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Stress-Prone and Stress-Resistant Personalities Chapter 6.

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1 Stress-Prone and Stress-Resistant Personalities Chapter 6

2 “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

3 Personality Personality is thought to comprise several: – traits – characteristics – behaviors – expressions – moods – feelings as perceived by others

4 Personality (continued) The complexity of one’s personality is thought to be shaped by: – genetic factors – family dynamics – social influences – personal experiences

5 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.

6 Stress-Prone Personalities These personalities do not cope with stress well: –Type A personality –Codependent personality –Helpless-hopeless personality

7 Type A Behavior Time urgency Polyphasia (multitasking) Ultra-competitiveness Rapid speech patterns Manipulative control Hyperaggressiveness and free-floating hostility

8 Codependent Personality Ardent approval seekers Perfectionists Super-overachievers Crisis managers Devoted loyalists Self-sacrificing martyrs Manipulators “Victims” Feelings of inadequacy Reactionaries

9 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

10 Stress-Resistant Personalities These personalities cope with stress well: 1.Hardy Personality 2.Survivor Personality 3. Type R Personality (Sensation Seekers)

11 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)

12 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

13 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.

14 Self-Esteem: The Bottom-Line Defense Practices of high self-esteem: –Focus on action –Living consciously –Self-acceptance –Self-responsibility –Self-assertiveness –Living purposefully

15 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)

16 Study Guide Questions 1. List the stress-prone personalities and give an example of each. 2. List the stress-resistant personalities and give an example of each. 3. Describe self-esteem and what role this plays in promoting and resolving stress.

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