(The following excerpt from 16 Signs You’re A Little (Or A Lot) Type A by Carolyn Gregoire recently appeared on huffingtonpost.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
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. Though Friedman first proposed Type A theory in his writings in various academic journals in the ’50s, the theory become popularized when his book with Dr. Ray H. Rosenman, Type A Behavior And Your Heart, was published in 1974 and soon afterwards become a bestseller. Since then, “Type A Behavior” (TAB) has become psychology parlance for a loose set of tendencies related to highly competitive people.
Today, the term might seem like a relic of classical psychology, but it is still accepted as a valid personality theory, with some caveats. We should think of Type A as a spectrum of behaviors and traits rather than a label or distinction from a “Type B” personality, explains John Schaubroeck, professor of psychology and management at Michigan State University.
“Type A is a shorthand way of referring to a predisposition that people have,” Schaubroeck tells the Huffington Post. “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.”
While the overarching classification of Type A personalities may be a bit of an oversimplification, the spectrum can still be a helpful psychological tool to help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Here are 16 signs that you’re a little (or a lot) Type A.
Waiting in long lines kills you a little bit inside.
You’ve been described as a perfectionist, overachiever, workaholic or all of the above.
You bite your nails or grind your teeth.
You have a serious phobia of wasting time.
You’re highly conscientious.
You’ve always been a bit of a catastrophist.
You frequently talk over and interrupt people.
You have a hard time falling asleep at night.
People can’t keep up with you — in conversation or on the sidewalk.
You put more energy into your career than your relationships.
Relaxing can be hard work for you.
You have a low tolerance for incompetence.
You’d be lost without your to-do list.
At work, everything is urgent.
You’re sensitive to stress.
You make it happen.