A recent study by PsychTests.com reveals that people would rather win an argument than find a mutually beneficial solution are more likely to have control issues, to struggle with rumination, and to be uncomfortable with emotions in general.
Conflict is unpleasant, uncomfortable, loud, and vocal – but it can be so much worse when both parties go into it with the sole intention of being proven right. Without compromise, conflict can drag on incessantly, or rise from the grave to haunt every subsequent argument where parties hash out grievances from decades ago. Why is it that some people would rather win a fight at any cost than make concessions? According to research from PsychTests.com, a dislike for compromise is about more than just the pursuit of victory or bragging rights.
Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared the personality, attitudes, and behaviors of people who would rather win an argument vs. those who would rather compromise. Here’s where they differed:
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WIN AN ARGUMENT TEND TO HAVE A CYNICAL ATTITUDE TOWARDS LIFE.
- 45% are pessimists who tend to expect the worst of every situation or person (compared to 30% of Compromisers).
- 26% have trust issues and refuse to place their faith in anyone (compared to 10% of Compromisers).
- 31% feel that others take advantage of them (compared to 21% of Compromisers).
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WIN AN ARGUMENT CAN BE UNSCRUPULOUSLY OPPORTUNISTIC
- 33% only do good deeds for the recognition (compared to 16% of Compromisers).
- 37% will use insincere flattery in order to get what they want from someone (compared to 17% of Compromisers).
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WIN AN ARGUMENT STRUGGLE WITH THEIR EMOTIONS AS WELL AS OTHER PEOPLE’S
- 46% feel uncomfortable around people who are overtly emotional (compared to 25% of Compromisers).
- 44% postpone or entirely avoid discussing touchy topics (compared to 31% of Compromisers).
- 55% feel awkward in social situations (compared to 44% of Compromisers).
- 37% tend to suppress negative emotions (compared to 28% of Compromisers).
- 38% have anger management issues (compared to 19% of Compromisers).
- 54% admit that they tend to be very impatient (compared to 29% of Compromisers).
- 53% will do whatever they can to keep themselves from crying (compared to 39% of Compromisers).
- Ironically, 40% would rather avoid conflict entirely (compared to 2% of Compromisers).
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WIN AN ARGUMENT TEND TO DWELL ON NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, FEELINGS OR PROBLEMS
- 40% spend hours ruminating over perceived insults (compared to 25% of Compromisers).
- 54% overanalyze situations, creating problems that don’t exist (compared to 40% of Compromisers).
- 39% have difficulty breaking out of a bad mood (compared to 20% of Compromisers).
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WIN AN ARGUMENT TEND TO HAVE AN INTENSE NEED FOR CONTROL, TO BE IN CHARGE, OR TO BE RIGHT
- 36% need to be the one to “call the shots” at work or in their personal lives (compared to 14% of Compromisers).
- 33% insist that tasks or chores be done their way (compared to 10% of Compromisers).
- 19% refuse to accept opinions that differ from their own (compared to 5% of Compromisers).
- 68% tend to be very stubborn (compared to 47% of Compromisers).
PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WIN AN ARGUMENT ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE UNHAPPY RELATIONSHIPS
- 34% rated the quality of their personal relationships as “Excellent” (compared to 53% of Compromisers).
- 33% rated the quality of their professional relationships as “Excellent” (compared to 47% of Compromisers).
- 32% admit that they find themselves in conflict situations more often than other people they know (compared to 11% of Compromisers).
- 10% admit that they can be difficult to get along with (compared to 2% of Compromisers).
- 15% find it difficult to bond with other people (compared to 9% of Compromisers).
“Imagine what would happen if every person taking part in a peace talk or major negotiation went into it with the sole intention of winning, regardless of the cost – it would lead to chaos. Life isn’t a game show where only one person can come out victorious,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “The same applies to conflict. Evidently, there will be circumstances where there is no room for compromise. In most cases, however, meeting someone halfway, making concessions, and finding a mutually beneficial solution is the ideal path. If all you do is fight to win, regardless of the cost, you end up losing in the end – either the deal or negotiation itself, and most certainly your relationship with the other person. Unfortunately, some people mistake compromise for weakness; they feel that compromising is taking the sucker’s way out. In reality, finding a solution that benefits everyone is what takes the most work, strength, and dedication.”
Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1
To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr
About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).
ILONA JERABEK, PH.D
PsychTests AIM Inc.