Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

Which stress personality are you?

Learn how to cope with your stress by better understanding which stress personality type you are.

What does your personality say about the way you handle stress?

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
  • Stress is a complex defense mechanism that is highly personal and can vary depending on the situation.
  • Your personality greatly impacts how you cope with stress, research suggests.
  • You can learn how to cope with your day-to-day stressors by understanding which "stress personality type" you are.

    Which stress personality are you?

    concept of stress cartoon of man behind boxes and binders holding a sign for help

    Understanding your personality type can help you cope with stress.

    Image by Abscent on Shutterstock

    Stress is a complex defense mechanism that is highly personal and can vary depending on the situation. How we feel stress, how our bodies react to it, how we cope with it - all of those things are very indicative of our personalities, mindsets, and willingness to adapt.

    Mary Dempcy (along with colleague Rene Tihista) researched and compiled a unique model for handling stress (at work, at home, in relationships, etc). These "inner selves", as they are so often referred to in their book "7 Stress Personalities: A Look At Your Selves", must be recognized and managed in order to deal with stress in a productive and positive manner.

    According to a 2007 study on stress and personality traits, personality traits such as neuroticism, extraversion, sense of humor, persistence, fatalism, and conscientiousness all factor into how we manage a stressful situation.

    Do any of these personality types sound like you?

    The Pleaser

    • Wants everyone to be happy.
    • Often sacrifice their own interests for the sake of what's best for a group.
    • Pleasers are gracious most of the time but may become resentful over time and feel underappreciated because they have taken on too much.

    To cope with stress, the Pleaser should prioritize their schedule and manage time in a more realistic way, which can serve as motivation to get more done.

    The Timekeeper

    • Like being in charge, taking responsibility.
    • They aren't driven by the need to make others happy but are fueled by a need to feel needed and competent.
    • Timekeepers may find themselves taking on too much causing them to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed.

    To cope with stress, the Timekeeper should take a full 60 seconds before deciding what to do (or taking on any additional responsibilities). Use this time to consider if you are the best person for the job, if you have the time to get the job done properly and if you really want to take on this particular responsibility.

    The Striver

    • Ambitious and competitive, pushing themselves to their limits frequently.
    • A desire to be the best.
    • Strivers may burn out fairly quickly due to never giving themselves time to recover and can feel envious over other people's successes.

    To cope with stress, the Striver should learn to ask for help when they need it. Understanding you may not be able to accomplish everything on your own doesn't mean you've failed - after all, asking for help may make the project you're working on come out with even better results, which will look good on your part.

    The Inner Con Artist

    • Not very hardworking but may be unaware of how hard other people work - they underestimate how much effort it takes to be successful.
    • May procrastinate and avoid conflict, which leads to more stress.
    • Inner Con Artists don't often communicate well with coworkers or management, putting themselves in a difficult position once they realize they need help.

    To cope with stress, the Inner Con Artist should create a realistic schedule that doesn't seem like a large to-do list but is more like a small motivation list. Instead of designing a system where you feel more stressed and feel as though you're falling behind, this will give you a more concise list that makes you feel motivated when you check off an item.

    The Critical Judge

    • Their own worst enemy - they set too high personal standards for themselves often setting themselves up for feelings of failure.
    • Very focused on their own shortcomings in an unproductive way.
    • Critical Judges can often get into a downward spiral and reach a crisis of confidence due to their inability to see their own successes.

    To cope with stress, the Judge may need to acknowledge that much of your stress is self-inflicted and the only way to decrease your level of stress is to take some of the pressure off yourself.

    The Worrier

    • Obsessive over the future and hate unpredictability.
    • Constantly devising multiple plans for any scenario that could happen.
    • Worries often generate stress over situations that haven't happened yet or that very likely would not happen, which leaves them unable to deal with here-and-now problems.

    To cope with stress, the Worrier should ask themselves one simple thing: what can I do right now to lessen my stress? Asking this clear question will provide one clear answer that will lessen the tension and worry you feel about your to-do list.

    The Sabertooth

    • The initial response to feeling stressed or overwhelmed is anger of frustration.
    • They often create negative vibes around themselves that can put other people in a bad mood as well.
    • Sabertooths can create a toxic environment, overwhelming stress and anxiety for those around them and are not particularly productive in problem-solving.

    To cope with stress, the Sabertooth should take a full 60 seconds of pause (not doing anything at all) before reacting to any stressful situation. Don't take this time to think about how to tackle the situation - just pause and clear your mind and come back to the problem with a clear head.

    LIVE ON MONDAY | "Lights, camera, activism!" with Judith Light

    Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.

    Big Think LIVE

    Add event to calendar

    AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

    Keep reading Show less

    Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

    Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

    Credit: Neom
    Technology & Innovation
    • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
    • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
    • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
    Keep reading Show less

    Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

    Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

    A truck pulls out of a large Walmart regional distribution center on June 6, 2019 in Washington, Utah.

    Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
    • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
    • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
    Keep reading Show less

    Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

    Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

    A girl and her mother take an afternoon nap in bed.

    Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Videos

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

    Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

    Scroll down to load more…
    Quantcast