Are certain personalities more prone to stress?

måndag 20 februari 2023
Traditional stress research speaks of two different personalities: Type A and Type B respectively. 

Type A behavior stands for competitive mentality, impatience and achievement. You like a fast work pace, push yourself hard, have a great need for control and can easily suffer from outbursts of irritation. In general, you can say that type A personalities have a hard time with slow people, queues and understimulation. They risk heart attacks and other stress-related diseases. 

Type B people are described as patient and long-term planning, with strong self-confidence that is not performance-based. However, many people are a mixture of both personality types. 

More recent research at KI has looked for explanatory models for the fact that women have taken sick leave to a greater extent than men due to stress in recent years. The so-called competence syndrome is based on performance-based self-esteem in women. 

The following risk factors were present for sick leave due to stress/fatigue depression: 
- works too much 
- hard to say no 
- also does colleagues' jobs 
- needs to deliver quickly 
- attends too many meetings 
- strives for perfectionism 
- is responsible for a well-kept home 

Other contributing factors could be career focus, "love to work", overcompensation as a woman among men, early responsibility, detail orientation, etc. As an employer, you need to pay attention to large overtime work, high ambitions in combination with performance-based self-confidence to prevent a negative development for employees in the risk zone. 

Other warning signs are skipped lunches, "tunnel vision", temporary forgetfulness, sleep disturbances, fuzzy organizational structure that invites you to work as much as you want, fluid boundaries between work and leisure, sick leave (not time to be sick) and symptoms such as stomach problems and headaches.