Stress — 4 reactions that could be killing your relationship

Stressed Out

Are you causing a hurricane in your home? Stress can ruin the best relationships. These days, most of us live with it most of the time. Because of the recent hurricane, stress from natural disasters are on the forefront of my mind, but stress comes in many forms, and, for many reasons. Money, job, life, time, and so many other things can cause stress and reactions to stress from everyone around you.

Knowing how you and your loved ones react, respond, and recover from stress is one key to great relationships. When you are able to recognize responses to stress, it allows for tolerance in the midst of turbulence.

Stress Reaction
More important is self-awareness grants us the opportunity to rise above basic human instinct and treat each other with the kindness and love we want to be treated with during hard times.

When it comes to stress, are you the Watcher, the Igniter, the Keeper or the Starter, in the house?

The WATCHER can be overly critical. If they are going through something you will notice them tighten up their ship. Suddenly they go into systems mode and if you aren’t performing at a high enough level in their mind they may lash out at you with criticism.

The IGNITER can become impulsive and stop listening, simply responding in ways they think will help the situation. This can be good in a fight or flight scenario, but when working as a team, the Igniter can seem like a lone ranger who’s off doing their own thing. The usually cheerful Igniter can wilt in a hurry under too much pressure, causing them to fold entirely, opting out of the tasks.

The KEEPER can internalize and take everything on alone without delegating or asking for help, then they may feel taken advantage of and secretly harbor ill feelings, much like a victim. They can become inexpressive and nod yes even when they disagree. Stress can result in a shutdown of all systems or even trigger passive aggressive reactions toward others.

The STARTER may have a short-fuse and become frustrated, impatient and begin over delegating to others. They will develop tunnel vision and get tasks accomplished. The Starter may resent interference, even from those who are trying to be helpful. Anything that interferes with the Starters chances of producing, winning and succeeding could become a problem.

So what can you do about this?

There’s a lot that can be done to counter balance people under stress, but the best way is to identify your own possible responses to stress and monitor yourself. Be aware of your ability to negatively impact other people when you’re stressed out, rather than having to ask for forgiveness later.

It also helps to learn to recognize all four styles of behavior so you can spot reactions under stress and not take them personally.

For more information about Watchers, Igniters, Keepers and Starters in the W.I.K.S. Relationships System go to BRING Back the FIRE.

Until next time,

Stay HOT!