Type A – Got Some?

All week I had been looking forward to Friday. The only activity was speed and agility training for our oldest. I was thrilled that we would be able to take it easy, relax and enjoy one another’s company. Then the bomb dropped this morning when my husband said, “I just want to remind you that I have the smoker tonight” (fundraiser for our alma mater’s football team). Damn it! We talked about this weeks ago, but it wasn’t on my phone calendar nor on the newly “cling to the wall” calendar that became a necessity in our household a few months back when the babysitter knew my kids’ schedules better than I.

I tried to reflect and gain an understanding of why this irritated me so much. I came to the conclusion that I don’t like surprises. Well, that’s silly…yes I do like surprises – the kind that my husband brings home just because, or when the girls’ teachers see me and have wonderful comments about them, or when a co-worker picks up a frothy drink for me…you get the point. I do NOT appreciate the unwanted, unplanned surprises. Yeah, I’m not that spontaneous kind of girl. I have more of those Type A personality traits. That got me thinking…what does that really mean? So, I turned to my trusted, got-to friend…the internet! I came across a great article from the Huffington post published 1/13/2104, written by Carolyn Gregoire. Interesting read I might add.  

I picked out many snippets I found interesting and added some thoughts.

” ‘Type A’ has become a pop psychology buzzword and catch-all descriptor for the more driven, anxiety-prone go-getters among us.” Anxiety-prone go-getter – accurate description of me.

“Coined in the late 1950s, the term ‘Type A’ originated when cardiologist Meyer Friedman observed a relationship between incidences of heart disease and personality type — namely, that those most likely to suffer a cardiac event also tended to have, in his estimation, more driven, impatient, high-stress personalities.” Oh crap. I better get ahold of myself.

“‘Type A Behavior’ (TAB) has become psychology parlance for a loose set of tendencies related to highly competitive people.” Competitive? Me? Of course!

“It’s not like there are ‘Type A’s’ and then there are ‘Type B’s,’ but there is a continuum that as you’re more on the Type A side of the spectrum, you’re more driven, and tend to be impatient and competitive and get irritated easily by impediments to your progress on things.” Spectrum? Did I just read spectrum? Impatient? Irritated easily? I used to be proud to say I was type A. It doesn’t seem so glamorous with those ugly words, though I know they do describe me. Yikes!

“Here are 16 signs that you’re a little (or a lot) Type A.”

“Waiting in long lines kills you a little bit inside.”  For sure – a waste of my time!

“Type A’s are deeply irked by anything that slows their progress or needlessly keeps them from getting things done — and when it comes to halting your momentum, there are few things worse than long, slow-moving lines.”

“You’ve been described as a perfectionist, overachiever, workaholic or all of the above.” Check!

“Type A behavior tends to go hand in hand with perfectionism and workaholism — characteristics that are closely tied together and generally driven by a goal-oriented mindset and intense drive to succeed.”

“You bite your nails or grind your teeth.” Bite my nails and shake my leg(s) uncontrollably. It drives others crazy and I ‘m not consciously aware I am even doing it.

“Type A’s are more prone to nervous behaviors like nail biting, teeth grinding and fidgeting.”

“You have a serious phobia of wasting time.” Who has time for that? (No pun intended) There are few things that are more aggravating to me.

“Stuck in traffic? Trapped in a waiting room at the doctor’s office? With your natural impatience and distaste for time wasted, you tend to get frustrated by waiting in line. Few things elevate your blood pressure and get on your nerves like time being wasted, either by you or by others.”

“You’re highly conscientious.”  Since I have had these things called kids, I am not quite as on top it like I used to be. Grrr! However, I do try to remember important events and make people feel special. I like others to know I deeply care about them and appreciate our relationship.

“You may get stressed and anxious more often than others, but it’s because you really care. In all areas of your life, it’s important to you to stay on top of things and make sure it all gets done. As such, you’re usually the one who remembers everyone’s birthday, makes sure the cupcakes and flowers are ordered ahead of time, and makes sure everyone is having a good time at the party.”

“You’ve always been a bit of a catastrophist.” When I was a worry wart – maybe. Not so much anymore. I’ve grown. Yay!

“But a lot of the time, you don’t feel fine — you can’t help but worry about the future and dwell on the worst possible outcome of any problem or failure.”

“You frequently talk over and interrupt people.” Guilty as charged!  I truly don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful. Sometimes I just don’t know how people will live without me imparting them with my knowledge and wisdom.;)

“Not on purpose, of course — you mean well and you do care about what people have to say. But you still find yourself cutting off your friends and acquaintances in order to make your points and advance the conversation.”

“You have a hard time falling asleep at night.” Absolutely not! By the time my head hits the pillow – I’m ready to catch some ZZZZ’s. I have done enough worrying throughout the day to tire me out.

“Type A’s tend to dwell on frustrations and worries, and it can keep them up at night. If you have Type A tendencies, there’s a good chance that a troubling event or conversation makes your brain go into overdrive when your head hits the pillow.”

People can’t keep up with you — in conversation or on the sidewalk. True story! My mind is churning so quickly, I can barely make sense of what I am saying. I am also a fast walker – why waste time?”

“Type A individuals are defined by their drive and competitiveness, says Schaubroeck. They like being on the go, and they love getting things done. The result? More often than not, they’re in a rush.”

“You put more energy into your career than your relationships.” I hope that’s not the case. I try to find balance, but I guess my family would best be able to answer that. I’m afraid to ask. 

“As a Type A, your natural tendency is to focus on measurable achievements like grades or promotions. So while your relationships are extremely important to you, it’s easy to slip into a single-minded focus on work or school — at the expense of the rest of your life.”

“Relaxing can be hard work for you.” Sometimes when there happens to be some free time, I plan to relax, but then quickly get bored and have to find something to do. However, when I am actually on vacation – I am able to enjoy my time away.

“For deadline-driven, goal-oriented Type A’s, taking time off to relax can feel unnatural — time is money, after all. To really get into vacation mode, you may have to look at relaxation itself as a goal. Then you’re all in.”

“You have a low tolerance for incompetence.” Without a doubt! Do it and do it right! Why is that so difficult?

 “Traditionally, Type A’s were described as angry and hostile, but psychologists have contested whether a predisposition to hostility is really part of the equation, according to Schaubroeck. But it is agreed that Type A’s are driven and goal-oriented above all else, which means they can be less accepting than others when it comes to anything that gets in their way — or any person who doesn’t have the same sense of urgency.”

“You’d be lost without your to-do list.” There is nothing like crossing a task off the list!

“Type A’s thrive with a goal and a plan of action, Schaubroeck explains. For that reason, to-do lists are one your best friends: You love seeing all your tasks plotted out and thrive on the rush of checking off a finished item.”

“At work, everything is urgent.” Sure, why wouldn’t it be?

For Type As, especially in the workplace, everything has to be done yesterday. There’s a sense of time urgency that goes along with your impatience and need for deadlines.

“Type A’s are sensitive to time and the quickest way to get on their nerves is to take your time,” advised a Psychology Today article on working with Type A personalities. “If you want to get on their good side, work at the same speed as they do.”

“You’re sensitive to stress.” UMMMM…YES…just ask my husband!

“Friedman’s pioneering research defined Type A Behavior as fundamentally high-stress. You may experience stress more intensely than others seem to, and either internalize or externalize it in response. These type of stress-prone personalities and behaviors have been linked with high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.”

“You make it happen.” I’d like to think so. As Nike says – JUST DO IT!

Type A – a little I guess. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Type A – Got Some?

  1. Enjoyed reading about Type A’s. Love all the research you did. I certainly don’t like lines, and do walk at a fast pace, but for the most part, I’m not a Type A, nope, not me. 🙂

  2. Type A high five! You’re in the safe zone… Where to begin? This read was fascinating. Great opener. Title ✔️. I think the part about hating surprises but actually no, it’s like unplanned annoying surprises and not fun ones that you asked for or its obv you wanted. That’s me to a T as well… Scrolling down, I loved the list. Type A is both terrifying and exhilarating. Rather be an A than whatever they figure out B is (I call them lazy). I think I read Type A’s are funnier. Or maybe I made that up but someone else could read it here and then also your slice and agree. Type A is funny and totally not a stroke. Type A thinks about their Type A-ness and tries to keep the negative aspects on the DL. Type A is considerate like that. I hit a little over half on this list which made me feel like I was falling as a Type A for a second but the ones I missed you seemed to answer very well and honestly following each one. I love that technique in writing. Brings it down from reading someone’s post to being a part of a written conversation I think. Love it all around 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback, Brit. I’m pretty good about being honest about my shortcomings. Many – yes but if I don’t admit them, I can’t change. And some things…well that’s just how I am and if they are no hurting anyone else – I’m good to go. That’s funny that you talked about viewing it as lazy. Sometimes I have a hard time accepting people aren’t like me and think the same way. I guess it takes many different people to make the world go round – huh? 🙂

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