Personality Type and Stress Management

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By Jack H. W. Wong, Special for USADC.

We are living in a stressful world, aren’t we? Talking about stress, it can come from different sources, for example, finances, children, work, spouse, school, health, caring for aging parents, balancing home and work etc.

I am aware that many authors have already written on this topic before. As a certified practitioner in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (“MBTI”) Instrument, I would like to approach this topic from the MBTI perspective.

It is my submission that knowing our type personality is useful to help us to understand the possible causes of stress. For instance, studies have shown that Introverts may likely experience more stress from work compared to Extraverts. On the other hand, people who prefer Sensing may likely experience more stress in these areas: health, caring for aging parents, and balancing home and work etc. compared to those who prefer Intuition.

Another benefit of knowing our type personality is to help us to better manage our stress. In order to understand this, let’s briefly discuss the Type Theory developed by Carl G. Jung. According to this theory, our inferior function is the least developed and most unconscious mental function. This is because most energy is directed to our dominant function. However, under extreme stress, our inferior function may erupt from our unconscious mind. At that point, it will take over our conscious mind, and this explains why we will behave differently when we are under stress.

The question is how a person who knows his type personality is able to better manage stress and stay motivated at the same time. The answer is for this person to list down the various strategies he can implement to help him to do so. Let’s use Tom (a hypothetical person) who is an “INTJ” based on the MBTI Instrument as an illustration here.

As an INTJ, Tom may do certain things when he is under stress, for example, putting the external world in order, making an endless list, trying to control something, taking action without planning, over-eating, over-drinking, and watching TV etc. If Tom is aware of the above, he can consider doing the following that can help him to de-stress and stay motivated at the same time:

1. Pampering himself

Knowing that Tom may eat and drink when he is under stress, he can pamper himself with a nice meal and drink. To ensure that Tom will not over-eat and over-drink, he can invite his colleagues to join him as a form of control. During the meal, Tom can share with his colleagues some of his recent success and achievements. Any positive and supportive comments from his colleagues will help to lift Tom’s motivation level too.

2. Networking with clients

Knowing that Tom may seek to put the external world in order when he is under stress, and that the possible source of stress comes from work, it will be a good time for him to do business networking with his clients. Take this time to discuss with his clients about new business opportunities. It will also improve his working relationship with his clients.

Further, as Tom may exhibit the pattern of preparing an endless list when he is under stress, he should list down the things that need to be followed up after his client meetings. What if any of these meetings can generate a million-dollar deal? That will definitely help Tom to stay motivated.

3. Reading motivational articles and watching motivational videos/ TV programmes

One of the things Tom may do when he is under stress is to watch TV. Instead of cherry-picking programmes to watch, Tom can prepare in advance a list of motivational TV programmes and videos he can watch that will help him to stay motivated. If for some reasons Tom prefers to read books instead of watching TV, how about preparing a list of motivational articles in advance?

4. Rest well

Regardless of what type personality one has, a good rest will always pay off. Start off the next day feeling refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated and prepare to take on any new challenge.

The above are just some of the possible ways an INTJ such as Tom can do to stay motivated when he is under stress. It is obvious that people with different type personality will have a different list of things to do. If you are not sure about your type personality, it is time to look for help from a qualified professional.

If you have any questions or comments, please share with me in my website as I would love to hear from you.

After working in the corporate world for 16 years as an international tax lawyer, Jack Wong is now an entrepreneur working from home, allowing him to spend more time with his family. He specialises in coaching his clients to identify their passion in life, and how to make money from home. For more details, check out Jack’s website.



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