By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy
Haven’t you heard people say, “Oh, I’m such a Type A personality” or “You’re such a Type B person”?
High-achieving folks often brag how Type A they are: “Oh, I can’t help it, I’m such a workaholic.” And Type Bs like to remind you how mellow they are. But did you know that there are also Types C and D personalities?
Let’s take a look at each of the types: I invite you to see which ones apply most to you and the people you know.
Type A: These individuals are highly independent, self-driven and know the importance of goal setting and motivation. They are competitive, time-conscious, impatient, and prone to hostility, aggressiveness, and rudeness.
They always need to be doing something and are lost without a tight plan of their day’s activities. They find it difficult to relax or even fall asleep quickly at night and have a low tolerance for what they perceive as incompetence. Type A people are likely to suffer from hypertension, stress, heart disease, and social isolation.
Type B: These personalities are essentially the exact opposite: they are hardly stressed, even in super-intense situations (“It’s all good, dude”) and others often describe them as cheerful and carefree. People love hanging out with them because they are entertaining and fun to be around. They typically lack a sense of urgency; they hate deadlines, preferring to “chill” and take things as they come.
Type B people usually give a project their all, but don’t get stressed about it. They handle failures well, seeing them as obstacles and moving on to other projects. They are extremely patient, rarely give in to pressure and aggression, and seldom get frantic about anything. They are also very tolerant, flexible and adaptable in situations.
On the down side, they tend to procrastinate and don’t handle deadlines well: “Dude, sometimes, you are just too laid-back.”
They lead a full social life, being cheerful and entertaining by nature, making friends easily. Of the four personality types, Type Bs are likely to be the healthiest: Their easy-going nature puts little stress on their biology. They may not, however, think that they need medical care when something physical goes awry.
Type C: This personality type is chock-full of deep thinking, thoughtful, highly sensitive, detail-oriented introverts. They rarely take things at face value and are interested in finding out exactly how things work. They think very analytically and make decisions based on research. Natural problem solvers, they focus on details and are able to notice and register things that other personality types may miss.
These folks tend to avoid social interaction, finding it difficult to get out of their shell and communicate with other people, but they’re extremely competent when it comes to numbers and logic. They don’t like risk-taking and handle criticism poorly (ironically, they are usually hyper-critical of the people around them). Type Cs are most likely to be hypochondriacs: obsessing over every little ache and pain. They will over-research and over-analyze anything that can go wrong: These are the folks who typically drive their doctors crazy.
Type D: These individuals are kings and queens of inertia. “Don’t rock the boat” is their mantra. They love their routines and will do their best to avoid taking responsibility and risks. To avoid rejection, they rarely open up and share their negative emotions, causing them to suffer from an enormous amount of stress, rendering them prone to heart-related diseases. Research studies show that as many as 18 to 53 percent of cardiac patients have a Type D personality.
In reality, we are all a mixture of the four personality traits described above: These types are broad classifications, so why not have a little fun with them?
Try a little experiment. Read through the four personality types and rate yourself on how each one applies to you.
For example: Type A — 50 percent; Type B — 20 percent; Type C — 10 percent and Type D — 20 percent.
It isn’t brain surgery, but it’s an interesting tool you can use to learn more about some of your strengths and weaknesses. You could even share this with your friends and ask them to rate you, too (if you’re really brave).
—Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.