You may have heard of the “Type A” personality type, people who are a little more neurotic than others, but tend to be very successful as well. Well, did you know that there are many different personality types, as discussed in different psychology texts and articles? There are B, C and even D personality types as well. So what happens when you have a Type A personality and one of the other types in the same room, in a relationship, or working alongside one another on a work project? That’s when things can really start to heat up, and not in the “spicy” or “passionate” way.
So what exactly characterizes a Type A personality? Dr. Elizabeth Scott shares:
“Characteristics associated with a Type A personality may include operating at a more urgent pace, demonstrating higher levels of impatience, having a more competitive nature, getting upset easily, and associating self-worth with achievement,” (https://www.verywellmind.com/type-a-personality-traits-3145240).
It can be difficult to deal with people who have a Type A personality, yet, armed with the right information and right approach, it is possible to develop an amicable, even loving, relationship. Just like all other personality types, Type A’s can bring a lot to the table - in work, friendship or romantically.
As with any of the other personality types, people with a Type A personality benefit from having clear and open lines of communication with their closest family, friends and colleagues. Open lines of communication enable a Type A to know what is expected of them, so that they feel good about what they can deliver to those around them. Knowing what is expected of them reduces a Type As level of stress, as they don’t feel like they are wasting their time trying to figure out something that can ultimately be communicated directly. Type A personalities also have a tendency to socially isolate so keeping open lines of communication with this personality type will help them to heal this unhealthy tendency.
Again, this is not necessarily specific to those with Type A personality traits, but making sure to avoid situations that would cause a Type A to be stressed out, unnecessarily competitive or aggravated will make your relationship with a Type A that much more “smooth sailing.” We all have our triggers - no matter our personalty type. But really understanding what might trigger the Type A in your life will save you having to deal with the more negative traits of this personality type.
Knowing that the Type A in your life is constantly striving for perfection might help you to navigate some of the practical situations that would otherwise bother you, such as showing up late for a date, staying really late at work to finish a project, or a distraction from the present moment because of preoccupation with other things they feel their time could be better spent doing. Removing any personalization around this behavior, because this is their tendency, and learning how to practice patience with your Type A friend, colleague or lover will help your mental health, and theirs! Now, I’m not saying you can’t have boundaries around the way you want and expect to be treated, but a hefty dose of patience goes a long way when dealing with Type As.
One drawback of having a Type A personality is that there is an increased risk for things like heart disease and other health problems because Type As tend to ignore the need for stress management tools and techniques. If you work or are in relationship with a Type A, one thing that can help tremendously is setting realistic goals. Type As are so used to striving, striving, striving, that sometimes what is best for them is to set goals that they are actually capable of meeting. Let’s face it, if you’re a Type A, you are mostly likely spending a lot of time moving the goal post further and further for yourself. That combined with the sense of urgency that many Type As experience, makes for a quite stressed and irritable person. Working with your Type A and setting goals that both parties know are attainable will help to keep a relationship enjoyable for both sides.
Let’s face it, there are just some things that a Type A is going to be super committed to and in an effort to make the relational dynamic between the two of you as smooth as possible, you might have to learn to compromise some. Now, this goes for both sides of course! It is not expected that the only person to compromise should be YOU, but you might find that you have to compromise a little more when dealing with a Type A personality than with other personality types.
I consider myself a recovering Type A personality so I know how useful these tips can be to helping a Type A steer clear of the more negative aspects of this personality type. Are you a Type A? If so, what type of things from those around you seem to help ease your stress and make life more enjoyable? Drop me a line and let me know. And also check out my other blog posts on Type A personality types for more helpful information!
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