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  • Terry Elmaleh

Identifying who can cope with stress

A person who feels stressed can be described as someone who is experiencing his present surrounding environment in an unwanted or unpleasant way - with negative energy. By trying to cope with this, the person feels distressed, tired and anxious. Stress is, by and large, the imbalance that a person suffers from when the discrepancy between what is expected of him and what he is capable of starts to bother him. Causes of stress can be real or perceived; what is important is that the person is disturbed by them.

Some people need only a small trigger before the feelings of distress begin whilst others can take vast amounts of pressure before they succumb to the hazards of stress.

In small amounts stress can be helpful, motivating and lead to increased productivity and can push a person to achieve his best. However being in a constant state of stress leads to impaired physical, social, and psychological health. A person’s relationships, moods, sleep patterns and quality of life and work can be seriously affected.

Causes of stress at work:

Too cold, too hot, too humid, too isolated, too crowded, too noisy, too quiet

Overwork and responsibility

Underwork and boredom leading to frustration

Personal health problems

Group pressure


Perceived threat especially to one’s own values and goals

Lack of control over events and workload, real or perceived

Common everyday negative life experiences

Lack of support from colleagues and managers

Lack of structure and definition in job description

Inflexible work hours or excessive work hours especially for mothers

Lack of training and learning

Knowing whether a potential employee is prone to “unhealthy stress” is an invaluable piece of information for a company in deciding whether this person is an appropriate fit for the position, promotion or move to a different department. An individual who is suffering from “unhealthy” stress and whose life is being affected by this stress is easily identified by their handwriting.

When directly asking a prospective employee questions about his ability to contain stress levels, it is fairly easy for the person to pre-empt what he is being asked and therefore feign what he perceives to be a correct answer.

Handwriting analysis reveals the individual’s real personality which he is incapable of masking with his handwriting. For example, it is fairly easy to assume what an interviewer is getting at when he asks: “Do you let go of your anger easily?” Anyone who would want this job and who realises the consequences of replying “Not for about a week” would automatically say “Absolutely!”

Some people self-generate stress such as those that lack assertiveness, are pessimistic, engage in negative self-talk and those who have unrealistic expectations of their environment and themselves.

Handwriting Analysis can be used as a tool for identifying emotionality, lack of concentration, tensed muscles, fatigue, agitation, defense mechanisms at work and a lack of commitment – all possible signs of stress.

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