Nowadays, there are multiple ways to classify personalities and a number of personality tests are available, including the Big Five Inventory, the DiSC, or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which are used in many settings, including the workplace, to better understand character traits.
In the 1950s, psychologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman developed the Type A and Type B personality theories. They argued that due to a high-stress lifestyle, “Type A” individuals were far more prone to develop heart disease than “Type B" individuals. Although the A/B personality theory was never generally adopted in the field of cardiology, and it isn't proven that personality type can predict the likelihood of developing heart disease, the distinction between type A and type B has gained popularity outside of research.
Type A and Type B personality theory describes two contrasting personality types: those of Type A and those of Type B. Type A personalities are more competitive, highly organized, ambitious, impatient, time-conscious, or aggressive, whereas Type B personalities are relaxed, receptive, and less neurotic or frantic. Type A and type B are two ways to define different personality types, while this split can actually be thought of as more of a scale, with A and B at opposite extremes. The majority of the time, type A and type B traits coexist.
What’s a “Type A” personality like?
According to the Friedman and Rosenman, a Type A personality is:
- Always trying to help others
- Committed to success
- Obsessed with time management
- Strictly organized
- Take on more than they can handle
- Very status-conscious
Often, type A personalities are quick to make decisions, multitask, and push themselves to meet deadlines. They hate delays and hesitation and may feel a lot of tension. As a result, researchers hypothesized that Type A people experience more stress than other types.
What are some challenges of Type A personality?
Certain traits connected to Type A personalities might have a negative impact on lifestyle and health. The possible difficulties for Type A personalities include:
- They tend to be more stress-prone, which may explain why they have high blood pressure
- They often have demanding jobs, which can cause health problems
- They are more likely to alienate people, spend too much time working, and too little time on relationships, which puts them at risk for social isolation and stress
- They believe that managing multiple tasks at once feels natural or typical
- They put in more time and effort than those around them. Both mentally and physically, they are overworked and likely aren't getting enough rest
- They use their stress as motivation to move forward. This might be effective in the short run, but it's bad for their mindset and health long-term
- They may become irritable or hostile if other people don't meet their standards. Their relationships at home and at work can suffer as a result
According to studies, having a Type A personality puts you at higher risk for heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. Other dangers include:
- Chronic headaches
- Tense muscles
- Chest constriction
- Trouble sleeping
- Digestion issues
What are some relaxing tips for a Type A Personality?
If you're a Type A personality, chances are you're always working hard to achieve your goals. You're competitive and driven, and you love a challenge. While this can be a great asset in your career, it's important to find ways to relax and recharge, so you don't burn out. Here are a few tips for how to do just that.
Find the sources of your stress
Paying attention to the things that make you feel stressed out is an effective relaxing tip for a Type A personality. Once you've identified your stressors, you can work to change those situations in your life. Plan ahead and look for solutions to problems before your stress level gets too high.
Everybody's stress response is triggered by different things. Finding solutions to avoid these triggers or reduce your exposure to them might be as simple as recognizing them before they become a problem.
Try to think positively about yourself
When you're going through a difficult time, try rephrasing your inner thoughts to keep from ever being stuck in a negative thought loop. You may experience self-doubt, which is difficult to overcome, but try repeating affirmations about yourself that help you feel good about yourself. If you want to practice positive self-talk, try listing your achievements, praising your good qualities, and giving yourself permission to let go of any guilt you may feel. Telling yourself positive things such as, “I can do it,” “My worth isn't defined by how well I perform,” and “I'm not a failure for messing that up,” might help you feel better about your mistakes.
Breathe and do some simple exercises
In a stressful situation, paying attention to your breathing and slowing it down is one of the best things you can do. Firefighters and paramedics use a technique of holding their breath for 4 seconds, then exhaling for 4 seconds. Your body will relax naturally when you use this breathing method.
Walking is a great relaxing tip for a Type A personality because it takes your mind off your stress. You can also focus on breathing and your body when you walk. When you're stressed about your interaction with someone, take a walk to relax and come back feeling fresh. Walking can also help you figure out what's stressing you out and what you should focus on.
Take up hobbies
Balancing your job and personal life can be one of your main problems as a Type-A individual. Finding time to unwind can be difficult with a Type-A mentality, but it is possible if you schedule your hobbies into your calendar. You may discover that you are able to unwind when you arrange some downtime. You may find it simpler to take some alone time to unwind while you're with other people, so joining a group could be a good way to ensure you don’t neglect your hobbies.
If you identify as Type-A, you likely enjoy being busy and working hard until you are satisfied with your results. Your time for social interaction may be significantly reduced as a result. However, being socially isolated can also make you more stressed out, so make an effort to interact with others, go out with friends, and participate in social events. Additionally, you can hone your communication skills through this activity.
Start a journal
Numerous studies have shown that journaling reduces stress and improves general health. If done correctly, journaling can be a useful technique for softening Type A traits.
Keep track of how frequently you become annoyed, behave harshly toward others, or experience extreme anger in a day. A helpful first step in altering your patterns is becoming more conscious of your tendencies and the things that set them off. Writing down your emotions makes them less intense and easier to digest. If you solve problems on paper instead of dwelling on them in your mind, you may feel less overwhelmed by them. You can also go back and read your journal to see if you can recall earlier thoughts or ideas that could help you with current problems.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
Reach out for professional help if you're having trouble relaxing or managing stress. An experienced professional can assist you with identifying stress management techniques that will work for your Type-A personality. Click the button below to schedule a free initial consultation. It would be our pleasure to assist you in identifying sources of stress and assisting you in finding ways to deal with them.