You've probably heard people referring to themselves as a “Type A/B” personality, but what exactly does that mean? Discovered in the 1950's by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, the A or B personality type is believed to determine one's disposition, outlook, goals, likely career, and even potential health issues.
While many medical professionals have since dismissed the Type A/Type B personality categorization, others believe the theory to hold valuable insights into human psychology.
Which Personality Type Are You? Take The Quiz!
If you're curious about whether you're a Type A or Type B personality, just answer the following 10 true (t) or false (f) statements:
- 1. T/F: You like to be organized and prepared ahead of time, no matter the occasion.
- 2. T/F: You consider yourself to be somewhat competitive, and have often been accused of being a sore loser.
- 3. T/F: You prefer to keep a clean, orderly household, and often clean up messes you didn't make to stop fixating on them.
- 4. T/F: You've been known to take on tasks designated for other people, just to make sure they do them “the right way.”
- 5. T/F: When you travel, you like to have an itinerary set ahead of time, and get uncomfortable at the prospect of just “going with the flow.”
- 6. T/F: You tend to judge others quickly and perhaps more severely than necessary, but what can you say? You like to know where you stand with people right away.
- 7. T/F: You generally believe that one's career is their most defining achievement, and particularly thrive in leadership roles.
- 8. T/F: You often worry about things that are out of your control, and seek relief in activities that allow you to regain some of that control, if only through the self, such as competitive sports or rigorous exercise.
- 9. T/F: You have high expectations of yourself and those in your life, and can be extremely hard on yourself if you feel you've let others down in any capacity.
- 10. T/F: You seldom make spur-of-the-moment decisions, such as booking a last minute trip or making an unexpected purchase, and when you do you immediately feel a sense of guilty recklessness.
If you answered “True” to all or the majority of the above questions, you're likely a Type A personality. Type A personalities are extremely disciplined, and seldom venture outside of their established routines and value systems. Achievement is everything to the Type A personality, and no area is left unexamined; career, personal goals, and even family are held to high degrees of excellence, which can often put immense pressure on all parties.
As a Type A personality, you're probably considered quite serious, if not strict, and may even be accused of judging others too quickly. Because you're so hard on yourself, you often apply the same system of checks and balances to everyone you meet, which can lead to disagreements and feelings of unfair assessment.
The Type A personality loathes last minute changes to their schedule, and looks down on those who seemingly wing it when it comes to matters of planning and organization. Because control is the #1 way to stave off unforeseen disaster, the Type A personality will often over-prepare, and panic when said unforeseen events arise.
If you find yourself registering as a Type A personality, you likely believe that hard work, diligence, and consistency are vital to leading a productive and worthwhile life. However…
Here's where the Type B personality has its place!
Just as a Type A personality thrives on a sense of control, the Type B personality teaches us to go with the proverbial flow, and allow for a little of the unexpected every now and then. Relatively relaxed when it comes to matters of control, Type B personalities don't need to take the reins all the time, and are generally happy to assist, rather than lead.
It's no secret that the majority of Type B personalities often pursue careers in the arts and humanities, as they tend to loathe overly competitive, clinical environments. Type B personalities need to be their own bosses and set their own guidelines, and are quick to shun any rigid methods of thinking and operating. Life just isn't black and white to the Type B personality, and they're usually pretty lenient in their judgements of others (often to their own detriment).
Type B personalities couldn't care less about winning or losing, and their emotional loyalties almost always come first. To the Type B personality, no career advancement is worth hurting others or losing the trust of peers, and this noble value system unfortunately means their efforts tend to go unrecognized in their own professional fields.
Type B personalities genuinely enjoy embracing the unexpected, and often make decisions that surprise even themselves! Variety is everything to the Type B personality, and nothing dims their spirits like routine and predictability.
On the domestic front, Type B personalities are typically more lenient when it comes to housekeeping. They don't need things to be spotless or perfectly in order, and are often accused of being messy by their Type A roommates and partners.
So Where Does This Leave You?
Needless to say, don't take the Type A/ Type B personality system too seriously; you may very well exhibit both qualities. Ultimately, Type A and Type B personalities can learn from each other in a number of regards. For example, Type A personalities can teach Type B personalities to be more responsible and orderly in their personal, as well as professional, lives, while the Type B personality can help Type A to loosen up a bit and enjoy a less controlling state of mind, which in turn allows for those unexpected surprises that make life interesting.
While the Type A / Type B personality quiz can be fun to take, it's important to remember that it's a loose system for assessing how one's personality traits can affect their health in the long run. Most of us exhibit a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B, so just keep doing your best and remind yourself that it takes all kinds to make a world.
Image credit: DigitalPsychology.net