What is a type A personality?
You may have heard people say that they"Tippe A.” It has become a common term ever since researchers began studying the Type A personality, beginning with cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman in the 1950s.
Type A personality traits
Traits associated with a Type A personality include:
- Fast pace
Most people now know that Type A personality traits are related to competitiveness and work obsession, and that they can put you at increased risk for health problems. But it's not always understood exactly what traits constitute Type A behavior or how exactly those traits affect health and well-being.
Understanding what it really means to have a Type A personality can be transformative. It can help you deal with stress and recognize and respond to people who may be Type A.
Click play to learn more about the Type A personality
This video has been clinically reviewed byRachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS.
Type A, Type B, and Type D personalities
Type A personality traits, including competitiveness, time constraints, and a tendency toward workaholism, can be viewed (particularly by Type A) as beneficial to career success.In contrast,Type B personalitiestend to focus less on being competitive and more on enjoying the journey.
That doesn't mean that Type B doesn't like to achieve something. They may work hard and take pride in their accomplishments, but they don't place the same value on their results when they don't finish first or don't achieve the most, which tends to cause significant stress for Type As creatives and naturals low stress. Fortunately, some of this relaxed perspective can be learned and developed.
People with Type C personalities tend to be more passive; They can put the needs of others ahead of their own and suppress negative emotions. D-Typ(the D stands for "distressed") is characterized by negative emotions such as worry and trying to suppress these emotions by avoiding social interactions.
Each personality type can face unique challenges that can cause stress and potentially negative health effects. Luckily, there are effective ways to deal with traits like negativity, excessive worrying, and inhibition.
Characteristics of Type A behavior
Although the term "Type A" is often used, it is not always fully known, even in professional circles, which specific characteristics make up the Type A personality. For some people, the term applies to people who are rude and impatient. Others see workaholics as Type A. Many see competitiveness as a key attribute.
Enter a personality test
If you're wondering if you have Type A traits in your personality, give it a tryTake our online quiz.
According to research, the following traits are the salient traits of Type A Behavioral Pattern (TABP):
Urgency of time and impatience
Urgency and impatience of time, as shown, among other things, by people who are frustrated while waiting in line, interrupt others frequently, walk or speak too quickly, and are always painfully aware of how little time they have.
Fluctuating hostility or aggression
Pending hostilityaggressivenessis an additional feature of TABP. This can manifest itself, for example, as impatience, rudeness, slight excitement over trifles or "flash-out temperament".
People with Type A behavior sense this You need to win at everything from work to relationships, even if those activities aren't inherently competitive.
Strong performance orientation
Type-As tend to derive their self-esteem from what they achieve.
Many Type-As attempt to demonstrate dominance in business and personal interactions by ignoring the wants and needs of others in favor of their own.
Years of Type A behavior and stress can lead to physical changes and characteristics including:
- Tensions in the face (tense lips, clenched jaw, etc.)
- Click your tongue or grind your teeth
- dark circles under the eyes
- Sweating of the face (forehead or upper lip)
How situations affect Type A behavior
While many personality traits, such as extraversion, are innate, most researchers believe that Type A personality traits are more in response to environmental factors or tendencies towards certain behaviors and are influenced by situations, including culture and work structure.
For example, many jobs are time-consuming, so workers have to worry a lot about getting things done quickly to get the job done. Likewise, some workplaces have severe penalties for mistakes, so efficiency and performance become extremely important. Other jobs simply create more stress and make people less patient, more stressed, and more prone to Type A behavior.
Are Type A Personalities Afraid?
People with Type A traits may experience higher levels of anxiety than other personality types, especially when overwhelmed. They may experience more work-related stress as they put more pressure on themselves, but they are less satisfied with their job.
Some people have a natural tendency to be more intense. This tendency can be enhanced by environmental stress or decreased by conscious effort and lifestyle changes.
Possible health challenges of Type A behavior
There are certain traits associated with Type A personalities that can be detrimental to health and lifestyle. Type A personalities can have challenges, including:
- hypertension:Although the relationship between personality types and high blood pressure is complex, there is a link between high blood pressure and the susceptibility to stress that people with Type A personalities experience.
- heart disease:Some research shows that TABP (particularly anger and hostility) may increase the risk of coronary artery disease.However, recent reviews could not confirm this.
- work stress: Type A people are prone to stress,demanding tasks(and sometimes jobs create Type A behaviors), which can lead to stress-related issueshealth problems.
- Social isolation: Those with BPAD may alienate others or spend too much time at work and too little focus on relationships, putting them at risk of social isolation and the increased stress that it brings.
Example of a type A personality
Someone with a Type A personality can be very successful and achieve a lot in life. You can also be organized and efficient, both in personal and professional life. However, you can get stressed more easily when things get messy. You can prioritize overcomingself care.
Enter an unmasked personality
Research from the University of Toronto, published inJournal of Personality and Social Psychologysuggests that categorizing people's personalities into type A, B, C, or D is an outdated practice.
Rather than viewing personalities as separate "types," the researchers suggest it's more helpful to think of them as groups of traits that people possess.
It can be helpful to think of personalities as made up of different traits, rather than categorizing people as having a specific personality type. This helps paint a more accurate picture of the strengths and weaknesses of individual traits, rather than seeing a personality type as "good" or "bad."
For example, it is incorrect to say that Type A personalities are at higher risk for health problems. In fact, it's specific traits associated with Type A personalities — such as impatience — that can lead to higher levels of stress and, in turn, put someone at greater risk for health problems.
On the other hand, Type A personalities possess many traits that promote good health - such as: B. Achievement Orientation – which can lead to higher levels of success and happiness.
Dealing with characteristics of type A
There is nothing wrong with identifying with the TABP. There are actually many benefits of having a Type A personality. However, if you find that you tend to get stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted by certain aspects of your personality, the following tips can help you find a new approach to who takes better care of your overall health.
Change your professional life
To changecertain factorsin your work life to make your work less stressful and demanding and more rewarding. For example, you might strive to appreciate the importance you place on your work instead of focusing primarily on the results. If your job was stressful enough to affect your health, talk to your boss about expectations to ensure you can meet them with an appropriate level of work.
change thought patterns
While it takes practice, you can transform your thought patterns into more positive ones. This helps you develop trust in yourself and those around you, and can balance type presences. For example, if you're feeling inadequate because you're making mistakes, focus more on what you're doing well. If you find yourself using negative self-talk, focus on talking to yourself like you would a good friend.
Make it count until it works
Sometimes you can react to new habits. While you may not always feel calm and collected, if you make a conscious choice to slow down and be more patient with people, this behavior is more likely to become a habit and come easier to you.
This is not the same as being completely detached from the perception of your feelings or holding them in bottles until you eventually explode. Instead, focus on changing your behavior in conjunction with emotion-focused strategies and you should make progress.
The practice ofwriting a diaryIt has many proven benefits for your stress levels and overall health. It can also be a useful practice to tone down Type A traits, especially when done well. How to use your diary as a tool for change:
- Keep recordshow many times in a day you lose your temper, treat people rudely, or feel overwhelmed with frustration. Becoming more aware of your tendencies and what triggers responses can be a valuable step in changing your patterns.
- Write about your feelings.It helps you process them and takes some of the intensity out of them so they consume less.
- write about solutionsSolving problems on paper (instead of obsessing over them in your head) can help you feel less overwhelmed by them. You can also look back at your journal to remind yourself of old ideas that can help solve new problems.
face your fears
This might sound crazy, but a great way to overcome Type A tendencies is to give yourself an extra dose of what frustrates you, to show yourself that you're not that bad after all. For example, some therapists encourage you to stand in line at the grocery store just to show yourself you can survive the frustration of waiting. Or just the threat of waiting in a longer line can help you be more patient in a shorter line.
Turn it into a game
if you arefrustrated in traffic, make a game out of it and share what frustrates you. The same can be done for life in general. When you see how many frustrating things you can playfully tell, you almost get scared of people's quirks.
Next time you scream, why not take a deep breath and just exhale instead? If you feel like you're about to explode, a few deep, slow breaths can do wonders!breathing exercisesare a stress reliever you can use anywhere.
Breathing exercises for quick stress relief
love your pets
Pets have many health and stress management benefits and can help provide the extra rest you need.Walking a dog can be both relaxing and social, taking them into the great outdoors (or at least out of the office) and caring for themA practice(another tranquilizer) too.
Taking care of an animal and receiving their unconditional love can put you in touch with the best parts of your own humanity. Observing aquarium fish can also have a measurable impact on blood pressure.
How having a pet can relieve stress
work in your garden
Getting in the sun, beautifying the garden and getting back in touch with nature are some of the benefits ofgardening. All of this makes for a great stress reliever. This tension taming tool can reduce your overall stress and teach you to relax a little more, thereby curbing your Type A tendencies.
A word from Verywell
While you may try to change some of your Type A traits, remember that there are no good or bad personality types. If you're looking to tone down some of your Type A traits, it may just mean you want to reduce stress and get more out of the journey. You can still achieve your goals.
If you're having trouble dealing with someone else's Type A tendencies, practiceassertivenesseHealthy conflict resolution techniques.