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This article popped up on my Facebook newsfeed, because one of my friends had commented on it. My friend had quoted something from the article that fit her to such a tee, that I had to read it for myself. All I can say is I am so glad that I stumbled across it, because it was very insightful. The article is titled, How Each Myers-Briggs Type Reacts to Stress (And How to Help!) and it’s exactly what is implied by the title. It outlines different personality types and their unique reaction to stress, as well as ways that you can help them when they are experiencing stress.

I assumed it was going to cover somewhere around 4 different personality types, because these articles usually cover 4. I don’t know why, but it’s always 4. This one covers 16 different personality types and how each one experiences and expresses stress, along with a list of ways that you can help them through their stress. Although it was very long, I personally really appreciated such an in depth look into this complicated matter of stress, because it’s something that has been in the forefront of daily life for the last 2 years as I have tried to help my husband through his bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. But let’s be honest–we all deal with stress on a regular basis. It’s so very important for us to understand how other people handle stress so that we can better help them through it. But it’s also so very important for us to realize how we handle stress ourselves, so that we won’t get so lost when we’re in the midst of it.

How many times have you floundered when experiencing stress, unable to understand all the feelings and emotions raging through you? If we can get a deeper understanding of what our stress personality is, so-to-speak, then we will probably be able to better help ourselves calm down.

Going further, if we understand what someone else’s stress personality is, we will be in a better position to help them calm down. We won’t accidentally add fuel to their fire by trying to tackle their stress in our own way. We would also be less likely to take their behavior personally if we can recognize it for what it actually is: their expression of stress. If we found ourselves in conflict with one another, which would obviously cause both parties stress, we might be able to come to resolutions faster and easier if we understood each other’s stress process. We are all so beautifully unique, so it makes sense that there is no universal cure all for stress that works for every single person.

Stress is a very real issue that we commonly brush off and ignore. But this has only left us with staggering rates of depression and anxiety. We can’t keep ignoring this enemy of ours, friends. Let’s devote some time to understanding stress, and understanding the complexities of how we all react to it, so that we can all be a little bit healthier and a little bit happier.

As a mom, I am so glad that I have this knowledge as a resource, so that I will be able to better understand my kids’ response to stress. I want to be able to help teach them how to handle stress, but I can’t do that if I don’t understand their unique expression and handling of it. They are already so different, and always have been; even in utero. I have no doubt that they will all have their own unique stress personalities too. So I am so glad that I know that there is such a thing as different stress personalities.

I highly encourage all of you to take the time to read through all the different personality types. Find yours and try to find the ones of your close loved ones. That way you will be in a better position to help those loved ones through stressful situations, and be in a better position on how to help yourself through stressful situations.

I fell under the personality titled “The Protector”. Here are common situations that stress me out:

  • Overexerting myself by saying “yes” to too many projects
  • Conflict or criticism
  • Lack of positive feedback
  • Environments filled with tension
  • Looming deadlines
  • Being asked to do things in a way that isn’t clearly defined
  • Having to overuse my type by having to constantly act as “the responsible one”
  • Dealing too long with abstract or theoretical concepts
  • Unfamiliar territory or an uncertain future

This is how I process and express stress:

“When faced with stress, they become discouraged and depressed. They start to imagine all the things that could go wrong, and they may feel a strong sense of inadequacy. They may feel that everything is all wrong, or that they can’t do anything right. If they are in a state of chronic stress, they may fall into the grip of their inferior function, extraverted intuition. When this happens they may start acting completely out of character. They may be at odds with normally relied upon facts and details, they may see everything as awful and feel ‘doomed’. They may become withdrawn, angry, irritable, and pessimistic. They will probably feel emotionally overwhelmed and find themselves worrying about all kinds of horrible possibilities.”

This is how others can help me when I am stressed:

  • Give me space or time alone to work through my feelings
  • Provide provable affirmations about ways I’ve overcome situations like this in the past
  • Help me break down problems into manageable pieces
  • Don’t give generalized compliments. Make compliments specific.
  • Put a problem or task in sequential order
  • Don’t brainstorm. When I’m in the grip of extraverted intuition, this will only make things worse.
  • Let me engage my auxiliary extraverted feeling by reading materials that are personally moving, or spiritual
  • Encourage me to get some physical exercise (without making it sound like an insult)
  • Let me talk about my irrational fears or feelings, and give me quiet, calm reassurance
  • Take me seriously. Don’t patronize or judge me.

So how do you handle stress? What is your personality type? How can I help you get through stressful situations?

I sincerely hope that this article is as insightful and helpful to you as it was for me.


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