Are You Type A or Type B Personality?

by Dan Johnston

Are You Type A or Type B Personality?

“The whole purpose of these two personality types is looking at how they affect your stress levels and, ultimately, that long-term impact on your health.”


Today I’m not going to talk about ENFPs or INFPs, or any of these 16 personalities.

Instead we’re going to look at something new:

Type A or Type B.

This is something I’ve been diving into recently for some of my own reasons that I’ll get into at the end of the post.

I’m sure you’ve heard of these terms before even in casual usage, you know – “That person is so Type A!”, but in this post, I want to explore the traits of Type A’s and Type B’s and maybe, more importantly, talk about the effects that can have on your life and things you can do to adjust so maybe those effects aren’t nearly as extreme.

Type A and Type B Typology: Origins

The first thing to know is that these terms come from the medical community, actually looking at heart disease, and I believe it was a doctor who was looking at the personality traits that are most likely to lead to high stress and, therefore, higher chances of heart disease.

That’s important to keep in mind when looking at these two types: It’s coming from a medical perspective and is about which personality type is more likely to impact your health and how is it going to impact your health.

Type A and Type B Personality Traits

So let’s start with looking at three traits of a Type A personality.

If we wanted to be really kind to someone with Type A, we could describe them as ambitious, someone who gets things done, and someone who takes charge.

That would be the wording I would use.

Now, if you look at the definitions, what you will often see is: impatient, aggressive, and controlling.

If you’ve got some time to kill and you’ve never seen the show Entourage, I would definitely recommend searching Best of Ari Gold and you will see the purest of pure Type A personalities in action.

Type B personalities are usually described as more laid back, more patient, and more flexible.

Looking at these two different types of Type A and Type B, it is not too hard to figure out which one is most likely to experience more stress.

Of course, it is the Type A personality. The person who always wants to get more done and who is very driven by results.

So I started looking into these two different types when I had this issue with my eye. I won’t get into the details but, basically, the main people who suffer from this are men age 30 to 50 with the Type A personality and, when I first got diagnosed with this, I thought maybe it’s a different reason.

I’m on this ketogenic diet, there could be all these different things coming up, I wasn’t really thinking if I’m Type A or Type B, but in my mind, I had Type A as being very competitive, very controlling, and this extreme personality like a business executive.

I didn’t necessarily think of myself as a Type B either, but I thought: I like to go for walks in the park, I travel a lot and, generally, I’m not super stressed out or really aggressive trying to crush the competition or anything similar.

So I’m probably not that Type A.

Right now we can pause for laughter as everyone who knows me would sarcastically say: “You’re not Type A. Riiight.”

The Problem with Determining Your Type

So the problem when looking at Type A or Type B can be one of the same things with looking at any personality typing system:

It’s that we tend to look at the extremes.

So yes, the most extreme Type A would probably be like Ari Gold: an extreme aggressive control freak who always has to win.

But just because you’re not, that does not mean you’re at the other extreme.

I started to dive more into the Type A and Type B personalities and get some more positive examples of Type A’s and what I found out is that generally Type A is always driven by something very goal driven, trying to make things happen and it’s not goal driven necessarily that they write it down and have like their three month plan, but goal driven in the sense that there has to be a purpose behind things.

So yes, I do go for a walk, but usually it’s because I know in the back of my mind, I need a break or I’ll burn out and not get as much work done.

I do like to go for runs and spend time with friends and I actually just enjoy doing those things, but I usually do it because I feel like I have to, like this is good for me.

This is part of being a better person or feeling better, or accomplishing my goals, or something like that.

And yes, I am very impatient.

My wonderful girlfriend Gabby and my mum’s words have softened me and helped me be more people patient and maybe a little more Type B in some of my traits.

But by default, I’m definitely impatient.

Now, of course, if you talk to any Type A, we would say: “Impatient? Yeah, we like to get things done. Why do you want to sit around all day, there’s so much we can do. There’s so much we have to make happen!”

So, What To Do About It?

It isn’t about whether I think Type A or Type B is better for society, or anything along that line, but if you are a Type A personality, which apparently no surprise I am, you may want to look at some ways to adopt more Type B traits.

Now, I haven’t gone as deep into this as I have with other personality theories, but my understanding is that there’s definitely more cultural influence and more changes you can make in terms of being Type A or Type B.

You’re probably not going to change your type, how you are, but you can adopt more Type B traits if you are Type A.

For example, I’ve mentioned before learning to go for walks, well, often the office I work out of is in the center of Prague close to the river, so I often go by the river, listen to an audio book, or some chill out music and just walk by the river for half an hour or an hour.

Of course, things like yoga and meditation are the cliches, right?

And that’s not a bad thing.

It might be cliche, but it’s cliche because it has very positive effects and helps out.

So if you’re a Type A or are spending your life with someone who is Type A and you’re Type B, which is very common – it’s quite a complementary relationship, you can definitely look at behavioral changes to change how you react to things, to change your levels of patience and to ultimately change the stress levels.

The whole purpose of these two personality types is looking at how they affect your stress levels and, ultimately, that long-term impact on your health.

As I try to implement this more and more in my own life, I will in the future, share some of the things I’ve learned and the things that work well for me.

But one thing I’ll say from the start is don’t try to force extreme Type B behaviors.

If you are Type A, there are many different ways to relax and disconnect.

In fact, I read recently that for corporate workers who are also in the military reserves, their weekends doing military training actually has about the same effects on their bodies in terms of relaxing as taking a vacation and just being at the beach.

So disconnecting and relaxing doesn’t have to be this extreme Type B like sitting on the beach and not moving for eight hours. I could never ever do that.

Your form of relaxing can be doing something else: going for a run, taking a trip that’s a bit of an adventure for you, even like playing video games or something like this.

You can disconnect and relax in more of a Type A fashion, which is probably going to be a lot more effective for you.

If you are quite impatient and quite driven, the odds that you’ll just be able to sit around and do nothing all day to relax? Probably not going to happen.

So definitely keep that in mind and don’t feel bad if you can’t just sit still and do nothing all day.

Find ways to disconnect and relax that are aligned with the things you’d like to do and will actually be enjoyable for you.

In the comments below let me know:

Do you think you’re Type A or Type B? Why do you think that?

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