefits of being agreeable is reviewed. The paper also addresses how agreeableness, one of the Big Five personality dimensions, is linked with higher-quality friendships, successful parenting, better academic and career performance, and health. The case is made that being agreeable is not equated to being easily influenced nor is it an artifact because of social desirability. Finally, cultural and gender differences related to agreeableness are addressed. Based on the review of the literature, it is postulated that being agreeable may be the path to enduring interpersonal relationships, happiness, success, and well-being.