Stress Reveals The True Person You Are

By Judi Light Hopson, Emma H. Hopson, and Ted Hagen
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Stress either brings out the best or the worst in most of us. If you’re going through a lot of stress, it pays to manage yourself well.

Tribune News Service

Want to know the true character or personality of someone? If so, watch how they respond to a stressful situation.

Stress casts a spotlight on who we are psychologically. How an individual copes with an unpleasant situation speaks volumes. It demonstrates the problem-solving skills you have, how much self-control you have, and how much respect you have for other people.

In fact, psychologists say that how you treat your worst enemy is likely the most telling aspect of your personality. And, how you react in an emergency, when fear is at hand, tells a lot about you.

“I once had my doubts about a young woman I’d hired,” says a CEO we’ll call Fred. “I felt uneasy about hiring her, because she was only 19 and still in college. She seemed rather delicate and not tough enough to be of value to our company.”

We’ll call this young woman Tina. When the office building they were in caught fire, Fred got to see a more mature side of Tina.

“She called 911, went through the offices telling everyone to hit the stairs, and practically carried me out of the building,” says Fred. “I’d sprained my ankle the week before, so this was a big deal.”

Stress either brings out the best or the worst in most of us. For example, a teacher we know who was in the midst of the Gatlinburg wildfires just recently saw a young boy hold up well under stress. We’ll call her Kathryn.

“Our community made national news, of course,” says Kathryn. “I knew some of the people trapped in a multi-story hotel when flames loomed outside. You could see the flames on TV coming near the building.”

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