The Type A personality, Definition, Behavior & Characteristics

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What is a Type A personality

When they face frustration and insecurities some people choose to become depressed while others choose to become type A’s. A type a personality is the personality type that results from the choice a person makes to deal with these insecurities rather than ignoring them.

A type B can become a type A after facing a dramatic problem but before that can happen he has to have the tendency to become a type A. If a man was very rich and then an economic down turn made him poor then he may turn into a type A in order to overcome the financial insecurity he is suffering from.

On the other hand this man may not become a type A and remain helpless or depressed if he didn't have the tendency to be a Type A.

So the type A personality is not inherited but rather it results from combination of the tendency to become a Type A and of facing certain life events.

The tendency to Become a Type A

When it comes to personalities Beliefs are more important than genetics. Suppose that the rich guy who became poor had a belief that he can never rebuild his fortune again, what would have happened to him?

In this cases he wouldn’t have managed to become a Type A because he was going to think that his actions will be useless. (see the article limiting beliefs for more information on that topic)

In some cases, depression can be defined as the inability to find a way that allows you to release your frustration. If you cant find a job and don’t know where to look for one then you may become depressed. However if the city you live in was full of job opportunities then you wont become frustrated or depressed because you have a way out. Type A’s seem to always know their way and that’s why they always have lots of things to do.

Type A Personality Characteristics & Behaviour

The Type A is an ordinary normal person operating at his maximum possible speed. He wants to achieve a big goal but he thinks that time is very limited and as a result he develops the following behaviour:

  • Exaggerated Sense of time urgency: Since the type A thinks that time is running out and since his goals are too big he always races with time. If you want to lose a type A in few days then waste his time (by making long phone calls or let him wait too long)
  • Competitiveness: The type A is a very competitive person, he considers everything to be a challenge. He is challenging the circumstances that led to his insecurities and he will challenge every thing else that stands in his way.
  • Multitasking: The type A can handle more tasks at the same time than ordinary people . You can easily know that a person is Type A if you found that he is involved in at least five unrelated activities while performing well at them all.
  • The Price for Over Achievement: Over achievement does not come for free. Type A’s are subject to tremendous amounts of stress. Their life style is the main cause of this stress they suffer from (always running, having lots of things to do & racing with time)

Dealing with Type a Personalities

Losing a Type A is very simple, just waste his time!!
If you found that a type A doesn’t want to talk much on the phone and you kept talking he may avoid speaking to you again.

If you were trying to sell him something better do it now because if you told him to come next week you won’t see him again (see the psychology of selling & marketing for more information).

Respect The Type A’s sense of time urgency by not making him wait for long periods of time. When you plan to hang out with a Type A make sure that you arrive on time and its even better to have a plan for what you are going to do. Type A’s hate uncertainties not because they can’t handle them but because they don’t know how much time will it take them to go for an unknown task.

Final Words for Type A’s

Learning how to manage your stress levels is an essential life skill you should have else you will be exposing your health to severe damage. If you managed to eliminate this stress you will have the strengths of a Type A and the good health of a Type B.

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