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How to Get Stressed


Techniques Managing Stress > How to Get Stressed

Self-focus | Distrust | Fear rejection | Conflict  Overload | Deception | And... | See also


How do people get stressed? Here's just some of the ways. Of course if you avoid or handle these then you can be less stressed. It's up to you.



Think first and last about yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and goals above all other things. Use others for your own ends and with little consideration for their happiness.


We all have a healthy interest in ourselves and maintenance of our sense of identity. Yet those who put themselves above all others pay the ultimate price of loneliness and become anxious about not getting everything or others turning against them.

Paradoxically, there is much happiness to be had through devoted service to others.



Beware of other people. They are probably all out to get you, or at least are so selfish that they care nothing about you. When one person is not wholly trustworthy, generalize this to assume nobody can be trusted. See danger and malice in every face.


We lose the ability to trust when we have bad experiences with others and are unable to predict whether others will be trustworthy. This means we must constantly be on the alert for betrayal and attack. Selfishness can also lead to distrust, where we believe others are as selfish as we are.

Fear of rejection


Think a lot about what other may be thinking about you. Assume they are critical and that no matter how hard you try to please them, you will still always be close to being rejected and ostracized.


Belonging and esteem are deep needs and those who lack self-esteem fear loss of identity through losing the attention and esteem of others. This is no small thing (solitary isolation in prison is a much-feared punishment).



Argue with other people. Try to get them to do things they do not want to do by being authoritarian and commanding. Refuse to do things they ask you to do, getting angry about this.

Also fret about it all later. Worry about rejection. Replay what happened and wish you had said something else. Think about what may happen next.


Many of the problems we have are around other people, where we are easily provoked into the fight-or-flight reaction or post-conflict anxiety.



Take on too much work. Always say yes. Regularly work late to get everything done on time. Believe that if you are not busy you are not worthy.

Gather as much responsibility as you can. Take on challenging new work, trying to learn as you go. Get promoted to your level of incompetence. Muddle through whilst hoping nobody notices the mistakes.

Take on the anxieties of others. Empathize. Feel their stress. Worry about not being able to help them enough.


Taking on too much can also be based on fear of rejection. In order to get the approval of others we take on more and more work. A common reason for this is when seeking promotion, where approval is needed, as well as simple human need for acceptance.



Get what you want through deception. Tell lies, cheat, steal. Then wonder if you will be caught. Worry about whether this makes you a bad person.


This seems like something that few would actually do, yet many of us deceive others in all kinds of ways. And because we are basically good people, we then worry about it. It is only the bad people who are not stressed when they misbehave.


Other ways to get stressed include:

  • Taking mind-altering drugs and other self-harm.
  • Too much of everyday stimulants, such as alcohol, coffee, etc.
  • Not exercising, with too much sitting.
  • Over-eating, especially of the wrong foods
  • Eating irregularly, snacking and grabbing a bite between work.
  • Irregular sleeping habits, including going to bed at various times or waking up at odd hours.
  • Pretending you are not stressed or otherwise coping and covering up internal issues.

See also

Trust, Causes of stress


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