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Can Your Personality Help You Deal with the Economy?

By: Steve Johnson

1/16/2009 - 16 Comments

Do some people have a personality advantage in a recession?  This is an interest question.

Some people think of me as a doom-and-gloomer focused on the bad news.  I don’t see it that way.  I happen to think that the doom-and-gloomers that have been discarded and discredited for the last 50 years – were right all along.

I see myself as a ‘realist’ that is optimistic about finding lasting solutions for our economic problems.  It just so happens that many of my ideas are opposite of the central planning activities of our government – which is completely responsible for the mess that we are in. 

To provide evidence to my assertion that I am a realist, just look at how accurate my year end predictions were – even though at the time I make them they were thought to be very pessimistic. 

The other day I found an interesting article about a research study that found some personalities tend to deal with economic turmoil better than others.  Here is what it said;

“But some personality types appear to thrive amid flux, says psychologist Frank Farley of Temple University in Philadelphia. He suggests that “Type T” personalities are thrill seekers who tend to be self-confident, are often creative and innovative, have high energy and believe they control their own fate. He says they may view the economic uncertainty as “an opportunity."

Optimism and resiliency are also positive traits for a down economy. Psychologists say most traits are about half due to genetics and half to environment, but Suzanne Segerstrom, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky-Lexington, says optimism seems more externally influenced and changes over time.”

I’m not sure what a Type T personality is, but this description is pretty close to describing me.  I am a thrill seeker with self-confidence, creativity and innovative.  I have high energy and believe that I control my own fate (as God allows) and am responsible to use the gifts that God has given me. I see great opportunities ahead for America to rebuild its manufacturing industry and once again become the world’s greatest producer. 

I think the last part is the most important.  “Psychologists say most traits are about half due to genetics and half to environment”   You see, anyone can take on these traits just as I have found my optimism and resilience through many trials of entrepreneurship - so can you.

To answer the question: Do some people have a personality advantage in a recession?  I believe the answer is YES.  But everyone has an opportunity to deal with the recession in their own way, to ignore the problems (depression, denial) or try to compromise (federal bailouts) or face them (acceptance).

The federal bailouts indicate that we are a nation in denial, trying to bargain for an easier way out. But after a few more rounds of bargaining, the realities of the situation will sink in and we will eventually need to face the recession.  At that time, we will need a strong leader (like Obama) to unite the nation to fight the recession.

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