This entry is the 2nd in a series of 5 where Keirsey Temperament expert Edward Kim addresses a reader’s question on dealing with stress. The first article is linked here.
Each of us deals with stress differently. Taken to the extreme, each of us has our different ways of “going insane” so to speak. Depending on your temperament (Artisan, Guardian, Idealist, or Rational), you may be triggered differently, and you may behave differently from others who are of a different temperament.
Jobs are scarce. Your stocks are not what they used to be. Bills are piling sky high. You owe more money on your home than what you paid for it. These are difficult times. Our reactions to financial stress depend on the way we understand and approach the world. Each temperament has a natural pitfall they will tend to gravitate toward, and that they should try to avoid. In today’s article, we will be discussing the Guardian. If you are a Guardian, then this article will hopefully be of help to you. If you are not a Guardian, chances are that you know many Guardians (they represent about 40% – 45% of the general population—reading this article may help you understand a friend, and enable you to assist in their time of need.
For Guardians, “Money represents status and stability.” For Guardians, money should be earned diligently, saved steadily, subject to a budget, and stored in a reliable system to earn interest. Money represents security for the future. Guardians will stick to a boring job much longer than any other types in exchange for the constancy they receive. Their anxiety about the future causes them to be frugal and conservative with their money.
With this economic downturn, Guardians can feel outraged or betrayed. The promise of the “American Dream” has turned into a nightmare for these responsible pillars of society. Guardians have generally done the most to avoid financial distress, so they may feel hit the hardest. The current recession is like running into a brick wall for these super dependable citizens. Guardians have fed into the system, and therefore expect the system to take care of them. They have paid their dues, and earned their way, and have even contributed to the welfare of others. During a layoff, a Guardian can have greater difficulty than other personality types. The prospect of losing it all makes them feel that the years of hard work were all in vain. Losing a job feels shameful. Being stripped of title, position, and status is a tremendous blow—resulting in shame. If not careful, Guardians can spiral down into a deep gloom, heading down a path of depression.
Tips for Managing Your Stress:
1. Guardians have a need to “get it off their chest.” If you are a Guardian, find a family member or friend who can hear you vent your frustration. If you know a Guardian, being that listening ear or the person who holds the “punching bag” can be an enormous gift.
2. Guardians are natural “counters”—they are observant, and have a knack for noticing anything that is missing, out of place, or what is needed. During stressful times, this can lead just as easily to negativity, a pessimistic outlook, or fatalistic thoughts. A good exercise is to make a list of the top 10 things that are so terrible alongside a list of the top 10 things which are wonderful. Guardians have the ability to notice, so our suggestion is that they take the time to notice the good and “count” their blessings.
3. Guardians find comfort in listening to the advice of trusted experts. Our suggestion is that you seek advice from an authority you trust. Guardians like steps to be outlined—so if you’re a Guardian, let an expert chart a new plan for you. With a concrete plan for action, Guardians are likely to follow through. Guardians are self-sacrificing, and therefore, can work long, and tirelessly. Clearly outlined steps will help them to reclaim their social standing.