Warning: Don’t be So Agreeable!

Do you try to be agreeable all the time? Well, you better cut it out. So says the American Psychological Association, in an update of a report they released last year. Otherwise you face a greater risk of going bankrupt and enduring many other financial hardships that people who are a bit cranky and cross-grained don’t experience quite so often. Why? The researchers say the main reason is that agreeable people place a lesser value on money and monetary gain than do all those well-off and secure grouches you meet nowadays.  

The researchers report that an agreeable person’s base income also plays a key role in whether or not they may wind up out on the street. Lower income individuals, the study found, were much more likely to file for bankruptcy or slide into catastrophic debt, while those agreeable souls who had good incomes, while still inclined to financial problems, did not experience them to such a deep degree as their poorer counterparts.

The researchers collated financial and personal data from nearly 3 million people over several years, before releasing their initial conclusion in 2018. This year they added to their observations, mostly in the area of how agreeable people learn to say ‘no’ more often. Usually, say the scientists, it’s simply by letting another person, a spouse or a friend, handle their finances for them.