The Style Under Stress Test asks participants to pick a specific person or situation where they have a hard time staying in dialogue, and then directs them to answer all the questions in regards to that specific person or situation. The results of the test are not a measure of personality i.e., scoring high on “violence” does not mean you are a “violent person,” but rather it measures our tendencies and skills in a specific situation. Put yourself in a different situation and you’ll behave differently.
Sometimes we use personality type to justify our extreme Style Under Stress (silence or violence). We might say things like, “Of course I treated him that way. I’m an INTJ. That’s just who I am.” Or, “Yes, I said that. But it’s because I’m a ‘yellow’.” I sometimes use these as examples of helpless stories in the introduction of Master My Stories. Specifically, I bring it up on the slide that says “When it matters most, we often do our worst—and we feel like we are doing the right thing.” We behave badly when the stakes are high, then we justify the behavior with our personality type, without realizing we have other options that will help us return to healthy dialogue. This is a quick example that participants might not have thought of, and pointing it out usually gets a good laugh.