What It Means to Have Type A Personality Traits

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You may have heard people say they are “Type A.” Since researchers began studying the Type A personality, starting with cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman in the 1950s, it has become a buzzword.

Most people now know that Type A personality traits are linked to being competitive and obsessed with work, and that they can increase the risk of health problems. But it’s not always understood exactly what traits constitute Type A behavior, or exactly how these traits affect health and well-being.

Understand what the Type A personality really means. It can help you manage stress and help you recognize and respond to people who may be Type A.

What is a Type A Personality?

Traits associated with the Type A personality can include operating at a faster pace, exhibiting higher levels of impatience, being more competitive in nature, easily irritated, and self-worth alignment with achievements.

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Type A, Type B, and Type D personalities

Type A personality traits, including competitiveness, time urgency, and workaholic tendencies, can be viewed (especially in type A individuals) as conducive to success in business. career.In contrast, people in type B tend to focus less on competitiveness and enjoy the journey more.

This is not to say that type B people don’t like to achieve. They may work hard and be really proud of their accomplishments, but they don’t attach the same stress to their results if they don’t reach their peak or don’t achieve the most. which tends to create considerable stress in Kind Like. People with blood type B also tend to be more creative and less stressed by nature. Fortunately, some of these relaxed attitudes can be learned and developed.

The slightly newer personality type known as Type D (the D stands for “suffering”) is different from Type A and Type B. Type D is characterized by negative emotions such as anxiety and attempts to suppress these emotions. , while avoiding social interaction.

These factors can also cause significant stress and negative health outcomes. Fortunately, as with Type A traits, there are effective ways to combat Type D traits such as negativity, excessive anxiety, and inhibitions.

Illustrated by Cindy Chung, Verywell

Characteristics of Type A Behavior

Although the term “Type A” is thrown around often, we don’t always fully know what specific traits make up a Type A personality, even among professionals. To some, the term applies to people who are rude and impatient. Others consider workaholics to be Type A. Many consider competitiveness as a key trait. According to research, the following characteristics are prominent features of the Type A Behavior Pattern (TABP):

Times of urgency and impatience

The rush and impatience of time, as demonstrated by those who, among other things, feel frustrated waiting in line, frequently interrupting others, walking or talking at a high speed fast and always have a clear sense of time and how much time they have left.

Freely hostile or aggressive

For example, an outburst of hostility or aggression, manifesting itself in the form of impatience, rudeness, being easily irritated over little things, or “flickering,” for example.

Competing capability

People with Type A behavior need to win at everything from work to relationships, even if these activities are inherently non-competitive.

Strong achievement orientation

Type A people tend to derive their self-worth from what they achieve.

Need to dominate

Many Type A people try to show dominance in business and personal interactions, disregarding the wants and needs of others to their advantage.

Physical properties

Years of Type A behavior and stress can promote physical traits and changes, including:

  • Facelift (pursing lips, clenching jaws, etc.)
  • Clicking your tongue or grinding your teeth
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Facial sweating (on 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 responsive to environmental factors or propensity to behavior. behavior and is influenced by situations, including culture and work structure.

For example, many jobs are time-intensive, leaving workers with a great deal of interest in getting the job done quickly to get the job done. Similarly, some workplaces heavily penalize mistakes, so efficiency and achievement become extremely important. Other jobs just create more stress, making people less patient, more stressed, and more prone to Type A behaviors.

Some people have a natural tendency to be more intense. This tendency can be increased by environmental stress, or decreased by conscious effort and lifestyle changes.

Negative effects of type A behavior

Over the years, the type of increased stress most Type A people experience will affect their health and lifestyle. The following are some of the common negative effects of TABP displays.

  • Hypertension: Although the relationship between personality types and high blood pressure is complex, there has been some association between hypertension and type A personality.
  • Heart disease: Some studies suggest a causal relationship between TABP and coronary heart disease. However, recent analyzes have not confirmed this.
  • Stressful work: People in Type A often have stressful, demanding jobs (and sometimes jobs that produce Type A behavior), which can lead to stress-related health problems.
  • Social distancing: People with TABP often alienate others, or spend too much time at work and focus too little on relationships, putting them at risk of social isolation and the increased stress that comes with it it.

How to change type A . characteristics

Fortunately, like traits like optimism or assertiveness, Type A traits can be changed. You can soften Type A traits in yourself, if you possess them, with these strategies.

Change your work life

Change certain elements of your work life to make your job less stressful and more demanding and more beneficial. For example, you might make an effort to enjoy the meaning you attach to your work instead of focusing primarily on results. If your job is already stressful to your health, talk to your boss about expectations to make sure you can meet them with a reasonable level of work.

Changing thinking patterns

Although it takes practice, you can change your way of thinking to more positive ones. This helps you develop confidence in yourself and those around you and can soften Type A tendencies. For example, when you feel you can’t afford to make a mistake, focus more on what you are doing well. When you find yourself using negative self-talk, focus on talking to yourself in a way that would make you a good friend.

Fake it until you make it

Sometimes you can work your way into new habits. Even if you don’t always feel calm and serene, if you make the conscious choice to try to slow down and be more patient with people, that behavior will most likely become a habit and start to come more easily to you.

This isn’t the same as completely detaching from your emotional awareness, or keeping them calloused until you finally explode. Instead, focus on making changes in your behavior combined with emotion-oriented strategies and you’ll make progress.

Start a journal

Journaling has many proven benefits for your stress levels and overall health. It can also be a useful practice in softening Class A properties, especially if done right. To use your log as a change tool:

  • Keep a record about how many times you lose your temper in a day, treat people rudely, or feel overwhelmed with frustration. Being more aware of your tendencies and what triggers a reaction can be a valuable step in changing your pattern.
  • Write about your feelings. This helps you to process them and take the intensity out of them, so that they are less consuming.
  • Write about solutions. Solving problems on paper (rather than obsessing over them in your head) can help you feel less overwhelmed by them. You can also look back at your journal to remember old ideas that can help solve new problems.

Face your fear

This may sound crazy, but a good way to sidestep the Type A trend is to give yourself an extra dose of what’s letting you down to show that it’s not so bad. For example, some therapists recommend long lines in the grocery store, just to show that you can survive the frustration of waiting. Or, just the threat of waiting in a longer line can help you be more patient in less time.

Turn it into a game

When you get frustrated along the way, make a game and count what frustrates you. The same can be done for life in general. If you see how many nasty things you can subtly tally, you’ll almost expect everyone’s quirks.


Next time you’re about to scream, why not take a deep breath and just exhale instead? When you feel like you’re about to explode, a few deep, slow breaths can do wonders! Breathing exercises are a stress reliever that you can take anywhere.

Love your pet

Pets have many health and stress management benefits, and can give you the extra calm you need. Walking your dog can help you relax and socialize, get in nature (or at least get out of the office) and exercise (another stress reliever).

Taking care of an animal and receiving its unconditional love can help you get in touch with the best parts of who you are. Even watching aquarium fish can have the effect of measuring blood pressure.

Work in your garden

Exposure to the sun, beautifying your garden and being in contact with nature are some of the benefits of gardening. All are great stress relievers. This stress taming tool can reduce overall stress and teach you a little more ease, softening your Type A tendencies.

A very good word

While you may decide to try and modify some of your Type A traits, this personality style isn’t necessarily bad. If you’re looking to soften some of your Type A traits, it might just mean you’re looking to de-stress and enjoy your journey more. You can still achieve your goals.

If you’re not someone with Type A personality traits, but you have to deal with someone else, it’s this: Practice assertiveness and healthy conflict resolution techniques. This helps you maintain healthier boundaries and keeps you from being overwhelmed by someone with a strong Type A personality.

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