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Four ways your natural behavioral traits are influencing your holiday activities

By Sarah Mulvey

Your behavioral traits can reveal a lot about your holiday habits

The holidays may be a time that brings people together, but sometimes this means that our unique personalities and behavioral traits stand out more than ever. Here at The Predictive Index, we love to give the gift of behavioral awareness to everyone and everything, so we conducted a holiday survey and compared our respondents’ results to their  PI™ Behavioral Factors. Here’s what we found:

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1. You might be getting stressed out…and holiday shopping is the main cause

For those of you who are more Formal, watch out- you are more likely to feel stressed out during the holidays. Your need for structure means that the interruptions and distractions of the holiday season may bring uncertain, and possibly stressful, situations.

Shopping in particular will be stressful for those you are more Formal and less Dominant. Your natural drive to avoid risk means that the ambiguity of having lots of choices at the store could trigger endless deliberation and possibly high levels of stress. If this sounds like you, try not to stress too much on finding the very best gift at the very best value – remember, in the end it’s the thought that counts!

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2. You’re making impulse purchases

If you’re feeling buyer’s remorse after grabbing that extra pair of novelty socks while in the checkout line at TJ Maxx, don’t feel too bad – you’re not alone. 89% of our survey respondents reported that they buy items impulsively while shopping for gifts. If you are an Extraverted person or Informal person, you are in the most danger of making purchases that you didn’t plan. Your drive to please other people means that you’re more likely to grab an extra gift (or three or five), and if you’re informal, your casual attitude towards holiday shopping might be to blame.

If you’re more of an Introvert, or if you’re more of a Formal person, be sure pat yourself on the back after you stick to your shopping list – and make friends with a casual Extravert to snag a few extra gifts this year.

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3. Wherever you’re heading for the holidays, you may be dreading the trip

Whether you’re flying, driving, or hitching a ride in Santa’s sleigh (which is arguably the coolest Uber of all), holiday travel can be stressful. Over half of our survey respondents reported that travel causes some serious stress for them during the holidays, and 40% said that they avoid travel altogether, if they can.  It turns out that your view of holiday travel is impacted by three different Behavioral Drives: Your Dominance, your Patience, and your Formality. People who are Patient, less Dominant, and less Formal are the most likely to be unscathed by a holiday journey, and are even more likely to report that they look forward to it. If you have lower levels of Patience and higher levels of Dominance or Formality, it’s likely that you will be bothered by the long waits, crowds, traffic, and general confusion that typically accompany travel during the holidays, so try to travel during odds hours or find a way to avoid the crowd if you can.

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4. You’re going to enjoy seeing your family and friends

When asked in a free-response question what their very favorite thing about the holidays is, 94 out of 202 people responded with “family,” “spending time with friends and family,” or similar, regardless of their Behavioral traits. So, no matter if you’re Extraverted or Introverted, Formal or Casual, Dominant or Collaborative, Patient or Impatient, savor all aspects of your holiday season, and most of all, enjoy spending time with the people that you love. Happy Holidays form The Predictive Index!

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Sarah is a science product manager at PI. She spends most of her spare time caring for and riding horses.

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