Power-hun­gry risk early grave

Lesotho Times - - Health -

LON­DON — It goes with­out say­ing that be­ing am­bi­tious is a good way to progress your ca­reer.

But be­ing too power hun­gry won’t just rub your col­leagues up the wrong way - it’s also bad for your health.

That’s be­cause ag­gres­sively climb­ing the ca­reer lad­der leads to a higher risk of heart prob­lems, re­searchers found.

How­ever those who get to the top by through be­ing nice — and re­spected — ac­tu­ally in­crease their health ben­e­fit, the study claims. Uni­ver­sity of Utah re­searchers sur­veyed 500 un­der­grad­u­ates over four stud­ies to gauge the health ef­fects of dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties.

The hos­tile-dom­i­nant per­son­al­ity style was com­pared with the warm-dom­i­nant style.

In keep­ing with their group ti­tle, the hos­tile-dom­i­nant types re­ported greater hos­til­ity and in­ter­per­sonal stress.

Warm-dom­i­nant types, how­ever, tended to rank them­selves as higher in so­cial sta­tus,.

Both styles were as­so­ci­ated with a higher per­sonal sense of power.

The psy­chol­o­gists also mon­i­tored the blood pres­sure of 180 un­der- grad­u­ates as they re­acted to stress­ful con­ver­sa­tions with oth­ers who were scripted to act def­er­en­tially or dom­i­nantly.

Hos­tile-dom­i­nant types ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in blood pres­sure when in­ter­act­ing with a dom­i­nant part­ner, but not with a def­er­en­tial one.

Re­searchers noted that in pre­vi­ous stud­ies, in­creased blood pres­sure due to stress puts peo­ple at risk for heart dis­ease.

In an­other study with 94 young, mar­ried cou­ples, they found that hos­tile-dom­i­nance in men was linked with higher blood pres­sure (recorded through­out the day with a wear­able mon­i­tor), but not among women.

Warm-dom­i­nance in women pre­dicted lower blood pres­sure, but not in men. Among 154 older, mar­ried cou­ples with an av­er­age age of 63, a warm-dom­i­nant style was as­so­ci­ated with less con­flict and more sup­port.

A hos­tile-dom­i­nant style was as­so­ci­ated with more se­vere hard­en­ing of the ar­ter­ies in men and women, as mea­sured by how cal­ci­fied the ar­ter­ies were.

Hos­tile-dom­i­nance

was

also linked with greater mar­i­tal con­flict and lower mar­i­tal sup­port.

Study au­thor Ti­mothy Smith, pro­fes­sor of pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy, said: “It’s bad news for re­lent­less power-seek­ers the likes of Frank Un­der­wood on House of Cards, climb­ing the lad­der of so­cial sta­tus through ag­gres­sive, com­pet­i­tive striv­ing might shorten your life as a re­sult of in­creased vul­ner­a­bil­ity to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

“And it’s good news for suc­cess­ful types who are friend­lier, it sems that at­tain­ing higher so­cial sta­tus as the re­sult of pres­tige and freely given re­spect may have protective ef­fects.

“Hos­tile-dom­i­nant is not a style that wears well with other peo­ple.

“The good news is that peo­ple can take steps to change a hos­tile per­son­al­ity style. Some­thing usu­ally has to fall apart first be­fore they are will­ing to en­ter­tain that op­tion.

“How­ever there is some ev­i­dence that it is pos­si­ble to teach old dogs new tricks, and if you do, it can re­duce coro­nary risk.”

The re­sults were pre­sented to the an­nual meet­ing of the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­so­matic So­ci­ety.

— Dailymail

Re­lent­less power-seek­ers like Frank Un­der­wood on House of Cards risk heart prob­lems.

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