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An A or B

Completely unrelated, but it makes me laugh! I guess some dogs are just wicked smart!


I think you can make statistics prove anything that you want to prove. For instance, the year that the Golden State Warriors broke the NBA’s single season win total; their guard, Klay Thompson, autographed a toaster for a fan. Thereafter, they went on to a 31-2 record. Does that speak to the power of toasters?

It just means that sometimes statistics don’t explain reality. Meyer Friedman was a cardiologist who for decades ran a busy medical office in San Francisco. In the late 1950s, he and his partner, Dr. Ray Rosenman, began noticing similarities in their patients with heart disease. It wasn’t simply what their patients ate, or their genes inherited, or family history that affected their susceptibility to heart attacks; it was also how they lived their lives.

These patients“, Friedman noted, “demonstrated: a particular complex of personality traits, including excessive competition drive, aggressiveness, impatience, and a harrying sense of time urgency. Individuals displaying this pattern seem to be engaged in a chronic, ceaseless, and often fruitless struggle—with themselves, with others, with circumstances, with time, sometimes with life itself.

These people were significantly more likely to develop heart disease than other patients—even those who shared similar physical attributes, exercise regimens, diets, and family histories. Looking for a convenient and memorable way to explain this insight to their medical colleagues and the wider world, Friedman and Rosenman found inspiration in the alphabet.”

They classified this behavior as “Type A.” Now we all know that term.

Contrary to Type A behavior was Type B behavior. Unlike the hurry-up, horn-honking behavior; people displaying Type B behavior were rarely in a hurry and didn’t feel stressed by life’s demands.

In their research, the doctors found that Type B people were just as intelligent and  ambitious, as Type A’s. But, displayed their ambition differently. In writing about Type B , the cardiologists explained, “He may also have a considerable amount of ‘drive,’ but its character is such that it seems to steady him, give confidence and security to him, rather than to goad, irritate, and infuriate, as with the Type A man.” One key to reducing heart disease and death was to help Type A’s learn to become a little more like Type B’s.

These classifications and findings of these heart doctors are interesting to me, because they also are linking stress to health. With our clients, I always believe that their most significant damage is related to stress and emotional trauma. And these doctors would probably agree.

As a side note, Dr Friedman died at the age of 90. Maybe he taught himself to slow it down! Although, sometimes I think that some of the stress that Type A feels… is stress from the actions (and lateness) of Type B.

And for pic o’ day, I always say that I want people to pay me the compliment that I am having a bad hair day! Just sayin’!



Stress And Money

USA Today had a weekend article titled  “More Money, More Problems?  Why Rich Kids Hate Mom and Dad”.  The premise of the article was that  money is a magnifier of family tensions, in wealthy families.

Author Franco Lombardo wrote a book, with studies to support,  that the rich are not happy in their family relationships. He asks why 70% of family businesses do not pass successfully to the next generation?  His answer: emotional and bad issues are brewing in wealthy families.

As a wealth and financial planner, he believes that wealthy kids have problems with their parents because of three common reasons: 1. A child of wealthy parents grows up with a sense that they get whatever they want. Then, when they go out into the real world and the world tells them “No”, they are not prepared for it and resent their parents.

His second reason for the emotional turmoil is his belief that wealthy parents end up being absentee parents. So, kids feel abandoned.

Third, he says that society makes fun of rich kids. They are always faced with scorn or jealousy. According to him, kids then blame their parents for issues regarding their identity. He puts his theories and “findings” in his book titled “The Great White Elephant: Why Rich Kids Hate Their Parents”. (not so sure I agree with this)

Sometimes authors write things… just to be authors. I think that we have all heard that money doesn’t buy happiness; Even if the belief is that it is easier to be rich and unhappy, than poor and unhappy. But, for the purposes of this blog, there’s an application to personal injury law. It is the opposite of having too much.  A completely different emotion.

I recently had a lady tell me that she had just lost her job.  Now, she is starting to get worried because her severance pay is running out and she still has not found a job.  Which is more stressful to her… Not having money or not having a job?

When I send in settlement packages to insurance adjusters, they like specific numbers to support the loss. What were the medicals and what were the loss of wages? How much did it cost to fix the car?

In the beginning of the blog, I discussed books on those that have money. Their problems come from having it. Those without, have problems that are way more than emotional. It is actual loss.

The loss of a job is a loss of money, but the worry is even greater. That is a damage in a case that can almost not be measured. For some adjuster putting some dollar amount on the loss, I suspect that they would put a greater amount if they were also facing the loss of their job.

In jury trials, the laws of evidence say that you cannot argue the golden rule. When arguing a settlement value to an adjuster, I still always hope that they will somehow place themselves in the position of appreciating the world of loss and worry.

For pic o’ day, here’s putting yourself in someone else’s position!

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