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The Type A Personality: The Impatient Contemporaries

Reading time 6 minutes
The Type A Personality: The Impatient Contemporaries

The study of personality has occupied scientists for many decades. In the meantime, several models and tests exist to classify and distinguish between different personality types. The best-known concepts include, for example, the DISG personality test and the Myers-Briggs model.

In the following article we will deal with a personality model that deals with stress resistance. Here we distinguish between a type A personality and a type B personality.

What behaviors characterize a Type A personality?

Type A personalities feel constantly rushed and pressed for time. They hate failure and find it difficult to let work rest. This is true even when the work project is actually completed. They are overly self-critical and want to achieve the most perfect results possible. In doing so, they do not mind measuring their abilities against other people.

They are also usually very impatient. For example, if you're standing in the checkout line at the supermarket and notice that the person behind you is nervously hoofing it, you might have a Type A personality. Having to wait makes people of this personality type downright aggressive.

An overview of other Type A personality traits:

  • Ambition
  • Competitiveness
  • Ability to Multitasking
  • Impatience
  • quick irritability
  • Delays / failures are perceived as catastrophic.

In summary, for Type A personalities, time is golden. They don't want to waste any of it at all. Friends and family often describe these personalities as very motivated, dedicated and impatient. Characteristic of this personality type is the permanent inner hecticness. Everything must be done immediately and satisfactorily.

characterize a type A personality

What are the differences to the Type B personality?

The Type A personality and the Type B personality are to be regarded as opposite poles. In practice, it is quite rare for someone to have only Type A or Type B characteristics. Most people are somewhere in the middle.

Type B personalities are deeply relaxed contemporaries. Stress and hectic are alien to them. They approach the tasks and challenges in their life with a remarkable Serenity an. These personalities do not view failure too tragically. They simply try again. Furthermore, Type B personalities appreciate a quiet, peaceful environment. They get bogged down when multitasking.

The differences in the overview

Type A Personality:

  • live
  • impatient
  • practice-oriented
  • Multitasking
  • "Everything has to get done."
  • "I can't fail."

Type B Personality

  • relaxed
  • very patiently
  • creative and philosophical thoughts
  • "One thing at a time."
  • "That can wait until tomorrow."
  • "Everyone makes mistakes."

Character traits and challenges of the Type A personality

Both the traits of the Type A personality and the Type B personality have positive and negative sides. A good example of this is the relentless ambition and hard work of the Type A. What sounds desirable at first is usually not so in reality. The Type A personality achieves a lot, but feels neither joy nor pride in the victories achieved.

In the long run, this leads to a mental imbalance. Although outwardly everything seems to be working, the affected person is grumpy and dissatisfied. The challenge is to value oneself and one's own achievements. Because the Type A personality has every reason to do so. Building a better Self-esteem can be learned within the framework of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Another aspect is the internal time pressure. Sure, Type A personalities are never late. On the other hand, they sometimes make mistakes because they always try to complete several tasks at the same time. For example, they make a phone call while writing a professional report or read while eating. In the end, only consistency helps here.

Type A Personality Challenges

To change something, you have to leave your comfort zone

A Type A personality that suffers from inner turmoil should consistently strive for structure. If you recognize this rushed behavior pattern in yourself, it is recommended to work with to-do lists. Write down all the tasks that need to be done and sort them by priority. Then take one task at a time before.

Resist the temptation to want to do several things at once. Admittedly, this takes a lot of discipline and effort at first. However, it is worth it for you to accept this challenge. Try to calm yourself down with breathing techniques as soon as you get nervous. This also helps in everyday situations where you have to wait.

Lack of empathy is the weak point of the type A personality

Another trait of the Type A personality is a lack of empathy. Not infrequently, these people behave towards others without understanding or even hostile. It's self-explanatory that deep friendships can't be built this way. The good news is this: empathy can be learned. You will see how much your quality of life and your everyday life will improve.

One way to develop compassion is to get a pet. If that's not for you, volunteer work is an alternative. Make an effort to approach people and get to know them with an open mind and without prejudice. Respect the fact that not everyone values the same things.

The importance of empathy for peaceful coexistence within a community has been demonstrated by the Bertelsmann Foundation with regard to a hot topic.

Type A and type B: the theory behind it

The idea behind the type A and type B classification originally came from the cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman. They suspected a connection between certain character traits and the prevalence of heart disease. To confirm their assumptions, they conducted a study lasting over eight and a half years.

If you'd like to take a look at Friedman and Rosenman's study, you can find it at. this link.

All the traits of the Type A personality that we have already explained simply mean one thing to the body and psyche: stress. The fact that chronic stress can be responsible for heart disease is scientifically validated.

At the time of Friedman and Rosenman's study (1960-1968), however, these considerations were still uncharted territory. It was therefore all the more impressive that a connection could actually be proven. Around 80 % of the men who could be classified as type A later developed coronary heart disease. Other significant factors such as smoking and obesity were also taken into account here.

Criticism of the model of type A and type B personality

There was all kinds of criticism of the research results of Friedman and Rosenman. Numerous critics criticized above all the fact that the parameters were too inflexible. Only very few people fully correspond to the Type A or Type B personality. These are to be regarded as extreme variants, most people are on a middle path. The usefulness of the model is thus undermined.

Another interesting discovery was made by scientists Ragland & Brand in 1988, who conducted a study confirming that Type A personality men were more likely to develop coronary heart disease than the average age group. However, the Mortality lower than in type B cardiac patients.

workaholic type a

How can I better understand my personality?

There are much more accurate psychological research methods than Friedman and Rosenman's model. Worth mentioning at this point would be the DISG personality model. This distinguishes between 4 types of communication. Interpersonal communication is an essential factor for success, Satisfaction and harmony. This applies both in the professional and private sphere.

You've probably noticed that you just can't have a good conversation with some people, while with others you're immediately on the same wavelength. The DISG model gives you an insight into why this is so. You will also learn how to improve your communication behaviour. You can find more information here.

Have you become curious and would now like to explore your own personality? Then we suggest you our free personality test based on the scientifically founded DISG model.

Always remember: In order to become the designer of your own life, you are allowed to strengths and weaknesses know. Which strengths can you use profitably? Which aspects of your personality should you work on to achieve your goals? A personality test can provide you with valuable insights.

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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