Monday, May 26, 2014

Traits of the Type-A Personality

According to Wikipedia, the Type-A personality trait can be described as “ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving ‘workaholics’ who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.”

Some of this is true in my case, but not all.

If you are active on Facebook, you are probably familiar with BuzzFeed.  If you are not familiar with this website, it is a social news and entertainment site where you can find tons of information, some useful, some not.  I don’t know where or how they get their information, so whether or not the information is valid, I can’t say.  However, many people post BuzzFeed lists and quizzes on Facebook, which is how I came to know the site.

I have taken many quizzes to find out which cartoon character I am, where I “should” live, what profession I would be good at, etc.  If you ask me, a lot of it is a waste of time—entertaining, maybe, but a waste of time.

With that said, the latest BuzzFeed article to show up in my Facebook newsfeed was “28 Problems Every Type-A Person Will Understand.”  Since I found myself nodding my head at many of these points, I decided to highlight the article as a fun blog post for this week.

1.     Most of the time you’re stressed out.  Actually, not being stressed makes you stressed.

Yes, most of the time I am stressed out—by all of the things that “must” be done.  I wouldn’t say not being stressed makes me stressed; more like, I feel I’m missing something (a deadline or a task that must be done) when there’s nothing to be stressed about.

2.     Basically, you only have one mode for how you do everything: URGENT.

Most of this time, especially at work, this is true.  I feel better when there are less items on my to-do list.  In order to get there, I often have to get several things done in a quick amount of time before items start to pile up again.

3.     Being late for anything is NOT an option.

True.  I hate being late.  Lately, however, I am finding myself more and more late for things.  I think that’s due to feeling like there just isn’t enough time to fit everything in.

4.     The speed between your phone buzzing and you responding to a text or email can only be described as superhuman.

Not true for me.  Often, by the time I get home, I’m so wiped out from working, running here and there, and getting it all done, I don’t have energy for texts or phone calls.  I answer them anyway, however, because I don’t like ignoring things like that, as they could be important.

5.     Until your work, project, or assignment is completed, you will be an utter nervous wreck.

This is not really true for me.  I will look forward to when the item is complete, but I wouldn’t say I’m “nervous” about it.  But, there’s always another project lurking around the corner, so enjoying a task’s completion is short-lived.

6.     When people tell you to “calm down” or “relax,” it drives you INSANE.

True.  This is mostly true because people will say that even when I am calm.  They just think or expect me not to be and will say that regardless of the situation.  I usually know when I need to calm down; I just need to be reminded every once in a while.

7.     And when you do try to relax, you can’t even do it in a relaxed manner.  Work hard, play hard, baby!

When I tell myself that my job right now is to relax, I can usually do it.  It’s the spontaneously relaxing that I seem to have trouble with, and not because I don’t know how to enjoy it; it’s more like there just isn’t enough time to fit it in.

8.     Weekends aren’t for relaxing; they’re just an opportunity to get more stuff done, like errands.

Very true in my case, at least for part of the weekend.  This is probably why I feel so drained by the end of the weekend.  I need to learn to let go of the stuff and make the time to relax a little more.

9.     And dating is nearly impossible, because not only are you too focused on school or your career, but NO one can meet your lofty standards.

I’m married, so this doesn’t pertain to me.

10.  You have to keep your phone screen organized and you also cannot stand the little red notification bubbles.

True and true.  I always have to clear out those notification bubbles, as they drive me crazy.  My phone app icons are pretty well organized, but the photo shown in the original article (linked above) puts my organization to shame.  Now of course, I’m thinking of reorganizing my apps…

11.  And this is your nightmare.  [a photo of a computer desktop with shortcuts and icons in disarray]

Yes, yes it is.

12.  Waiting in line is actually the most frustrating thing in the world.

I’m okay with waiting, so long as things go smoothly.  It is usually my luck, however, to get in a line where someone has an item that isn’t priced or the cashiers need to switch or some other time-consuming event occurs.  So, yeah, maybe this is a little true.

13.  Actually, just the thought of wasting even a second of time drives you insane.

Usually true, as I try to squeeze in as many things as possible into the time allotted.

14.  Winning isn’t everything to you, it’s the only thing.

If by “winning” they mean winning against myself, sure.  I’m not in a competition with anyone else, however.  It’s me against the clock.

15.  Which complicates matters, because for you, everything in life is a competition.

Not really.

16.  You live and die by your to do list.

I’m not proud of it, but yeah.

17.  Sometimes you will even write it on the back of your hand.  What?  It’s practical.

Nope, I never do this.  It’s messy and looks like clutter to me.

18.  Also, of course, your calendar is always full.

Guilty.

19.  Color-coding?  Yeah, that’s basically second nature to you.

But of course.

20.  You can’t just multitask; you have to MULTItask.

Yeah, I’m guilty of this also.

21.  You ALWAYS have to be in charge of group projects.

This is not true for me.  I may be obsessive about my part of the project, but I don’t try to control it as a whole.

22.  It drives you INSANE when people walk too slow in front of you.

Yeah, this does drive me insane.  Though, to be more specific, it drives me insane when they walk too slow and there’s no way for me to get around them.  That’s the maddening part.

23.  Actually, you’re pretty pissed that no one else can operate at the same pace as you.  Ugh, peasants.

In general, this isn’t really true for me.  Each person has their own way of doing things.  And as long as it gets done on time (assuming it’s time sensitive), who am I to judge?

24.  All-nighters are a way of life for you.

Not at all true for me.  I may end up going to bed late(ish) because I’m trying to get things done, but I want to go to bed early.  A girl needs her sleep.

25.  You literally don’t know how to procrastinate.

I do get the concept; I just can’t let myself do it.  Usually.

26.  Also, your body basically runs on caffeine for fuel.

This is generally true, mostly due to the lack of sleep as mentioned above.

27.  You don’t bite off more than you can chew because you can chew it all.

Definitely not true in my case; I often get in over my head because I have a hard time saying no, even if I want to.  I have to learn to say no more often, a lesson I never seem to fully learn.

28.  Yeah, being Type A can be a stressful at times.  Just kidding; literally all of the time.

The stress I feel from being Type A comes from me telling myself to let it go and be more flexible, more Type-B.  But that only puts more pressure on me to stop being “me.”  That’s the stressful part.

In conclusion, I have learned a lot from this little article.  During the past several months, I have found myself more overwhelmed and lazy than I have ever been in my life.  Even though I am determined to work through this, I have been thinking a lot lately about why I’m in this lazy state.  I think the answer lies in trying to do too much in any given day.  I’m just so overwhelmed with what I “have” to do (what I want to get done, really) that I don’t know where to start.  It makes me tired and lethargic and all I want to do is hide under the covers and sleep.

So reading about most of my tendencies as listed above, I think I need to back off on trying to do so much in any given day.  More often than not lately, I feel like there is not enough time in a day.  And while this is true, I can only do so much with what time is allotted in a given day.  I have to be more realistic about what I can get done.  Then and only then will I feel less stressed and enjoy more, which is my ultimate goal.  Seeing these personality traits written in black and white puts it into a little more perspective for me.

Here’s hoping it will sink in!

7 comments:

  1. I love that you posted this! I just saw the same link and definitely nodded in agreement to almost every single one. Here's to hoping that we can both find a bit of perspective!

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    1. Thanks! I hate how Type-A people and introverts always get a bad rep. They are portrayed as being "bad" or "abnormal." Neither description is either trait -- we're just different on both accounts. And what I love about this article is that it makes it sound cool to be Type-A. True, I get loosen my grip a little, but there's nothing wrong with being Type-A. If there weren't any, nothing would get done! ;)

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  2. Count me in too, type A to the core. Although I am always working hard to learn patience and kindness, which have helped me to overcome some of my impatience with others for being too slow/doing it wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying type A people are unkind, but in my own personal experience, being stressed and frustrated can make me snappy and bossy if I don't watch myself. And I plead fully guilty to having to be in complete charge of every project. At school I'd sometimes insist on doing the whole group project by myself so it would be 'perfect' :/ Thank you for sharing this, I shall take a closer look at some of my traits and see what needs a little...tempering.

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    1. It's funny -- I'm very patient in some aspects, and not at all in others. At work, I have to be VERY patient with people, which might be why I'm impatient with people outside of work. But what I'm really impatient with is people who are all about themselves, which I come across a lot. So for me, it depends on the situation. As for the projects -- I totally get wanting to be in charge so they are perfect, but I don't give in in those situations because it lets the others off the hook, which is sometimes what they want, for me to take over so that they don't have to deal with it. The project may not be perfect, but at least I didn't break my back doing all of the work while others got credit for it.

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  3. I was once told that I am a "type A in a type B's clothing" (like a wolf in sheep's clothing). I wasn't too sure about it then, and I don't believe it now. I'm more like an A- or B+ - lol! I definitely have some of these attributes, but I have taught myself not to get to worked up...with many years of practice. Although... I am now seeing Facebook posts that have "likes" that are not divisible by 5 (or 10), and I'm getting antsy about it. I'm going to work on that next! ;)

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    1. Ha ha, well given a recent post about rounding off Facebook likes, I can totally relate. ;) I don't "need" to round off those numbers, but it sure feels good when I do!

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    2. I knew you would! I'm glad it's just "if" it happens, phew! :)

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