Are You Type A or Type B?
We all know someone who is a Type A personality. We typically think of them as fast-paced, competitive, very self-critical, quick to make decisions. In their mind, whatever they’re working on should have been done yesterday. They hate delays.
A Type B personality is normally seen as just the opposite. They tend to be more relaxed, laid-back, more reflective, even quieter and less competitive.
That’s not to say that either Type A or Type B personalities can’t exhibit some of the other type’s characteristics, but overall, they are consistent with their type. There is a spectrum for personality types where some people gravitate toward the middle between the extremes. For now I’ll just stick to the extremes and focus on Type A. Why? Because that’s what I am and that’s what caused me to write the book, Is It Worth It? – Simplify Your Life with Personality Type”. I based the book on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), which is different from analyzing someone for Type A or Type B traits, though not quite as different as you may think.
Which Type Tends to Have a More Complicated Life?
First, let’s define what it means to have a complicated life? It’s a life that lacks balance. It lacks serenity. It lacks clarity of purpose. It’s a life that’s overloaded, whether it be from things or activities, relationships or finances. It’s either a matter of too much or not enough.
That sounds a lot like a Type A. Our first thoughts might be – “Boy, do they need to simplify their lives!” However, we have to be careful about judging someone based on what we see, especially if you’re a Type B and assume life must be complicated for a Type A. Only the person with a Type A personality can best judge. Of course, they can be in so deep they can’t see a problem or it isn’t a problem to them. Remember, there are some people who thrive on overload until they can’t. Until their health or something else gets in the way.
Our natural tendency is to think that a Type B personality doesn’t have a complicated life. They appear to already be living a simplified life. It appears they allow life to happen without pressuring life to happen. That is, unless they’re put in a situation that doesn’t fit with their Type B personality. Then life does get complicated.
For this discussion, let’s accept that Type As have a complicated life and the following may be some of the reasons:
Signs You’re a Type A
- Impatience. You’re in the grocery store, scanning for which line to stand in for to check out. You pick a line. Then you find yourself constantly checking the other lines to see if you picked the fastest line. Inevitably, you didn’t and only get more ticked at yourself.
- You’re a perfectionist. You’ll go over something again and again to make sure you got it right. But then get upset that you took so much more time to do it or you have to burn the midnight oil.
- To a Type A, wasting time is a waste of time. Time is a precious commodity. If you’re a Type A, you feel you have to spend it wisely, which normally means doing something that has purpose and allows for a goal to be achieved.
- You tend to interrupt people while they’re talking. It may appear insensitive to those you’re with. You don’t mean to be. But you feel that what you have to say can’t wait. Part of the problem is not being able to still your brain. Even when others are talking, your brain is busy formulating what you will say next.
- This leads right into a discussion about insomnia. Type As have a real problem with stilling their brain in order to easily fall asleep. They’re the ones you’ll see with a pile of notes next to the bed in the morning.
- Relaxing can seem like a waste of time to a Type A. If you’re a dead-line driven person, where can relaxing fit into that?
- If you are a Type A, you probably have a low tolerance for people who are incompetent. Sometimes you’d rather just do the job yourself than watch someone screw it up.
- High on your list of traits is a predisposition to experience stress more intensely than Type B. But there are so many things causing you stress whether it’s that grocery line I mentioned, to being a perfectionist, to not being able to relax.
- When a job needs to get done, ask a Type A to do it. They’ll get it on the calendar, set a date for completion, and get it done on time and as perfect as possible within the time frame or work into the night.
Solving Your Complicated Life
The easy answer here is to buy my book, Is It Worth It? In the book you’ll find out what your MBTI® type is. Then you’ll learn how to make the tough decisions using the Z-Pattern of Decision-Making. Each time you’re confronted with a problem, you need to know how to solve it.
I’ll take myself as an example. I’m an ENFJ. The Extravert in me is always getting me into one more thing I should or can be doing. It also causes me to multi-task, which really makes life complicated. The iNtuitive part of me can see marvelous opportunities on the horizon where thoughts of when it’s all going to get done is never raised. The Feeling part of my type has me offering help wherever it’s needed even when there is no time for it. And the Judging part of my type has got me saying “yes” to too many things. My type also makes me a perfectionist. I could probably put a check mark next to almost all of those statements above for the signs of being a Type A.
Now that I’ve admitted to having a complicated life, I’ve started to un-complicate it. That was part of the reason for writing the book. I had three online businesses. Because one of them needed to have its software updated, I was given the opportunity to decide whether it was worth the investment of time and money. I put that question through the Z-Pattern and was able to determine that, “No, it wasn’t worth it”. That my time was better spent on the other two businesses,. As a perfectionist, I couldn’t stand any of my businesses falling short of my own expectations. So, I felt I could better serve the other two businesses by letting that one go. It was a hard decision. But I made it.
I’ve started to un-complicate my life. Hopefully you can too!