Stress has a way of affecting us differently, especially within our different personality styles.
It has been a time of stressful times for us all and what a journey of navigating this out!
My good friend Brian Alex and I sit down to discuss what the Stress Effect is, how we can tend to fall into a negative mindset in stress and how to rise above.
The Stress Effect
Before recognizing any unhealthy amount of stress, there has to be a point when you have to become self-aware within yourself. If you are not aware of how you’re feeling, how will you know what helps you in stressful situations? There has to be knowledge within yourself for any growth to happen in your stress.
What exactly IS stress?
Stress is your body’s response to something happening in your life. It is a feeling evoked by your brain and your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand, whether real or perceived. Something people always misunderstand is, there can be a good amount of stress. It can be healthy and helpful in short bursts when you need to get something done; however, it can do damage over the long-term which is where a lot of people are sitting in today. Stress is pushing our body to do something, to get something out of the way that seems to be holding us back. Our body tells us to either create something out of the stressful situation or go into a flight or fight mode.
Count it all joy.
What many believers in Jesus don’t understand is that God allows us to have stressful situations, temptations or trials so we can grow closer to Him. Of all the stressful situations I have been through during my life, each one has grown me closer to The King of the Universe. In the stress, God can push us to become stronger in Him. I have made tons of poor decisions, created my own stress but God has been so merciful to me to continue relying on Him and growing closer to Him and praising Him for each time. Become patient and grasp onto God so we can endure during this season and grow in a way we never expected to!
Handcuffed to a Certain Habit of Stress.
All of our responses are created from our decision-making process; responses we aren’t even consciously making but are there because of an old habit, pattern, or something in our root system.
Many of us have these responses naturally:
- People Pleasing
- Not feeling good or worthy enough
- Victim Mentality
These are responses we are choosing to have based on our root systems- the things that we have been trained to have. When things become stressful, we immediately go to these responses because it is all we know. They are our programmed responses- we can consciously or subconsciously have. It is a force of habit- when something happens- you just respond in the way you have always known how. It’s a habit of not feeling in control and having a problem with that. When my worth comes directly from God, it is so much easier to shoot down these responses because I know where my worth comes from and I recognize that I do not need to be in control. When your worth comes directly from man, you ask yourself “what is the response that will get me directly back into control”?
Value and Worth.
Let’s say you have created your worth to be in people, your value is determined by people who have created beings. Someone doesn’t appreciate me, I haven’t accomplished anything I wanted to or I am not in control of a situation that I really feel the need to be in. Your identity is no longer in Christ. There are red flags that we can see when these situations happen. A red flag is when you are feeling defensive, you immediately feel depleted. Your worth has been in that person and when they offend you, you automatically need to defend because you have put worth in their opinion of you, not in God. We can get caught up all in the emotions of situations rather than the logical side of them. You could also be gaining worth from people. It could be trying to please someone by doing tasks for them. You could be trying to impress with all of the accomplishments you’ve done. You tend to look towards other people for the value you already have from your Creator. It seems more tangible for us to gain our worth from people rather than from God- but it leads us down a bad path of our worth.
DISC and Stress in Immaturity
D’s in Stress
D’s tend to externalize their stress. They feel like they have to talk loudly, get control, or punch something. When D’s get flooded emotionally, and they don’t realize it, their response is a physical form of anger or finding something or someone to get control from. They will wear it all over themselves. You will always be able to tell when a high D is angry, it is always external. Their reactions is to show show show their stress, anger, or lack of control. They wear it and wear it “well”. They don’t tend to think logically when they get inside of their head- they will always deal with it emotionally. This can be even when they do handle it in a way that seems mature, they are not handling things on the logical side. They feel stuck inside of their head. They will, if a problem arises, they will compartmentalize whatever that stress is and never think about it again.
I’s in Stress
I’s will remove themselves when they are in a stressful situation. They will try to solve problems that are outside of their stressful situation. They will do anything possible to remove themselves from the stress and block it by making a joke, dancing in a room or distracting other people so they have something else going on in their mind. They are tremendously afraid of failure and that failure speaks to their worth. A lot of Is will assume how people feel about them; that they will make someone not like them or frustrate them. If that is not enough, the high I will look at where they can shift the blame on other people. They will try to make it someone else’s fault. The victim mentality will kick in very heavy when they feel out of control. If that does not work, then it becomes “let me attack you” sort of mindset. They are trying to save as much worth they have left.
S’s in Stress.
Because the High S is focused on other people, the first thing they do when a stressful situation occurs is asking themselves, “how is this affecting the other person?” They will start to assume a lot. As they begin to assume a lot, they will think that the situation will become completely detrimental. Their self-awareness goes out of the window- they gain no awareness for themselves because it is all about the other person. It is all about how they can help other people during these situations, never about themselves. When they continue to feel pushback over and over again, it’s almost like a slingshot and their anger explodes. When their anger is pushed back time and time again, they will have a moment of just a complete explosion. They keep on looking around and are asking themselves, “What can I do for other peoples?”. The high S will always take the blame. They will hold onto the stress until it builds up and they explode.
C’s in Stress.
The high C will tend to isolate themselves or remove themselves so they can process through what is happening. They will build a wall incredibly fast to protect themselves from what is going on. They can go anti-person very quickly because to them, people are the problem. C’s are a logical thinker and when something comes up, they can say, “well, this is a person problem and I am a logical thinker”. They will try to respond logically to an emotional situation. They just stand there trying to make a logical response when they are handling something that is affecting them emotionally. They will throw out a grenade, or something harmful or harsh to someone else because they are just so overwhelmed in the moment. They are retreating and do not feel safe with anyone.
We focused a lot on the negative side of each personality style when they go into their stress. As we talked about in the beginning, it is helpful to become self-aware of what personality styles you are and how you respond to stress. If you haven’t done so, you can click here to find out your DISC test!