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We all have weak points in our Psychological Balloon that burst at different points. Learning what those points are can help protect you in the long run. Here's how.

Close your eyes… after reading this article, obviously.  Imagine you’re a bright blue balloon.  Think of all your challenges and limitations – these make up the balloon’s rubbery material.  Sure, there’re soft patches but it’s more or less holding together nicely.  Then, taking a pitstop on his international tour, Mr. Corona picks up the balloon.  Untying the knot, he starts to blow.  New worries, dangers, traumas, and losses fill the balloon expanding the old ones.  The balloon stretches thin.  Where does it pop?  At the weakest point.

This metaphor highlights how we all have weak points and “burst” differently than our friends and loved ones.  This awareness alone creates room for understanding and compassion, which is valuable enough during these hard times.  More than that, having a clear sense of your weak points enables you to develop personalized cope ahead strategies maximizing selfcare.  The question is, how to best zero in on those weak spots to address them ahead of time?

One powerful tool is The Big Five Personality Assessment.  A link to this assessment is found below.  As the only scientifically validated personality test, it’s clinically used to clarify five specific traits that make up your unique personality fingerprint enabling you to consciously target those weak points keeping the balloon from bursting. 

Being high in industriousness explains why you’re white knuckling quarantined homelife filled with pajama clad screaming children.  Locking yourself away in the bedroom to work at set hours and around bedtime could be one option to relieve the pressure.   Being low in fear sensitivity explains why you’re furious at your wife “needlessly” worrying you’re taking public transportation to work – after all, the buses are empty!  Adopting a validating stance would be essential in defusing a fight and negotiating the issue. 

It’s normal to feel feel anxious, depressed, or worried and not clearly know why.  Partly this stems from taking for granted how we see things.  This is the root of our blind spot making bad situations worse and is amplified by the highly stressful and unpredictable situation we’re facing.  Having a clear sense of your personality sheds a powerful light on this confusion offering a roadmap of where to focus your self-care and increase self-compassion keeping your balloon from bursting. 

Take the assessment at www.jerusalemtherapy.org/post/the-big-five-personality-test.

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Rabbi Yonasan Bender LCSW graduated from Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. He works with adults, couples, and children from his private therapy practice in Jerusalem.  He holds several semichos from Rav Yitzchok Berkovits, shlita.  To share your thoughts, experiences, questions, or a different perspective, you can reach Rabbi Yonasan Bender LCSW at 053-808-0435 and at jerusalemtherapy@gmail.com or check out his website at www.jerusalemtherapy.org.

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