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Personality Clues for Teenagers

Understand your personality traits and make amazing choices

Are you a stress-sensitive teen? continued...

"Responsive teens often see their peers taking on many commitments at school and after school," Sundstrom explains. "While these sensitive teens want to compete and fit in with the crowd, they usually find the extra commitments far more challenging and have extreme difficulty when they overextend."

Sundstrom recommends that stress-sensitive or responsive teens spend time understanding themselves so they can develop the proper pacing and get the emotional support they need. "If responsive teens take on more than they can reasonably handle, they easily get stressed out, even ill. Once they're in overload, they are more prone to cope in unhealthy ways, with eating disorders, cigarette smoking or alcohol and drug use. Many responsive or stress-sensitive teens risk suffering depression, and even suicidal tendencies, when they are overwhelmed."

Are you a stress-tolerant teen?

If you identified with Scenario 2, you are probably more stress tolerant or resilient. Resilient teens deal with life's pressures in a calm manner. Nothing seems to throw them. They handle disappointments and frustrating situations just as they handle exciting times - with emotional balance. Resilient teens rarely get upset or nervous, and when they do, they snap back the next day, ready to take on more challenges.

Sundstrom points out that many choices in high school and college hinge on personality traits. "If you are the outgoing, resilient teen, you might want to live on campus and have a roommate. If you are the responsive, stress-sensitive teen, you might need a private room with no roommate, so you can close the door and be alone when you begin to feel stressed."

Don't crash and burn

Let's face it. Being a hormonal teenager in itself is stressful. But when you add other stressors like difficult classes, exams, part-time jobs, and peer pressure, it's enough to put stress-sensitive teens over the edge. There is a better way to live.

Sundstrom recommends that teens stop and take some time to get to know themselves. "You can find a simple personality test on the Internet and do a profile designed for teens to establish your unique traits. Also, talk to your school counselor or a professional therapist about taking a personality inventory."

School counselors have access to individual personality tests. It's just a matter of inquiring about them. Professional therapists may be able to interpret the results of personality tests, giving you deeper insight into what the traits mean to you-and how you can change your behavior and make amazing decisions that fit your unique traits.

Know your stress style and thrive

Most importantly, Sundstrom warns, know who you are. Know what makes you feel satisfied and fulfilled, and what makes you feel stressed out. Understand your limits before you take on one more commitment or project. The more aware you are of your stress style, whether responsive or resilient, the better able you'll be to find your special interests and feel successful with healthy choices.

Reviewed on June 01, 2007

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