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About the FIRO-B: Coping Styles


Different people use different coping strategies to help them overcome tough situations. Is there a relationship between how people cope and their scores on the FIRO-B? Yes, according to a study of 12 coping styles people use.

In the interest of brevity, I'll only mention the top two strategies for each of the six scales and the difference between the high and low scorers. Low is a score of 0-2, while High is 7-9 on the FIRO-B.

For Expressed Inclusion, the high scorers picked "Have a variety of tasks that I can get involved in" 93% of the time as one strategy to deal with stress. Second on the list was "Talk to someone close" at 73%. For low scorers, the highest was the same for 85%, while second place was "Think about my options" at 64%.

For Wanted Inclusion, only one item showed up for both high and low scores: "Talk to someone close" at 67% for high scorers and 57% for low.

For the Expressed Control scale, high scorers used "Think about my options" most frequently (73%), while "Confront the problem" was second at 68%. For low scorers, the results were the same, but the percentages were different (67% and 52%).

On the Wanted Control scale, high scorers tended to "Rely on religious beliefs" and "Get upset or angry, but don't show it" at 48% and 40%, respectively. The low scorers had a different pattern: 61% stated "Confront the problem" and 34% said "Rely on religious beliefs" are strategies they use.

For Expressed Affection, a similar pattern emerged as for Control: high scorers reported "Talk to someone close" 72% and "Confront the problem" 58% of the time. Low scorers said "Confront the problem" and "Talk to someone close" 51% and 50%, respectively.

Finally, the Wanted Affection scale had only two items for both groups: "Talk to someone close" and "Rely on religious beliefs" were chosen by 66% and 43% of the high scorers, while the low scorers had reported 48% and 30%.

Interestingly, people who scored high on Expressed Control reported the most stress regarding work. Those with high scores on Wanted Affection showed the greatest stress regarding finances. High scorers on Wanted Control stated the most stressful events for them involved intimate relationships and finding the right work/home balance.

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