Your Stress Personality is The DOG

Thank you for taking the Stress Personality Quiz. I am so glad you have taken the first step towards operating from your Center; allowing health, peace and transformation to come into your life. This quiz is based on the 4 responses of our autonomic nervous system. The other types include the Horse (flight), Lion, (fight), Turtle (freeze).

This quiz is unique in that it highlights how you respond to various stressful situations. Some responses are healthy but others are not and can work against your best interest. Understanding your stress patterns is the first step in learning how to create new responses so you can stay calm, protect your energy and thrive in social and work environments. We all have this capability and I believe, being calm, empowered and resilient is our natural state. I refer to this state as our Center. 

When we are Centered, we are at peace, in flow and have access to the best aspects of ourselves.  We get taken off-center for many reasons. Our autonomic nervous system (ANS) responds to a threat in an instant with the goal to keep us safe and alive.  It remembers everything so responds to the level of danger or challenge based on the past. These responses may be appropriate at times, but sometimes the body reacts to a threat that isn’t there. Or you miss cues of safety because your system gets stuck in protect/defend mode. When our system gets stuck, these normal nervous system responses can become habits or personality patterns. 


The Dog is also known as the Fawn or Tend and Befriend response. Researchers published a study in 2000 that described the “tend and befriend” response as an alternative to the fight/flight/freeze. Behaviors include tending and caring for others during stressful situations. It is a social form of protection against threat or aggression.

This pattern formed when you were a child. No-one gets out of childhood and adolescence without experiencing some kind of trauma or stressful event. This reactive part of you likely didn’t get the safety, love and reassurance he/she needed at times. 

The great news is that love and safety are within you. You access it from your Center. And with practice, this habitual stress pattern can shift so you operate more and more from your Center.

The DOG: At your best you

•   Are a natural caregiver
•   Tend to others during stressful situations
•   Join or lead groups that care and protect the vulnerable
•   Feel part of a community and value your connections
•   Are intuitive and empathic
•   Have gifts in communication, collaboration and building social networks.
•   Are a great listener

The Unhealthy Dog

You move into the unhealthy range when you ignore your own needs or health due to your focus on pleasing others. 

The “fawn” response, coined by Pete Walker, MFT, in Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, is when a person responds to a threat by trying to be pleasing; preventing an attack or conflict by managing others’ emotions and needs. In childhood you wanted to keep the peace, walked on eggshells around those who were explosive or unpredictable. You took care of the emotional needs of others and ignored your own. 

This ignoring can create a lot of physical/mental symptoms. You learned to shapeshift depending on who you were with. You can’t say no to another volunteer job or you’d prefer other people pick the restaurant because you’d rather everyone be happy than suffer through someone’s upset. You get exhausted from taking care of everyone else on top of your paid job and end up resenting the people in your life

Core False Belief:

I am not OK unless you are OK. 

Biggest Fear:

Letting others down, loss of connection, rejection

3 Ways to Come Back to Center for
The Dog

The keyword for balance is AUTHENTICITY

The first step to shifting your stress pattern so you can respond appropriately to your life is awareness. The second step is compassion. These two core practices are known as tending and befriending. Acknowledging and witnessing your patterns with compassion allows you to move from auto-pilot reactions to responding from your Center. 


Use awareness practices to get in touch with your senses, emotions and thoughts. Learn to observe the consequences of ignoring your own needs and wants.


Dance alone or with others to feel your own body in motion and express freely. Take a walk in the woods and see how the trees are all rooted and thriving together without one having to sacrifice.


Start a journal practice. Ask yourself daily: how am I feeling? What do I want to experience and create? How can I take care of myself today? Fill your own cup before your cup is empty from pouring all day to others.


For Your Spirit

When the roots are deep. There is no reason to fear the wind.

- African Proverb

Are you ready to transform your stress patterns and reclaim your health, energy and purpose?

Let’s work together to free you of your old patterns, heal the trauma and emotional wounds and recover the natural happy and healthy you at the Center.

Schedule a free 20 minute consult to make sure working together is a good fit. I look forward to connecting with you. 

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