What Are The Fears Of The DISC Personality Types


What are the main fears of each DISC type? Well, we often explain fear as an “unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm.” Fear may arise in response to specific factors happening in the present, or to a future situation. People may perceive these factors as a risk to health or life, status, power, security, or even wealth or anything held valuable to that person.

Fear is a complex area. It can cause a person to disengage completely or react in specific ways. For example, when experiencing fear, someone may become aggressive or explode or withdraw or start making constant mistakes.

The fears of DISC types are different. Factors that cause fear for one DISC personality type may not cause fear in another DISC type.

DISC Type D Fears

Fears of the D DISC type include losing control, being seen as vulnerable, being taken advantage of, appearing weak. 

One of the main fears of the type D personality is losing control. D personality types avoid losing control at all costs. Being out of control is scary for D styles, and their reaction when trying to prevent this is usually volatile and abrupt. We have all experienced what it’s like when a D style releases stress because they experience one of their fears. The fear of a D personality type may include not being able to make their own decisions, being micromanaged, or being told they have to do something they have no choice over. 

Another fear of the D DISC type is failing. A type D personality tends to do anything to avoid failure. They will smooth talk, enhance stories, make fast rash decisions, and overstep their authority to remove anything they see as a challenge to get the desired result. After all, not getting the result they require could be seen as a failure!

Someone else getting the upper hand in a situation and then being taken advantage of is another D DISC type fear. Often a type D personality will see people interaction as them needing a “win at all cost” outcome. Of course, it can be a win-win situation, or it can be a win-lose as long as they are not the loser of the interaction. D’s are quite well known for being poor losers and can kick up quite a storm!

Lastly, as a rule, being vulnerable and appearing weak is a big NO for a D-style. You’ll not find them overly emotional about situations or incredibly open about themselves on an emotional level either. They often feel uncomfortable with too much emotion from others and often come across quite abruptly in dealing with the situation. Avoidance of this fear often makes them appear heartless as times, especially by the more people-oriented styles.

When debriefing a dominant personality type, look at their overuse areas. Discuss whether they are in an environment where they try to avoid or even react to some fears. 

DISC Type I Fears

Fears of the I DISC type include loss of influence and recognition, conflict, disapproval and being ignored. 

Because the I style is motivated by social recognition, one of their biggest fears is social rejection. An I style can feel socially rejected when they feel left out of a group or ignored by people. These situations can cause the high I style to become fixated on people relationships. Others may perceive them as trying hard to repair these relationships. 

Another area the I styles try to avoid is participating in conflict situations. I styles find conflict situations and avoid them as much as possible. As a rule, tension and fights make I personality types very uneasy. They can often do things like change their mind or make decisions based on the most favourable outcome to avoid a conflict situation. 

As the I stands for influence its no wonder they fear the loss of influence of people or the environment around them. They are natural talkers and naturally optimistic, so when an I type personality feels they have lost significance, that can affect how they react. They can become more disruptive while trying to gain back their significance. If a type I personality becomes isolated for too long without limited people interactions, they can also become disruptive while working their way out of the isolating situation. 

Lastly, disapproval or not ‘being liked’ is a significant fear factor for an I type personality. An I personality types need to be liked is often a substantial factor in the decisions they make throughout their lives. As a result, they may do things like asking more questions than they need of their manager, for example, or avoiding making quick final decisions because it might lead to some people disproving their decision or not liking them. It’s not that the I style can’t make decisions; they often ask others first for their input to ensure they are making the most favourable decision.

DISC Type S Fears

Fears of the S DISC type include change, loss of stability, and offending others.

The S personality type is known for being steady, stable, and predictable, and that’s how they like their environment. A lot of the S DISC type fears are associated with perceived safety and peace. For example, there is safety and security in the routines they establish and familiar people in the workplace. They enjoy repetition and patterns in their everyday operations. As a result, they tend to have opposition to unplanned change or surprises. Fearing change means that other styles around them can find it very difficult to deal with S personality types when introducing new ideas. They can become very resistant and stubborn. Possibly the best way to deal with a type S personality during change is to make sure they are involved in the planning. Provide them with logical explanations for the change. The longer an S DISC type has to adapt, the better. A short sporadic timeframe can have very adverse effects on the S style.

Another S DISC type fear is offending others. Offending others is something an S personality type will go out of their way to avoid. As a result, the S styles have gained a reputation of nodding in agreement when they disagree with someone! This behaviour can be confusing to others who think they have received agreement from an S type when they haven’t. A type S personality will also go to the point of not offering their opinions or expressing themselves willingly, especially if they are not in agreement, to not offend others. An S DISC type is known as a ‘workhorse’. They often take on too much work from others who find them an easy target to delegate. Because they don’t want to offend and keep the peace, they don’t say no. An S personality type will then end up overcommitted and bogged down. Being the loyal and responsible person they are, they keep working away and following through but can feel very used and offended.

DISC Type C Fears

Fears of the C DISC Personality type include criticism, being wrong, strong displays of emotion.

One of the primary C DISC type fears is criticism. C styles are typically cautious, perfectionists, and set themselves high standards. They place a lot of self-value in their work; therefore, they can take this badly when receiving criticism for their work. Often they can withdraw for long periods in reaction to it or go about getting stuck in defending what they have done and waste valuable time in going over and over it – to preferably pass the blame. 

Making mistakes and being wrong is a fear of the C personality type. Therefore they often work at a slow pace with supporting research, facts, and data. Often this can lead to another fear of not having enough information to do their best work. It could be that they do not have enough parameters or instructions on what managers or colleagues expect from them, or it can be that information is missing from a project. A D or I style boss tend to give brief details sporadically or verbally, which can cause the C style to fear that they do not have all the details. This fear can manifest on Profile II in the Extended DISC® report as a drop in the C style. 

Lastly, to avoid the fear of disorganisation, the type C personality will often spend a lot of time preparing for a project. They can get caught up in the details of organising that they can forget the bigger picture, and that is doing the project!

If you feel that a C style person is very withdrawn or becoming overly obsessed in defending their work, you might want to remember they could be reacting or avoiding some of their fears.