Even if you don’t experience holiday stress yourself, DISC can give you personality-specific strategies you can use to help relieve the stress of the people around you.
Personality Type D: People with a type D personality hate the idea of being taken advantage of. They need to feel appreciated, like their efforts are being acknowledged. When they don’t feel appreciated, it can cause tension, which can lead to stress. If you are around someone with a type D personality, be sure to thank them for all the things they do around the holidays. Did they rearrange their work schedule to make it to a family party? Did they bake a killer pumpkin pie? Give them the chance to do something they excel at, let them do it on their own terms, and tell them how much you appreciate the final product. That’s the key to a happy and stress-free D.
Personality Type I: People with an I personality type thrive in a happy, social, and collaborative environments. When you have an I in your life around the holidays, try to keep things light and fun. They’re amazing conversationalists and always have a great story to tell. Let them! Don’t let them get isolated or bogged down by over-committing to too many events and gatherings. Help them simplify so that they have time for the social part of the holidays. Besides, isn’t the time you spend with your family the most important part of the holidays, anyway?
Personality Type S: People with an S personality are great at taking care of others. They’re not so great at taking care of themselves. At the holidays, S personalities go into overdrive, trying to do everything they can think of to please everyone around them. They won’t ask for help and will drive themselves into a stress-fueled state of exhaustion. Help by reminding them that they don’t need to bake 6 different kinds of cookies when two would be just fine. Sure, who doesn’t like cookies? But you know what everyone likes better? To hang out with someone who isn’t stressed out by overdoing it in the kitchen.
Personality Type C: People with a C personality are planners. It’s hard for them to adjust when things don’t go according to plan and can become very stressed out by trying to adhere to long “to do” lists and predetermined expectations. They want things to be perfect. When you’re around a C at the holidays, your job is to help them relax and let go of expectations. When possible, remind them that it’s okay to enjoy the moment, and no one will judge if they deviate from their plans. Or if you’re dealing with a hardcore high C, then help them cross the things off their list that need to get done, so they can get to a place where they can let go and enjoy themselves. Whatever you do, don’t criticize their plans. That will only make their stress levels skyrocket.
For everyone dealing with holiday stress, regardless of personality type, here’s some advice: Challenge your expectations. Be open to change. If something’s not working for you, try something else. Do you really have to make buckeyes this year? What about Christmas cards? What can you let go so that you can enjoy yourself?
If you’re feeling stressed this holiday season or know someone close to you who’s stressed, check out our recorded webinar How to Beat Holiday Stress. The webinar taught by master DISC trainer John Schindell covers the ways that personality type can be used to identify (and avoid) triggers for stress and how to handle the negative effects of stress using strategies determined by your DISC personality type.