Friday, January 16, 2009
Idealists Out of Balance
Note to self - reread this as necessary:
Dealing with Stress from Work: Idealists Out of Balance
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 Idealists tend to work for a better future for all, if things keep going badly and they lose hope they become stressed. When Idealists experience great stress, they can have muscle or sensory problems.
The Teacher is likely to become stressed if they experience an absence of trust and too much pressure to conform. They also dislike interpersonal conflict. If this happens, they may become excessively critical, which is antithetical to their normal positive self. One of the signs that the Teacher is in high stress is muscle tics or cramps. To recover, this normally social type must be left alone. Solitude and journal writing can help them get back to normal. Also getting out of the current arena of conflict and taking on a new project can restore their sense of self. Says Josephina, “My old boss and I worked like a charm. I had plenty of freedom and a crew to lead. Then she retired and my new boss was quite different. She wanted to inspect everything I did and insisted upon her way of doing everything. Some of her ideas were good, but others didn’t work at all. She wouldn’t listen to me. I got a tic in my right eye and had problems sleeping because of restless leg syndrome which I’d never had before. Something had to change. Then I heard about a special project which needed a new team and I applied. I’ m now on the team, my tic and restless leg syndrome is gone. I never realized before how much I needed to be trusted and free to exchange ideas on improving things.”
The Counselor can become stressed when they are required to deal with too many unexpected events or required to be too extraverted for too long a time. They can get overwhelmed if they are required to continually do very detailed work. If this happens, their muscles tighten up and they begin to see the external world through suspicious lenses. To return to normal, they need time alone to recharge and a lightening of their usual schedule. It will not help if others give them advice. Stretching exercises and calm, solitary walks will help. Says Lorraine, “I’m good at giving speeches. People see me as confident. But then they will want me to do more and more so I have no time alone and no time to recover. It’s been hard, but I’ve learned to say ‘no’ because if I don’t the personal consequences will be worse, and I won’t be good for anything or anybody.”
The Champion is usually a bundle of energy, but they can become exhausted if they are overloaded with work. They also will experience stress if their values and principles are violated and they see others in the company being hurt by policies that kill the human spirit. Then they become hypersensitive to what is going on around them. Facts become exaggerated. They have feelings of paranoia and may withdraw. To regain their equilibrium, meditation will help. Kindness and support by others, but not patronization, will help them get back to normal. Says Gloria, “I’d given a number of years of support to one boss, then he started bad-mouthing me. It threw me into a turmoil. I became suspicious of him and everyone else. Then a friend said that the boss was blowing up at everyone, not just me, and encouraged me to look at a position in a new section. I meditated to become centered again, then applied for the job. I love my new job and now life is great again. My old boss retired; he was drinking too much.”
The Healer is the most sensitive of all the Idealists to a negative environment. They notice problems in a work group before anyone else. Divisions within a work group can cause fear of impending loss. Also violation of their values can trigger stress. When stressed, they are likely to act out of character and take on behaviors that are not normally associated with them. They can seem to others as if they are splintered. Sometimes they will blame themselves, other times they will lash out at others. They may act precipitously or not act at all. To get back to normal, they need a lot of space and need to have their feelings validated. It doesn’t help to tell them that they are imagining things. It is important that the negative environment be dealt with by others or that the Healer be allowed to move to a more positive environment. Says Heinrik, “I’m in health education. We have many programs to help people live healthier lives. An outsider began to influence our boss, saying that he was more successful and could do better. Our boss began to criticize all of us. Everyone started pulling away from each other. I found myself being nasty to others, which is very unusual for me. Luckily, our boss found out that this outsider was just good at getting and had moved from county to county and not accomplished much. I’m glad we’re back to being a team.”