The Gray Divorce Podcast: Episode 21 Know Yourself! The Big Five Personality Tests - Tools for Growth After Gray Divorce Part 1

Andrew Hatherley |

In episode 21 of The Gray Divorce Podcast, I talk about the importance of truly understanding ourselves or at least making an attempt to understand ourselves if we want to move on with our lives and set a new course for ourselves after gray divorce. 

This episode is the first part of a two-part series where I discuss two specific tools of positive psychology. These tools can be a great asset in helping mid to late-life divorcees move on with their lives after the traumatic experience of gray divorce. 

In this episode, I'll be discussing The Big 5 Personality Assessment. In episode 22 I'll be discussing the VIA Character Strengths Survey. 

In this episode we'll discuss: 

1) How we really don't know ourselves as well as we think we do.

2) Why it matters that we develop a better understanding of ourselves. 

3) What it is about these tools that can help us? How do they work and how can we apply these exercises to live a more authentic, meaningful, purposeful life and maybe become a better person in the process? 

My discussion today draws from my own experience and four sources for which I've provided links in the resources section of this page.  

The Big 5 Personality Assessment focuses on five primary factors of personality: 

  • Openness to experience 
  • Conscientiousness 
  • Extroversion 
  • Agreeableness 
  • Neuroticism 

Take the first letter of each of these factors you have the acronym OCEAN. 

In the podcast, I go over each of these five primary personality factors and discuss a number of the personality characteristics found within each. 

Understanding whether we rank high or low in these traits can help us in our daily life, and in planning our future. 

Should a very extroverted person be working behind a desk with numbers all day? 

Should a person high in the agreeableness trait take certain steps to ask for that raise at work? 

Understanding yourself can help you move forward with life issues like this. 

You can find a lot of Big 5 Assessments online for free. I encourage you to take a look and take the test. You may be startled by the results! 


Article: People Don't Actually Know Themselves Very Well

Article: Big Five Personality Traits: The OCEAN Model Explained 

Article: You Don't Really Know Yourself

Article: Understand Yourself With the Big 5 Personality Traits

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