How to Thrive as a Type A Personality
There is a theory that there are four types of personality: A, B, C and D.
The idea of the Type A personality was discovered in the 1950s and entirely by accident.
American cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman researched heart disease patients and found them more impatient, anxious and quick-thinking than the general population.
This hypothesis was conceptualized as Type A personality.
Their subsequent research showed that people with these personality traits run a higher risk of heart disease and high blood pressure than Type Bs.
You have probably come across many Type A individuals through the workplace, friendship groups and beyond.
They exhibit behaviors that help them find success but leading such a fast-paced life can lead to stress or even burnout.
To discover which personality traits you are most aligned with, you can take an online questionnaire.
Knowing these can help you better understand yourself and your relationships with friends, family and work colleagues. It can also help you make better career decisions.
First, Type A people are go-getting and may show traits of aggressiveness, especially if competition is on the horizon.
They are high-achievers and set high standards that can trigger anxiety.
Deadline-driven Type A personalities can find it hard to unwind as they are intensely focused on measurable goals such as job promotions.
Career progression is significant to Type A individuals, as they are motivated by money and leadership.
If this sounds familiar to you, take an online Type A personality test to determine your result.
Type Bs are almost the polar opposite – relaxed and steady.
All the fun is in taking part for these individuals and they are not too concerned with status.
Type B people are dreamers and tend to be more creative and philosophical. They are also fun-loving and experience less stress.
Type Cs are similar to Type A people in that they are also perfectionists, but they are less concerned with time and more creative.
Analytical Type C personalities are detail-oriented and like things to be accurate, logical and rational.
People with Type C traits are not too concerned with how others feel, believing that emotions get in the way of objectivity.
Finally, Type D. People with a Type D personality can often feel isolated and lonely. The D stands for 'distressed'.
This personality type is not all doom and gloom, though, as it does include many positive aspects.
Those with Type D traits are peaceful, realistic and wise. They are very patient and compassionate.
You may have heard of two of these types more than the others: A and B.
The fiercely ambitious Type A is considered the other side of the coin to the more relaxed Type B personality.
Whether you are show Type A or Type B traits is determined by how you respond to stress
Rather than a dichotomy of A and B, the concept is thought of as a trait continuum.
People may fall anywhere on the spectrum, with extreme Type A and Type B individuals on each end.
The Type A personality is often termed as the 'Leader'.
As such, individuals are often high-achieving and status-conscious.
They are very aware of time and like to use it wisely with not a second wasted.
Goal-setting is a Type A’s idea of fun. Once they set their minds on something, they will keep going until they succeed.
People with Type A personality traits also often have the following qualities:
This personality type brings with it good administrative skills. ‘Tidy room, tidy mind’ is the Type A mantra.
An A Type colleague will always have a fully-stocked pencil case and a dedicated notebook for life admin.
Type A individuals are also great at delegating tasks to others to exercise some freedom over their own goals.
A Type A loves to climb the career ladder and new opportunities are their big motivator.
Although, they can experience less work satisfaction which leads to dissatisfaction in other areas of life.
For an Type A, the grass can seem greener on the other side.
Coupled with the fear of falling into a routine, this means they are likely to change jobs often.
Patience is a virtue. It is also a virtue that Type A individuals do not have.
They like people to get the point and have no time for waffle.
Those with Type A traits can be short-tempered when listening to long explanations or descriptions.
Type A personalities can be workaholics who push themselves to meet deadlines.
They often take risks when they judge the reward to be worth the gamble.
Type A individuals can work well independently as their entrepreneurial brain is the only tool they need.
The Type A personality is complex and filled with strengths, weaknesses, motivators, likes and dislikes.
Whether these are useful or not depends on what kind of job you are in.
If you are a Type A, you might be wondering what kind of career paths you are most suited to.
Some of the best careers for Type A people include:
There is no one more determined to climb through the ranks than a Type A.
If you set your sights on the top job, you will not take no for an answer.
Aim high, and you will succeed.
A Type A personality is a natural entrepreneur and is an enthusiastic seller.
They are highly competitive and would thrive in a fast-paced role.
Many of the Type A traits are a good match for a career as a politician.
Passionate, dominant and abrupt when needed, these personalities would make a perfect voice of the people.
A Type A individual’s impressive organization skills would make them an expert event planner.
They make light work of tight deadlines and will work on a project until it is perfect.
Having a Type A personality can bring many benefits, especially in the workplace.
You are practical and goal-oriented. This allows you to see the bigger picture and deliver results that are proven to be successful.
You are focused on your work but not selfish, so others can rely on you to get things done.
Likely to have perfectionist traits, you will not settle for anything less than flawless.
You are motivated by challenge and a favorable risk-reward ratio.
Type A individuals also tend to have excellent time management.
This means that they are efficient in completing tasks and can find room to do more of what makes them happy.
Another classic Type A trait is being eager to help others, so you often enjoy even more success through the people you surround yourself with.
There are certain things you can do to alleviate some of the pressure that comes with your traits to allow your personality to thrive:
Type A personalities can be more prone to stress, and while you may be handling that ok, for now, burnout can creep up unexpectedly.
Starting a journaling practice can get your feelings out of your head and down on paper.
You can even introduce a focus on gratitude to spotlight the good things in your life and not the grass, which only looks greener from this side.
Type A traits include finding it difficult to completely relax, as you may feel guilt about all of the practical things you could be doing instead.
Starting a hobby is a good compromise, as you are still productive but you get a break from the stresses of daily life.
A very chilled activity such as yoga may not sound appealing to a fast-paced Type A; however, even just slowing your response time can provide some stress relief.
Type A individuals can be hot-headed, leading them to react quickly.
This way of expressing yourself can often lead to increased tension and hurt feelings.
If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or frustrated at a situation, step back and take ten deep breaths before reacting.
This is not easy when you are accustomed to immediate reactions; however, this method will lower the stress hormone cortisol and allow you to think more rationally.
Being a workaholic can mean you neglect relationships with the people in your life.
Not only is this damaging your support network, but it could also lead you to feel isolated.
Working on your communication skills outside of work is an enjoyable way to relieve stress.
A Type A personality can be quite one-sided for all of its benefits and easily lean into negatives.
A fulfilled life is one with balance, so it is a good idea also to identify how to use your Type A strengths and adapt to your weaknesses.
Your drive to achieve the measurable goals you have set yourself is admirable, but not if these wins are at the expense of your wellbeing and happiness.
That is not to say that being a Type A has to be a burden.
You can learn from many positive Type B personality traits and skills to lead a more stable life:
Empathy – The Type A trait of aggression can often come from ignoring and not understanding the needs of others. Building on this skill will help you understand what people are thinking and feeling, and why their personalities may differ from yours.
Contentment – As a Type A, you can often think that others have it better than you. This can lead you to make rash decisions, such as changing jobs regularly just to feel something new. Take a look at the areas of your life that you are happy with, and recognize that you are where you are supposed to be.
Easy-going – Your commitment to competition is remarkable, but partaking in too much rivalry can lead to burnout. Suppose the workplace feels like more of a wrestling arena, set yourself some personal goals outside of work. Not everything in life needs to be won, and when you have no one to compete with, you will enjoy an enriched life.
Relaxation – Type A personalities often have difficulty winding down and striking that all-important work/life balance. If you feel frustrated or impatient, consider a deep breathing exercise to ground yourself. A great alternative if you need to let some energy out is active relaxation exercises such as running or dancing. This can stop your mind from racing while providing mood-boosting endorphins.
By incorporating new behaviors and thought patterns, you can maximize your personality traits and introduce some more positive qualities.
It may sound scary, but as a Type A, you thrive on being out of your comfort zone, so give it a go.
As a Type A personality, you have a commendable drive and motivation.
Your traits make you a robust and passionate leader that is suited to many fast-paced career choices.
They can also make you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
You should remember that avoiding burnout and maintaining strong relationships is also an essential part of success alongside ambition and hard work.
Scheduling time for yourself is not making you vulnerable.
In fact, by taking the chance to relax, you are enhancing your personality traits to work best for you.
Therefore, when you are drawing up your daily comprehensive to-do list, you should make sure you include grounding activities that appeal to you. Whether that is journaling, running or dancing allow your brain to switch off now and then.
Your Type-A drive is a great gift that will get you far but be sure to incorporate your wellbeing into your to-do list.
Remember: self-care always comes before success.