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Burger defines personality as consistent behavior patterns and intrapersonal processes that take place within an individual. (Burger, 2008 p.4) This means that individuals behave in a way that is predictable and altogether expected since we draw these conclusions from an observers point of view. Again, the intrapersonal processes that are taking place within the individual have to do with their emotional and cognitive aspects of processing the external and or internal stimuli and how we react to these stimuli. Personality is forged through human interaction right from birth. It is part of the human growth process. Shetty observes that Values are experiences that a child undergoes during its formative years. He further adds that a child who observes vices and negative behavioral responses from his or her parents absorbs these actions as part of his or her own personality.
Stress is intricately tied to our personality. Sometimes stress is part of the person-making process, with individuals adopting certain practices of alleviating stress that eventually become a part of who they are. On the other hand, personality can shape the forms of expression of stress when individuals come under pressure. This is what Naomi describes as the inferior function of stress expression. She says that there are two dynamics that are in operation when it comes to alleviating or dealing with stress. There is the dominant function that focuses on cognitive process and there is the inferior function that focuses on primitive intuitive processes. (Naomi 2002) These forces are in a limbo and exist in such a balance as to definitively create personalities depending on which side we tend to lean more.
There are the two major personality types; the introverts and the extroverts. In an experiment to determine responses of introverts and extroverts under pressure Barbara concluded that introverts have a higher yielding point than extroverts do while in timed activities extroverts tend to perform better because they are relatively agile and quick. (Barbara 2009) Stress affects people with different personalities differently, Introverts deal with stress from a subject point of view while extroverts deal with stress from an object point of view.
An article at the Discovery Fit & Health website says the following about stress and personalities
"People with "Type A" personalities, for example, are rushed, ambitious, time-conscious and driven. Studies suggest these traits, if not properly managed, can create stress-related illnesses. In contrast, the "Type B" personality is a much more relaxed, less time-conscious and driven person. Type B personalities are able to view things more adaptively. They are better able to put things into perspective, and think through how they are going to deal with situations. Consequently they tend to be less stress-prone."
In a research done by Eysenck about the relationship between smoking and personality traits, he discovered that those who smoked for pleasure and therefore exhibited a extraversion form of behavior had less stress while those who he referred to as smoking to drown their sorrow and therefore of an introversive form tended to be very stressed. (Eysenck, 1991) However, introversion and extroversion forms are in all individuals in varied proportions. Daryl says that we need both of these for the sake of personal development, which is a critical part of dealing with stress. (Daryl, 1987)
In conclusion, stress development is tied to personality traits or types. Individuals respond differently to stress depending on the kind of personality traits they exhibit. Stress can be advanced or contained by individuals depending on how they respond to factors surrounding their stressing conditions. Individuals take different measures to curb stress and therefore different responses achieve different results on alleviating stress. Introverts and extroverts show different styles of relating to stress and consequently relating to those who are around them. Individuals can strike a balance between introversion and extraversion in order to deal with stress effectively as part of personal therapy.