Here’s How Your Partner Copes With Stress

Can We Learn How To Cope With Stress From The Opposite Sex?

When it comes to coping with stress, scientific research has shown that men and women have very different coping strategies. Whether it’s dealing with stress at work, stress at home or unexpected stressors affecting their entire lives; men and women have created methods to cope to keep their brains and bodies under the least amount of strain as possible. 

In this article we’ll delve into a few science-backed ways that men and women cope with stress and hopefully teach you one or two new ways to tackle it head on. 

2 Ways Women Tackle Stress 

Social Support 

Researchers found that one of the main differences when coping with stress was that,  “women reported seeking social support and used emotion-focused coping to a greater extent than men.” This means that women were found to rely on friends and family for advice and support and this was deemed to be beneficial. Other studies found the same, reporting an “increased use of focus on and venting of emotions as a coping style.” 

You could implement this technique by opening up to a close friend about your worries and share your load. Try venting to a family member and see what advice they have to offer.

Distraction Methods 

Kiron’s study, Recent research in stress, coping and women’s health, found that women often use distraction methods to handle stress. If under stress some women will seek distractions through exercise, taking on a new hobby or other similar distraction methods. This can mean avoiding the issue, but it can also result in decreasing stress levels via aversion techniques. 

You could implement this technique by choosing a healthy distraction when you know a stressful situation can’t be solved right away. The best option is to exercise or immerse yourself in a good brain-boosting book.

2 Ways Men Tackle Stress 

Problem-Focused Coping

Men reported using relatively more problem-focused coping than women in numerous studies. These findings are “consistent with the notion that men and women are socialized to cope with stress in different ways.” Problem-focused coping aims to resolve the stressful situation by changing or ridding of the source of stress. 

You could implement this technique by identifying what the stressor is and how the stress can be lessened. For example if your 1 hour driving commute is stressful, look at getting a more comfortable automatic car or ask your manager if you can start and finish an hour later or earlier to avoid the traffic. 

Scaling Back

A study which sampled 1,404 men and 1,623 women in dual‐earner families found that men were more likely to respond to stress overload by “scaling back.” Scaling back means stripping the stressors away, for example changing jobs or moving home.

You could implement this technique by pinpointing the stressor in your life. And literally remove it. If it’s work, then reduce the hours you work or even consider finding something new altogether. It may also be worth looking into why it caused you so much stress in the first place.

There are many gender differences when it comes to coping with stress and also many similarities. So when your partner or a friend looks like they’re handling stress in a different way, it may be worth tapping into their methods and trying out their stress-handling techniques. With inevitable life pressures and stressors continuously popping up, being armed with as many coping mechanisms as possible may increase your resilience and lower your vulnerability levels.

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Sources Cited:

https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167294204009

https://doi.org/10.1016/S0306-4603(03)00072-8

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00734.x

https://journals.lww.com/co-psychiatry/Abstract/2009/03000/Recent_research_in_stress,_coping_and_women_s.11.aspx

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460303000728

https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167294204009

https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.2001.88.3.759

Maisie Bygraves

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