friends having lunch
1 / 11

Extroverted

Researchers can’t explain why exactly, but people who socialize more often appear to have stronger immune systems. In one study, people who said they spent more time around others were shown to be less likely to catch a cold.

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mature man looking in mirror
2 / 11

Narcissistic

Men who feel they deserve special treatment and tend to take advantage of other people may be more likely to have certain health conditions, including heart problems. This may be because researchers have found that they have unusually high levels of the stress-related chemical cortisol in their systems, even when they’re not in stressful situations. This isn’t the case for narcissistic women.

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woman smiling
3 / 11

Optimistic

A positive outlook may boost your overall physical health. And if you do become ill, that attitude may help you deal with it and have a better quality of life. Research shows that optimists may be more likely to accept their illnesses and try to find the humor in difficult situations.

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woman with insomnia
4 / 11

Pessimistic

Some studies have shown that people who are resentful and unhappy are less likely to take their medicine as they should and may not sleep well. But other research has shown that if you tend to expect the worst, you might be more careful about your well-being and live longer.

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man working on crossword puzzle
5 / 11

Resilient

Researchers have described this characteristic as curious, sociable, and cooperative. If this sounds like you, you might be more likely to exercise, stay engaged with the world around you, and do activities that work your brain, like crossword puzzles. Studies have found that these things may help you stay sharp mentally.

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man standing in rain
6 / 11

Stoic

You might think of this as a “stiff upper lip” approach to life: an emphasis on independence and not complaining in the face of discomfort. But this personality trait can cause problems if you try to tough it out instead of getting help for a health issue.

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mature couple walking
7 / 11

Conscientious

This characteristic is linked to good health and long life, in part because you’re more likely to make good decisions. People with this trait tend to eat well and exercise, and they seem less likely to smoke, use drugs, drink too much, or do other unhealthy things. They’re also more likely to be better off financially and be in stable relationships, which boost your well-being.

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cigarettes and beer
8 / 11

Impulsive

This personality trait can lead to many kinds of unhealthy activities, including alcohol and drug abuse and behavioral addictions like compulsive gambling. It also may be linked to ulcers in men, but more research is needed to know for sure.

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woman holding head
9 / 11

Anxious

People who tend to be nervous or tense have a higher risk of certain conditions, including stroke and heart disease. High levels of angst may play a role in tension headaches and migraines, too.

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person holding pill box
10 / 11

Empowered

A feeling that you’re in control can be good for your health. You’re more likely to take medicine the way your doctor prescribed it, for instance. But it can have a downside, too. If you feel emboldened to make decisions about your care when you don’t necessarily have good information, that can cause problems.

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steaming teapot
11 / 11

Hostile

This trait is linked to some health problems, including heart disease. Researchers also found that people who have high levels of anger and aggression may be more likely to get certain types of migraines. Other diseases linked to those kinds of feelings include bulimia, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 01/04/2018 Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on January 04, 2018

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SOURCES:

Activities, Adaptation and Aging, 2015.

BMJ Open, 2017.

Explore, May 2005.

Brain, Behavior and Immunity, July 2008.

Health Psychology, published online Sept. 19, 2011.

Appetite, February 2014.

Gastroenterology, December 1986.

Gastroenterology, January 1992.

American Heart Association: "Anxiety Linked to Long-term Stroke Risk."

Journal of the American College of Cardiology, June 2010. 

Psychopathology, July-August 2002.

Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, published online May 14, 2010.

Psychological Science, September 2003.

Health Psychology, January 2006.

Journal of Medicine and Life, published online Nov. 15, 2010.

Eating Behaviors, published online July 15, 2016.

PLOS One, published online Oct. 17, 2017.

University of Michigan: “Painful egos: Narcissism may be harmful for men.”

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on January 04, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.