stress prone and stress resistant personalities
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Stress-Prone and Stress-Resistant Personalities. Chapter 6.

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“When I was 25, I got testicular cancer and nearly died. I don’t know why I am still alive. I can only guess. I have a tough constitution and my profession taught me how to compete against long odds and big obstacles.”

—Lance Armstrong

  • Personality is thought to be comprised of several:
    • traits
    • characteristics
    • behaviors
    • expressions
    • moods
    • feelings as perceived by others
  • The complexity of one’s personality is thought to be shaped by:
    • genetic factors
    • family dynamics
    • social influences
    • personal experiences
personality and stress
Personality and Stress
  • How we deal with stress is due in large part to our personalities, yet regardless of personality, we each exhibit many inner resources to use in the face of stress.
  • New behaviors can be learned and adopted to aid in this coping process.
  • We do not have to be passive victims to stress.
stress prone personalities
Stress-Prone Personalities

These personalities do not cope with stress well:

  • Type A personality
  • Codependent personality
  • Helpless-Hopeless personality
type a behavior
Type A Behavior
  • Time urgency
  • Polyphasia (multitasking)
  • Ultra-competitiveness
  • Rapid speech patterns
  • Manipulative control
  • Hyperaggressiveness and free-floating hostility
codependent personality
Codependent Personality
  • Ardent approval seekers
  • Perfectionists
  • Super-overachievers
  • Crisis managers
  • Devoted loyalists
  • Self-sacrificing martyrs
  • Manipulators
  • “Victims”
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Reactionaries
helpless hopeless personality
Helpless-Hopeless Personality
  • Poor self-motivation
  • Cognitive distortion where perception of failure repeatedly eclipses prospects of success
  • Emotional dysfunction
  • External locus of control of reinforcing behavior
stress resistant personalities
Stress Resistant Personalities

These personalities cope with stress well:

  • Hardy Personality
  • Survivor Personality
  • Type R Personality
the hardy personality
The Hardy Personality
  • (Based on the work of Maddi and Kobasa)
  • Three characteristics noted in those who cope well with stress:
    • Commitment (invests oneself in the solution)
    • Control (takes control of a situation, doesn’t run from it)
    • Challenge (sees opportunity rather than the problems)
survivor personality traits
Survivor Personality Traits
  • A person who responds rather than reacts to danger/stress
  • Bi-phase traits (left and right brain skills)
    • Proud but humble
    • Selfish but altruistic
    • Rebellious but cooperative
    • Spiritual but irreverent
    • Considered optimists and good at creative problem solving
type r personality sensation seekers
Type “R” personality (sensation seekers)
  • Zuckerman (1971) identified the sensation-seeking personality, as those people who seek thrills and sensations but take calculated risks in their endeavors; they appear to be dominated by an adventurous spirit.
self esteem the bottom line defense
Self-Esteem:The Bottom-Line Defense
  • Practices of high self-esteem:
    • Focus on action
    • Living consciously
    • Self-acceptance
    • Self-responsibility
    • Self-assertiveness
    • Living purposefully
characteristics of high self esteem
Characteristics of High Self-Esteem
  • Connectedness (support groups)
  • Uniqueness (special qualities)
  • Empowerment (uses inner resources)
  • Role Models or Mentors (has others to look up to)
  • Calculated Risk Taking (not motivated by fear)