Dealing with Stress from Work: Rationals
How do you deal with work-related stress? Each personality type has different stressors and copes in different ways. Better understanding of your own stressors and coping mechanisms can help you reduce the tension and anxiety work stress often creates.
Since Rationals search for knowledge, competence, and eternal truths, when these needs
are blocked, they become stressed. When Rationals experience great stress, they experience
thoughts that tell them either that they must act or think in a particular way or that they
must not act or think in a particular way. The outside observer sees the Rational as driven
by compulsions or prohibitions.
The Fieldmarshal is driven to lead. They want things to be logical, to be recognized
for their accomplishments and to be respected for their visionary ideas. Sometimes they
are forced to be harsh with others to accomplish their goals. If their harshness triggers
high emotionalism from workers and rumblings of disrespect, they can become hypersensitive
to their own feelings and have outbursts of emotion. When high stress is triggered, they
can become ritualistic in their behavior in an effort to control both the outside world
and their inner emotions. It can help to talk to a trusted person whose counsel can help
bring back balance. Also silent support from others along with the resolution of the
crisis will restore equilibrium. Says Joan, "I have the entire responsibility for my
area's non-profit organization. When contributions shrunk, I had to cut back on some
programs. Some people hated me for my decisions. My second-in-command quietly backed
me up and asked me why I was brushing my teeth so often. I hadn't realized it. It was
as if I wanted to brush my bad words and their bad words away. Now people are used to
the cut-backs and the grumbling has mostly stopped -- so has the excessive teeth brushing."
The Mastermind sees situations from their own unique perspective and they enjoy
finding new solutions to complex problems. They are driven to implement their ideas
whether or not others can see their vision for improvement. If they are given no support,
they dig in their heels and work all the harder to achieve their vision. Stress comes
when they are forced to deal with too many unexpected events or if they are forced to be
too extraverted for too long. The stress manifests itself by obsessive thoughts on
external data and feelings of the world being against them. They can recover if they
are given time to be alone, get their tasks rebalanced and have time to pursue their
visionary solutions. It's best if others do not try to give them advice or suggestions.
Says Vince, "I can see ways to make information more accurate with less effort which will
greatly benefit the organization. Unfortunately, most people can't see what I see until
I actually can give them a working model. Luckily my current boss has faith in my visions
and gives me some free reign. He doesn't ask me to account for all of my time and gives me
a heads-up when a specific deadline is coming up. This is so much better than my last boss
who pressured me all of the time that I became less effective and wanted to withdraw from
The Inventor is always imagining something new and bounces their ideas off willing
listeners. They are usually very positive and often laugh off anything negative. But
if excessive negativity comes their way and/or they become physically exhausted, their
fluid imagination works overtime and obsesses about problems. They can withdraw and
sleep a lot while their mind deals with the issues. In the worst case they can become
phobic and lose their friendly social abilities. It's best if they can walk away from
their problems for awhile and let their brain rest. Meditation often helps. Quiet
support from others for their physical needs can help. Says Nathan, "I'm basically a
positive person, but every so often I just crash. I feel exhausted and sleep a lot.
I usually come out of it in 2-3 days. When long weekends occur, I don't want a list
of chores to do. I need real recovery time. Getting extra rest and doing something
playful helps me get back to my normal self."
The Architect prides themselves on their objectivity and ability to impartially
analyze and organize thoughts. They enjoy tough critiques that help them to hone the
exactitude of their thoughts. What they don't like is strong emotional expression
directed at them and being denied the alone time that they need. If this goes on too
long, they become highly stressed and may emphasize their logical thinking to the
extreme. They become overly sensitive to relationships with others and can lash out
emotionally. To achieve their normal state again, they need to be left alone and not
asked about their feelings. They also need reduced responsibilities until they recover.
Says Tina, "I'm the one they go to when they have a really complex problem that needs
solving. Last year I was pressured by my new boss to do too many things and solve too
many problems. He even swore at me when I couldn't get results back to him quickly
enough. I learned long ago that I can't function under that kind of behavior. So I
took two days off and then went to see my old boss who had been promoted. I now report
directly to him and have more independence and more peace."
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