Estimated reading time: 4 mins
I’m sure you’ve heard of Jordan Peterson, the clinical psychologist and professor who has become a household name for his no-nonsense approach to life. He’s known for his blunt insights into personal development and success. One of his most famous quotes is: “If you’re too agreeable, you’ll never be successful”. This quote has become something of a mantra among entrepreneurs and business people; it implies that if we are too eager to please everyone around us, we’ll never get ahead.
But is this true? Is being agreeable really a barrier to success? The answer isn’t as simple as it may seem. Let’s take a closer look at this statement in order to better understand what it means and how it might affect our lives.
First of all, it’s important to recognize that there are different types of agreement. There are constructive agreements that involve compromise and collaboration, such as finding common ground with an employer or working together with colleagues on a project. On the other hand, there are destructive agreements which involve sacrificing your own needs in order to please someone else or simply not speaking up when something doesn’t feel right.
It’s important to note that both types of agreement can have their drawbacks when applied in the wrong situational context – but only one can truly hinder your chances at achieving success in life. Being too agreeable in the sense of sacrificing your own wants and needs for others will almost certainly lead to unhappiness in the long run; if you aren’t able to balance what you need with what those around you need, then both sides will suffer eventually – including yourself!
That said, it is possible to be “too” agreeable without actually sacrificing yourself in any way – by simply not standing your ground or going along with things just because they’re expected from you (even if they don’t quite fit). For example, if someone offers an idea that doesn’t resonate with you but instead of speaking up about your feelings or offering an alternative solution, you remain silent out of fear or politeness – this could be seen as being too agreeable as well. Additionally, if people tend to take advantage of your lack of assertiveness by expecting more from you than necessary or expected – again, this could be seen as being overly compliant. Both situations are not good for your mental wellbeing and this ‘weakness’ can lead to anger and aggression later down the line.
At its core then, Jordan Peterson’s statement should be taken not so much literally but rather figuratively. Meaning that we should strive for balance between our own needs and those around us when making decisions or taking action on anything we do – whether professionally or personally. It is absolutely necessary for us to find ways where both parties can benefit from decisions taken without having one side feeling like they have been shortchanged because they were too accommodating towards another person’s wishes.
For instance, let’s say that your boss asks for something unreasonable, like working late hours even though there isn’t enough work left over – while being too agreeable would mean accepting their demands without question. Whereas finding the right balance would require communicating clearly why these demands cannot be met while also looking into potential solutions that satisfy both parties involved. This way, neither side feels like their needs weren’t taken into consideration.
In addition, being able to express our thoughts openly is essential when striving for success – especially when dealing with higher-ups. If we constantly hide behind politeness and niceties whenever interacting with them, chances are they won’t even realize how capable we really are – thus limiting our opportunities further down the line. This doesn’t mean however that we should start throwing rude comments around every chance we get; rather, strive for professionalism while still expressing ourselves confidently – it shows employers/colleagues/etc., respect without compromising on our beliefs and opinions.
Ultimately then, while Jordan Peterson’s words can act as a reminder not to cross over into passivity whenever dealing with others – either professionally or otherwise – he shouldn’t be interpreted literally. Instead focus on finding ways where mutual respect between individuals can coexist. That is, while still allowing each person involved reach their respective goals successfully. With practice, anyone can achieve this delicate balance. This will ultimately lead them further down the path towards success.