Is Stress The Key To Happiness?

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, December 11, 2023
Is Stress The Key To Happiness?

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What describes you best?

Type 1: If you have the personality type where action and power are what make you the happiest, the opposite of that — feeling powerless — will throw you into your conflict resolution mode (intimidation) like that <snaps fingers>.

What if you have the personality type where group activities are what make you happiest?

Type 2: You love being the glue that brings and holds everyone together, essentially being the source of "love" in the group. The opposite of that is feeling unloved or being unworthy of love. When that happens, you manipulate others on an emotional level with an instinctive mastery rivaling that of the greatest Jedi mind trick.

Type 3: The world is filled with unsolved problems desperately in need of a solution, and your personality type makes you feel as if given enough proper and focused thought you'd have the answer. But what happens when others express doubts in your ability and make you feel as if you're not wise enough to complete the riddle? You will interrogate, asking questions that are so intellectually sound that the other person can't help but come to the conclusion that they are the foolish ones, not you.

What happens when others express doubts in your ability and make you feel as if you're not wise enough to complete the riddle?

Type 4: Your joy comes from knowing the answers. Your sense of worth will not be defined by mere tidbits or snippets of trivia, but your reason for being can only be established when you have all the answers. Your depth of knowledge and data on a subject (all subjects, if you can swing it) must be complete, and being able to say, "I have the info you need," makes you feel a sense of gratification and happiness unsurpassed by any other event or activity. Being made to feel ignorant or forced into a situation where you have to say, "I don't know" can throw you into a state of aloof judgment. Yep, judging the other person with aloof stoicism is how you'll react because nothing will stress you out more than being made to feel ignorant.

Four Types. Millions of Combinations.

You may have noticed a trend here. Based on four broad categorizations of personality types, the source of a person's greatest fear or stress also happens to be the opposite of what brings them the greatest joy.

The human population cannot be grouped into four personality types. We're much too complex for that.

What actually happens is each person has a particular ratio or percentage of those four personality types (called core value energies) within their overall psychometric profile. In other words, there's a certain amount of each of the four core value energies within you.

Understanding how these core value energies can be a cause of stress, and then learning how you react to that stress, can give you great insight into your own personality. That insight can greatly enhance your ability to navigate through your personal and professional life with greater ease.

→ To get started, take the Core Value Index™ psychometric assessment.

Your results will show the particular ratio of the four core value energies that exist within your personality's DNA. When one core value energy is high, the others will be proportionally lower.

Some people have profoundly specific personality types, where their CVI profile is shifted significantly into one core value energy. The other core value energies are much lower within them.

Some people have well-rounded personalities, where their CVI profile is spread evenly (more or less) across all four core value energies.

Regardless of the "shape" or allocation of your CVI scores, learning how each of the four core value energies responds to stress can benefit you.

Learn How Others Respond to Stress

Once you have taken the CVI and understood your own reactions and preferences, you can also learn what makes other people stressed out and how they respond to it.

For example, if your significant other has a CVI profile with a primary (dominant) core value energy of Builder, they like to take bold action and get things done, always having faith in themselves to know what to do. What will make them feel stressed and go into their conflict resolution strategy of intimidation? You guessed it, being made to feel powerless.

The core value energy type called Merchant loves being the motivation that gets everyone moving forward. They have great enthusiasm at the beginning of projects and feel great joy by infecting others with their enthusiasm. They also love being the center of that group, playing a central role in maintaining that sense of togetherness.

To accomplish this, those with primary Merchant core value energy like to feel loved and worthy of love. When that goes away, they shift into their conflict resolution strategy of manipulation. They will resort to emotionally manipulating others to build themselves back up again, sometimes using the tactic of getting others to gang up on perceived competitors or enemies in their bid to regain that "center of attention" status.

The third type of personality is called Innovator. As you can guess, people with Innovator as their primary core value energy love to solve problems.

Being the most relied-upon source of wisdom and answers to every problem is the Innovator's biggest source of joy.

"Let's ask Barbara. She'll know what to do," is music to an Innovator's ears (at least if that Innovator is named Barbara).

What's the opposite of being wise? Being made to feel foolish or seen as incapable of finding the answer to a tough challenge; that will demoralize an Innovator quicker than anything. "I don't have confidence you can figure it out," drains an Innovator's soul. They will quickly resort to their conflict resolution strategy of interrogation. They won't intimidate like a primary Builder, or manipulate like a Merchant, but instead will ask leading questions in an effort to make you look foolish instead.

The final personality type are called Bankers. Those with this core value energy in the primary spot of their CVI profile value being the definitive source of knowledge and data. They spend many hours researching topics to gain as much information as possible, even if it's just learning which Belgian waffle maker meets all the criteria specified in a special spreadsheet they created on their computer.

The opposite of being knowledgeable is being ignorant.

If you make a Banker feel ignorant, their conflict resolution strategy is to aloofly judge you. They will go quiet and refuse to offer any more of their valuable and hard-earned knowledge and information — they deem you unjustly deserving of receiving it and therefore will stop sharing. (Justice is a big deal to Bankers.)

How You See The World

Knowing your own CVI profile and how it influences the activities you enjoy, the way you see the world, and what stresses you out is only half the CVI's benefit. Learning how to spot the CVI profiles of others and interacting with them in an optimal way is the other half.

Recognizing how someone is reacting to stress is one of the quickest ways you can guess another person's likely CVI profile.

Did they become intimidating or try to manipulate you emotionally? Did they respond by asking interrogative questions or go into a state of aloof judgment?

These conflict resolution strategies will tell you what that person's likely primary core value energy is. Use this knowledge to quickly diffuse the tense situation.

  • Stop making the Builder feel powerless.
  • Return to the Merchant the sense that they are loved and worthy of being loved.
  • Let the Innovator have a shot at solving the problem.
  • Rely on the Banker to have (or obtain) the knowledge and information you seek.
Learning how to recognize the way your own CVI profile influences your perspective on the world and how those same energies influence every other person you meet is a powerful ability.

The CVI can radically improve your relationships and ability to communicate effectively, even with complete strangers.

If you haven't completed the Core Values Index psychometric assessment, go to It takes just 8 minutes to complete and you get useful graphs and a 17-page report customized to your particular CVI profile, plus a PDF download of The Core Values Handbook, a 173-page book written by Lynn Ellsworth Taylor, the creator of the CVI.

Core Values Index™ and CVI™ are trademarks of Taylor Protocols, Inc.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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