Two Broad Types
“The first is the more active, zealous type…seek out stimulation, are highly extroverted, and tend to be spontaneous and fun-loving. The second type of self-healing personality is the calmer, more relaxed type – active, alert, involved, and responsive, but calm, philosophical, and bemused” (Friedman & Schustack, 2012, p. 401). What is of paramount importance or key is that each of these personality types has their own construct for stress, how much, how little, and what it looks like for them. For instance, I would fall within the second category preferring a structured, low-key environment, cognizant that stressful events occur randomly.
Further, traits such as control, commitment, and challenge are related to well-being. Although, society has made the term “control” almost pejorative in usage, people need to have a sense of control and/or expectancy regarding various aspects of their lives. For instance, we choose our employment. Should that choice be taken away from us, such as being laid off, that person would understandably experience a psychological setback until they readjust. Commitment and challenge are almost interconnected in that we are often committed to things that challenge us intellectually, emotionally, or psychologically. We are also committed to our families, friends, and life goals. These things give our lives boundaries and meaning. Meaning or sense-making relates to a sense of coherence defined as “a person’s confidence that the world is understandable, manageable, and meaningful” (Friedman & Schustack, 2012, p. 12). Fiske (2010) suggests individuals are motivated to fulfill five core social motives: understanding the world we live in, trusting in a just and fair world, belonging in groups, with people, controlling our environment such that we understand if we do “x,” then “y,” will likely occur, and self-enhancement, i.e., feeling good about ourselves and the lives we lead. It would seem, therefore, that there is a connection between the self-healing personalities and the related traits of control, commitment, challenge, trust, devotion, and sense of coherence.
Fiske, S. T. (2010). Social beings: Core motives in social psychology (2nd Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic theories and modern research (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.