General Question

lilgiraffe's avatar

Why do some people have more stable personalities than others?

Asked by lilgiraffe (283points) July 10th, 2009

In the sense that they are less likely to lose their cool in stressful situations and are able to think logically through things.

Is there any way one can train practice to be more ‘cool’?

I’ve never seen a situation where being hysterical or losing control can gain one respect or help solve problems.

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12 Answers

kenmc's avatar

It takes different strokes to rule the world.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

It’s a matter of how your parents reacted to stress, and how they dealt with it. Police and firemen are trained to be cool under fire, and I think any form of discipline like that can help. They say military training teaches a person how to respond in a stressful situation, and for the most part, that seems true. Try the military, or maybe beome a police officer or firefighter. Those are worthy careers and those people, for the most part, have my respect for being cool under fire.

dannyc's avatar

Genetics and your environment. That elixir: the less volatile and more stable, the end mixture (the resultant personality) will be. Thus, G=genetic predisposition. Let E-environmental factors. Let a=genetic rating of amount of unstable characteristics. Let b= hierarchial rating of parental or home environmental weight. Let X=Personality Quotient.
X=a x G + b x E. The higher the X, the more unstable the personality. a ranges from .1 to 1.0, b from .1 to 1.0. The weight is studied from models that predict factors from the individuals specific condition.

YARNLADY's avatar

According to wikipedia: “Child abuse and neglect consistently evidence themselves as antecedent risks to the development of personality disorders.” “Contemporary research suggests that most personality traits are based on the joint influence of genetics and environment.” Duh.

There are the Psychoanalytic Theories, Behaviorists Theories, Social cognitive Theories, and, my personal favorite, the Humanistic theories.

The most current reports come from laboratories that are funded by pharmaceutical firms, and are concentrated on the biological/chemical bases of personality.

WifeOfBath's avatar

I think balanced hormones, diet, ones environment, a stable secure upbringing and genetics plays an important part in stable personalities…:)

augustlan's avatar

You can get some training by going to therapy, practicing meditation, etc. Anti-anxiety drugs are extremely helpful if the problem is severe. (My problems were severe.)

cyndyh's avatar

Assuming you’re not talking about a really severe problem, I think getting enough sleep, knowing some ways to de-stress yourself, and practice dealing with whatever type of stressful situation you’re worried about help a whole lot.

Also, I think a lot of people just get better at dealing with stress as they age. You get to a point where you just know what you need to do and you see what will and won’t help.

Phobia's avatar

I suffered from Manic-Depression when I was younger, so I was pretty unstable. When faced with a stressful situation, my mind would race, I couldn’t think clearly. I would have outbursts that I couldn’t control sometimes. Sometimes it was in anger, sometimes I would go near suicidal.

I’ve learned to manage it now, though. I never learned any calming techniques, I just learned to take it all in stride. I haven’t had a problem with it for a few years now.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it is a combination of genetics and environment; environment being the biggest factor. If you were raised by parents who lost their cool all of the time, you probably have a tendence to do the same. I definitely think you can change this type of behavior. One, just being self aware helps. Most people are not aware at all of how they are coming accross to others. Two, surrounding yourself with people who have a calm way of handing things can provide you an example and help keep you from getting wound up.

I agree, that sometimes medication can be used to help, might be just a temporary measure during times of extreme stress. Simplifying and being organized can help unclutter ones mind from feeling overwhelmed and gain more control. If you drink a lot of caffiene you might want to consider cutting back or going off of it.

JLeslie's avatar

Also, if you drink, stop. You may think it is not affecting you, but if you drink every day, even if it is just a couple of beers at night, I personally believe that if you have trouble controlling your mood this could be a factor. Although, plenty of people have trouble with tempers and don’‘t drink.

mammal's avatar

meditation is good, but losing your cool
isn’t necessarily unproductive or even uncool

Darwin's avatar

There are techniques one can learn to help keep one’s cool under stress. However, much of the variation is due to brain chemistry, either inherited or induced, and much is due to how you saw others react as you were growing up. Medication can change the brain chemistry and making deliberate choices can alter the effect of nurture.

Here is one person’s opinion of what to do, and here is a list by an over-achiever.

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