Personality And Stress
Do you have an insatiable desire to achieve your goals?
Are you very competitive - even against your children?
Do you have a strong desire for recognition?
Do you enjoy doing lots of different things at once?
Are you always in a rush to finish things?
Are you impatient?
Are you quick to lose your temper?
Are you unhappy doing nothing?
Are you self critical?
Do you feel impatience towards others if they are not doing
things quickly enough?
Do you like working against the clock?
Do you often direct your anger towards yourself?
If you recognise these things in yourself, then you could
be a Type 'A' Personality.
So what? I hear you asking. Psychologists believe that people
with this type of personality are more likely to suffer from
stress related illness, particularly heart disease.
A lot of research has been done into personality types. Do
certain types of people apply for certain types of job etc?
Some of the things that research has highlighted seem to simply
be stating the obvious. Of course your personality type will
influence the work you look for or the lifestyle you lead!
You wouldn't expect someone who is painfully shy to become
a politician or an actor. Likewise an adrenaline junkie would
not be happy doing accounts or filing. Well now it seems that
your personality type will also influence the type of illnesses
you may be likely to develop.
In 1974, a report was published by Meyer Friedman and Ray
Rosenman, suggesting that the link between type A personality
and coronary heart disease (CHD) was very high indeed.
They followed a group of men over the course of 8 years and
found that 257 of them developed CHD. Out of that 257 a staggering
70 percent were found to have type A personalities.
People with a type B personality lack the aggressive tendencies
and are generally more relaxed in their approach to life.
There seemed to be no relationship between type B personalities
and heart disease.
Of course it doesn't mean that anyone with a type A personality
will suffer from heart disease, only that it could indicate
possible problems later in life.
Some common type A behaviours
- Thinking of, or doing, two things at once.
- Scheduling more and more activities into less and less
- Failing to notice or be interested in the environment
or things of beauty.
- Hurrying the speech of others.
- Becoming unduly irritated when forced to wait in line
or when driving behind a car you think is moving too slowly.
- Believing that if you want something done well, you have
to do it yourself.
- Gesticulating when you talk.
- Frequent knee jiggling or rapid tapping of your fingers.
- Explosive speech patterns or frequent use of obscenities.
- Obsessive about being on time.
- Having difficulty sitting and doing nothing.
- Playing nearly every game to win, even when playing against
- Measuring your own and others' success in terms of numbers
(e.g. number of articles written, number of albums made,
number of patients seen etc.)
- Head nodding, fist clenching, table pounding or sucking
in of air when talking.
- Becoming impatient while watching others do things you
think you can do better or faster.
- Rapid blinking or eyebrow lifting.
Gillian Darby has worked in the field of psychology
for over ten years. To find out your Personality Type please
go to Personality