Disagreeableness isn’t a curse or a mark of a demon. In fact, it’s a valuable trait for making friends and getting ahead in your social life.
I know I should write a better introduction, but fuck that. We’re on my turf here. I don’t want to put effort into this introduction, and you can’t make me.
Acknowledge the value of diplomacy and tact
Honesty doesn’t have to be brutal, but it has to hurt sometimes. Life is pain (but not always).
Hitting people with brutal honesty then claiming “I’m not an asshole, I’m just honest” is a dick move if you get validation from the brutality as much as from the honesty.
Unless you’re on the autism spectrum, you have the natural ability to read social cues that inform you on how to behave. Use it. There’s no point in unnecessarily crossing boundaries or pissing people off to fuel self-righteousness.
Highly disagreeable people tend to put people off by lacking diplomacy or tact. They should get a grip on their bluntness.
Highly agreeable people do the same by having TOO MUCH diplomacy and tact. They should get to the fucking point. Tiptoeing around it doesn’t do any good.
That’s an advantage you have as a disagreeable asshole: You don’t tolerate feel-good bullshit and needless pleasantries. You see life’s adversities for what they are: Normal and unavoidable.
Few people give a shit about your perceptions though. If you’re an asshole to them, they’ll see the asshole behavior before they see your point of view. That’s where diplomacy and tact come in.
You can be disagreeable without being an asshole. That means communicating your disagreeableness in socially acceptable ways.
You can challenge someone’s perception without invalidating it.
You can call out someone’s bullshit without devaluing them as a person.
You can accommodate someone you don’t like without being a dick to them.
This may take practice if you’re at the “asshole” end of the agreeable-disagreeable spectrum, but it has a high ROI in people’s comfort around you.
Don’t compromise your standards and boundaries
As a disagreeable person, you may feel like this trait of yours isn’t socially accepted or that it’s worthy of shame. Some people will tempt you to affect agreeableness to fit in with them, likely for social status, new experiences, or to alleviate your boredom.
If you’re insecure about yourself or don’t have a solid sense of identity, you may give in to this temptation.
No matter what image you affect, people have a sixth sense for dishonesty, intentions behind behavior, and when someone’s self-perception doesn’t align with their image. The truth behind your image will always come out.
Don’t attempt to fit in with people you don’t want to fit in with. There’s no shame in being disagreeable.
You have these standards and boundaries for a reason: You know what’s good for you. If you don’t like being around people who groupthink, are afraid of truth, don’t like guinea pigs, don’t do fun things, or whatever, don’t tolerate them.
You should make friends who accept you for who you are and push you to be better, not friends who force you to censor yourself to stay in with them. And you should return that righteous friendliness.
Highly agreeable people have standards and boundaries too. They can be people of character; they aren’t sheep who get swayed by every little thing. They (hopefully) don’t tolerate mistreatment, they just aren’t willing to openly challenge other people like highly disagreeable people are.
You’re not the all-knowing motherfucker you think you are (unless you really are)
We all have our blind spots of self-perception.
You can say you’re really attractive and interesting, but if few people are enthusiastic about interacting with you or getting to know you, what does that say about you?
You can say you’re a waste of space and that you don’t know why anyone would like you, but if your phone is full of texts and you rarely go without weekend plans, you’re being too hard on yourself.
You can say you’re a logical, rational thinker and that you’re above making decisions purely on emotion, but if you constantly find yourself feeling lonely, acting on impulse, and in tough situations or cycles that you don’t know how to get out of, you’re more emotionally driven than you want to admit. (This used to be me!)
You can say you’re a nice person, but if you rely on covert tactics and bargaining games to get what you want, and you talk shit about people behind their back, are you really that nice?
You can justify your disagreeableness as honesty, but is it really?
Are you emotionally wounded and using your disagreeableness as a barrier between reality and your vulnerable self?
Are you trying to emulate someone, or to reinforce an image, or is your behavior driven by an honest, tested value?
If your behavior is driven by a selfish value, it’ll drain you and the world around you.
If you ACTUALLY ARE doing the right thing by behaving disagreeably, you’ll encounter opposition, but you’ll gain energy from it and lift your environment up. You’ll feel in your soul that you’re doing the right thing. That sounds cliche and fake-positive, but it’s a real phenomenon.