Type a personality health

What Does It Mean to Be Type A?

In this Article

  • Characteristics of Type A Personality
  • Comparing to Type B Personality
  • Benefits of Type A Personality
  • Risks of a Type A Personality
  • Health Impacts of Type A Personality
  • Health Tips for Type A Personality

There are many ways to describe personality and divide them into characteristics. Personalities can be categorized in a number of ways. In 1970, two U.S. doctors named Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman identified personality Types A and B.

Characteristics of Type A Personality

Defining personalities into Type A and B is a spectrum with these two types at opposite ends. Most people are somewhere in between with a mix of character traits from each personality type. ‌

If you are a Type A personality, you are likely to be characterized as:

  • Driven
  • Being a hard worker
  • Having the determination to succeed
  • Being very quick to make decisions
  • Likely to multitask
  • Goal-oriented‌
  • Organized‌

More stress. All of these traits are very positive but can lend themselves to a higher likelihood of stress. If you have a Type A personality, you probably put a lot of pressure on yourself. You may feel the need to multitask if you have a lot to do. You want to get tasks done right and done quickly.‌

As a person with a Type A personality, you don’t like to waste time. You tend to see things in black and white, focusing on things immediately in front of you. You focus intensely on your work and list of things you want to achieve. If you feel like things aren’t going according to plan, you may feel impatient and irritated.‌

Because you put pressure on yourself, you may be more critical of your achievements. You may tend to focus on what you could have done better or more efficiently. This causes internal stress, which can affect your overall health.

Comparing to Type B Personality

A person with a Type B personality is the opposite of Type A. If you have a Type B personality, you are likely to be laid back and relaxed. You do your best work, but don’t stress about deadlines or to-do lists. If you miss a deadline or don’t complete a task, it doesn’t bother you. Type B personalities are less likely to experience stress on a day-to-day basis.‌

You may find that you lean more toward one personality type or the other. There may be a certain area of your life, like your career, where you tend to be more Type A than Type B. In other areas, you may feel less stress and pressure.

Benefits of Type A Personality

Many characteristics of Type A personality lead to success in careers. You speak to people directly and say what you feel. You make decisions easily and work hard to get things done and done right. You are likely to make a good leader, and your character traits make you desirable for promotions.‌

You rise to challenges in all areas of your life. When life is difficult, you keep moving forward. This can be especially beneficial in your personal life when the unexpected happens.

Risks of a Type A Personality

You are much more likely to feel stress with a Type A personality. You perceive that it feels natural or normal to juggle many tasks at once. You may work longer and harder than others around you. Really, you’re overloading yourself and not allowing enough time for mental and physical rest.

You may channel your stress as a way to drive you forward. This may work in the short term but takes a toll on your attitude and health. You may develop a short temper or treat others with hostility because they don’t live up to your expectations for yourself. This may strain your relationships at home and work.

Health Impacts of Type A Personality

Studies show that you’re at a greater risk for heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure with a Type A personality. Other risks may include:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Chest tightness
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Digestive problems

Health Tips for Type A Personality

Having a Type A personality is what you make of it. The characteristics can be good or bad for your health, depending on how you use your strengths. If you have a tendency toward stress, look for ways to improve your mental health.‌

Identify stress triggers. Pay attention to things that increase your stress levels. Once you identify stress triggers, you can find ways to improve those situations in your life. Plan ahead and seek ways to problem solve before your stress is too high.‌

Plan breaks. If you tend to overwork yourself, plan breaks in advance. If you’re at work, schedule breaks on your calendar. Even when you want to, don’t work through break times. At home, schedule downtime for activities you find joy in. ‌‌

Exercise. Physical activity is one of the best ways to beat stress. Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood. This can help you maintain a positive outlook instead of allowing stress to overwhelm you.

Do you Have a Type A Personality? Type A Personality Traits, Stress Management Strategies, and More

Written by Ayisha Sharma

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on November 09, 2021

In this Article

  • Are Type A Personalities Stressed Out?
  • Is it Bad for Your Health to Be a Type A Personality?
  • How Do Type A Personalities Manage Stress?
  • What Are Type B Personality Traits?

The phrase "Type A" refers to a pattern of behavior and personality associated with high achievement, competitiveness, and impatience, among other characteristics.

In particular, the positive traits of a Type A personality include:

  • Self-control
  • Motivation to achieve results
  • Competitiveness
  • Multi-tasking skills

Meanwhile, the more difficult traits that come with a Type A personality definition include:

  • Chronic competitiveness
  • Impatience
  • Aggression
  • Hostility 

Are Type A Personalities Stressed Out?

Yes. Because of tendencies to engage in urgent and achievement-oriented behavior, people with a Type A personality may feel more stressed or develop stress-related disorders. 

Other characteristics that make people with a Type A personality likely to experience stress include:

  • Impatience: People with a Type A personality often feel like they're constantly racing against the clock.
  • Competitiveness: People with a Type A personality are highly competitive and so might criticize themselves a lot when they fail to "win. "
  • Hostility: People with a Type A personality are easily angered and might see the worst in others, sometimes lacking a compassionate outlook.
  • Achievement-oriented: People with a Type A personality tend to base their self-worth on external achievement and may have a poor work-life balance because of their constant need to prove themselves. 

Is it Bad for Your Health to Be a Type A Personality?

There is some evidence that the Type A personality trait of hostility, in particular, might contribute to the development of CHD. 

In one trial of men, researchers found that more than twice as many people with a Type A personality developed CHD when compared to people with a Type B personality. By the end of the study, it turned out that 70% of the men who had developed CHD had Type A personalities.

However, because the trial only looked at adult men, it's unclear if the results can be applied to everyone with a Type A personality. In fact, later studies in women have not shown such a big difference between Type A and Type B personalities when it comes to health outcomes, suggesting that how people cope with their Type A personality traits is just as important as the traits themselves. 

How Do Type A Personalities Manage Stress?

If you have a Type A personality or relate to the aforementioned characteristics, it's important to find healthy ways of managing your stress. These strategies could include:

  • Exercise: Working out releases hormones like endorphins, which help increase feelings of pleasure.
  • Yoga: This is a form of activity based on slow movement and stretches that help relieve anxiety and improve mindfulness.
  • Meditation: Meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, and chronic pain while simultaneously raising your mood and overall energy levels.
  • Diet: certain nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the physiological effects of stress.

What Are Type B Personality Traits?

People with a Type A personality are often contrasted to people with a Type B personality, which is associated with the following traits:

  • Easygoing attitude
  • Low competitiveness
  • Low frustration
  • Lacking the desire to prove oneself

When it comes to Type A vs Type B personality, there's no clear "winner." As with all personality types, people who fit either the Type A or Type B personality type have both positive traits and flaws they should work on.

In fact, personality types are best understood as a spectrum with extreme Type A traits on one end and extreme Type B traits on the other. Most people tend to fall somewhere along the spectrum rather than right at its ends.

What are the types of personality and how to interact with them

It is a matter of life experience to understand what kind of person you are in front of you. But learning from our mistakes, as we know, is not always useful, which is why we often resort to psychology. You can understand the characteristics of your interlocutor right now and build relationships with him correctly, guided by simple knowledge about 10 basic personality types. Get ready - below is a very practical and useful guide from Tatyana Vladimirovna Mizinova, Ph.D., President of the European Association for the Development of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (EARPP), Vice President of ECPP (Vienna, Austria) and Director of the Persona psychological center.

For centuries people have sought to create classifications that could predict or explain the behavior of others.

Astrology offered signs of the zodiac, the Chinese horoscope determined the features of a person depending on the year of birth. As science developed, more precise and specific personality typologies appeared. One of the first belongs to Hippocrates, who singled out four types of temperament and, on the basis of the views that existed in science at that time, associated them with the influence of the internal fluids of the body:

Phlegmatic is a calm and unflappable person who rarely shows his true emotions and feelings. In study and work, he will be thorough and unhurried, paying attention to detail and quality.


Choleric is an impulsive, impetuous and passionate person with a sharply changing mood. He also quickly loses interest in the things he has started, especially if they do not bring immediate results. Showing exorbitant activity, choleric people are quickly exhausted emotionally and physically.

Sanguine is a mobile person with a quick reaction to events taking place around him, but at the same time able to maintain interest in work, even if it is not very interesting. Can easily experience failure.

Melancholic - an impressionable person, often in despondency and thoughts, easily vulnerable, prone to constant experience of his internal processes. Prefers to avoid noisy communication and work alone.

With the development of scientific knowledge and the growing interest in human psychology, dozens of other classifications have appeared based on completely different criteria, and sometimes repeating and complementing each other.

Thus, Jung singled out two main psychotypes of personality based on the reaction to external stimuli. An extrovert is a person who enjoys communicating with others, open to the world and willingly making contact. Introvert - is distinguished by restraint and prefers solitude to social contacts.


German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer and American psychologist William Sheldon proposed a theory about the relationship of temperament type with bodily manifestations and described three types of physique and their corresponding psychological types.

Asthenik — a man with narrow bones, underdeveloped muscles, thin. He tries not to take active actions and prefers reflection. Often these are closed people who avoid active communication.

Athletic - the owner of a developed skeleton and muscles. Purposeful, persistent, energetic, prone to risk. This type of people is prone to impulsive actions without much thought.

Picnic is overweight, good-natured, open person, prone to seeking comfort and enjoying food.

Very common and often used today is the classification according to the leading type of perception in humans.

Visual psychotype . It is important for such people to see. Best of all, they assimilate information when reading, and also always evaluate externally, since images, colors, visualization, and gestures play an important role for them.

Auditory psychotype. Such people pay attention to the interlocutor's speech, voice timbre, tone. The information that they perceive by ear is more understandable for them and is better remembered.

Kinesthetic Psychotype . People of this psychotype are used to feeling. Tactile contacts are important to them, they perceive information through smell, touch and with the help of movements.

Discrete - a person whose perception of information occurs through logical comprehension with the help of numbers, signs, arguments. This psychotype develops as a person grows up, since it is based on well-formed logical thinking.


These are just a few of the most well-known classifications that make it possible to rather conditionally group people into groups according to related characteristics.

A more interesting and profound classification, on the basis of which psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists work, is the classification proposed by Nancy McWilliams in the book "Psychoanalytic Diagnosis". It describes ten basic personality types.

Schizoid personality type

How to recognize? Most often this type of personality occurs in men. They appear self-absorbed and often avoid contact, preferring computer games instead. Outwardly, they look like loners with “frozen” feelings and strangers in the company detached from the whole world. However, this erroneous impression disappears if you get to know them better. These are very subtly and sharply feeling people, capable of love and care, but they cannot stand the noise and pressure on them.


How to interact? They live at their own pace and are grateful if their partners understand them and don't put too much pressure on them. Meetings and joint affairs with them must be agreed in advance, since spontaneous actions frighten them rather than attract them. In any IT company, you can always find many employees with this type of personality.

Antisocial personality type

How to recognize? Most often these are people whose childhood was spent in difficult conditions. Not receiving enough love and care, they perceive the world as a threat and react with aggression, even when no one attacks them. People with an antisocial personality type are not capable of empathy and cannot understand the feelings of others, so they rarely establish strong relationships and often change partners without trusting anyone. When they meet, they give the impression of bright, courageous people and attract with their extraordinary and sometimes risky actions.

How to interact? They generously make promises that will never come true, engage in failed projects for their own benefit, and never feel remorse for hurting loved ones. Oddly enough, antisocial individuals, going over their heads, are successful in business - their unscrupulousness helps them in this. What you never hear from people of this type are words of tenderness. Any manifestation of feelings they perceive as weakness.


Depressive personality type

How to recognize? These are people whose attitude is based on low self-esteem and the feeling that they will always be not good enough. In childhood, they were rejected by their parents: for example, they were left to live with their grandmother. This experience in adulthood is transformed into their unconscious belief that they are worthy of rejection. The whole life of people with a depressive personality type is aimed at earning the love and recognition of others.

How to interact? These are very kind, gentle people, often sacrificing themselves without any benefit. They try to do as much good as possible in all areas that are available to them. They rarely get angry and express dissatisfaction with others, directing negative feelings towards themselves. People of the depressive type are prone to anhedonia and respond with great gratitude to any manifestations of attention and love for them.

Manic personality type

How to recognize? A person with a manic personality type is always cheerful and cheerful, tends to idealize others, often flirts and attracts attention with noisy behavior, which is sometimes excessive.


Almost in any company there is a person who speaks loudly, actively gesticulates, gushing with jokes and ideas, thereby greatly tiring others. It is quite difficult and tiring to be with such a person for a long time - this is the basis of his problems.

How to interact? Manic people cannot stand loneliness, immediately falling into anxiety, but their activity gives the impression of superficial communication and unwillingness to enter into close relationships. People with this type of character can be excellent organizers and crisis managers. They are successful in any business that requires quick turn-on and action.

Narcissistic personality type

How to recognize? This personality type has been often demonized lately, and the words "narcissist" and "abuser" have become almost synonymous. But it is not so. Most often, people of this type grow up in families where love had to be earned, they were constantly compared with other children, emphasizing other people's achievements and devaluing his own. The feeling that he was good and loved arose only if he was praised for grades or other merits. People with a narcissistic personality type are in two polar states: grandiosity and insignificance. They need to constantly achieve the highest results in order to feel good. The slightest failure is perceived as a total failure, which is accompanied by a sense of destructive shame.


How to interact? They cannot stand the slightest criticism, they are constantly preoccupied with their appearance and social status, they suffer from perfectionism, which does not make them feel the joy of achievements. This psychotype is equally found among both men and women. At the beginning of a relationship, a bright and unforgettable period of passion and adventure awaits them, which is always replaced by disappointment and the problem of getting out of this relationship, as the partners are held by memories and the hope of returning all the good things.

Paranoid personality type

How to recognize? One could say about the paranoid personality type that these are people with a “bad character”. Suspicion, incredulity, lack of a sense of humor, criticality are their characteristic features, which often lead to a lack of friends and family relationships.

How to interact? Often they are consumed by pathological jealousy - they can constantly check their partner, because they are afraid of betrayal and see him everywhere. The feeling of constant tension and the inability to relax, the need to be in constant struggle, greatly complicate their life. At the same time, these are people with a high level of intelligence: they can reach high positions in areas where their character traits are applicable.

Masochistic personality type

How to recognize? Often these are people who are defiantly in the position of a victim, forcing others to show sympathy and support for them. There are three main topics that these people complain about: Even if they seek the help of a specialist, they still do not follow the recommendations.

  • Marriage - often choosing partners who are abusers and alcoholics, they do not at all want to part with them, but are inspired by the idea of ​​saving or re-educating them.
  • Children — a life sacrificed for the sake of children becomes the central idea, even if children do not need it and over-care rather burdens them.
  • How to interact? Most often, women belong to this type of personality. Before we allow ourselves to be drawn into a discussion of their suffering, we need to consider whether we are becoming an object of manipulation.

    Obsessive-compulsive personality type

    How to recognize? The obsessive personality type tends to get stuck on thinking about ideas and intentions, for them the transition to action is problematic.


    Any purchase, not to mention changing jobs or choosing an apartment, causes a lot of problems and doubts. They can plan trips for years, but not take concrete steps, as they are not sure of the correctness of their choice.

    In contrast, people of the compulsive type are prone to rash impulsive actions and decisions that they later regret.

    How to interact? Parents of people with this personality type are overly strict and demand absolute obedience from their children. As a result, they either accept these settings, constantly doubting the correctness of the choice, or they rebel, trying to do everything quickly, until the conditional "parent" stops them. People of this type are kind, take responsibility, are attuned to family life and love to equip life.

    Hysterical personality type (theatrical personality)

    How to recognize? Bright, demonstrative, in need of attention and demanding love. Most often, it is women who are representatives of the hysterical type of personality.

    They tend to get into stories connected with love dramas, they can drag them out for years, falling into dependence on these experiences. Therefore, they often move from one love crisis to another.

    How to interact? The hysterical personality type implies high emotionality, but at the same time the ability to create strong, warm and stable relationships. In them, the partner will be comfortable, provided that he is generous with compliments and manifestations of love. In their hearts, women of a hysterical personality type always remain little girls in dire need of a partner's care. They are always ready to play their little performance both for a large hall and for one spectator.


    How personality type affects health , impatient or irritable" people are more likely to die in the event of a second heart attack.

    The authors of the study concluded that "aggressive" personality traits can serve as an independent predictor of heart attack mortality even after factors such as gender, age, education, marital status, diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking.

    In short, your irritability is not an indication that you will have a second heart attack after the first, but that you are more likely to die from them.

    "Hostility has been associated with cardiovascular disease since the 1950s, but we still don't understand why," said project leader Dr. Tracey Vitori. “Our study shows that hostility is a common feature in heart attack survivors and is associated with poor outcomes. More research is needed to understand how this trait affects the body."

    However, this is not the only way your personality can affect your overall health. Here are a few other examples…

    Extroverts have stronger immune systems

    According to a 2015 study from the University of Nottingham, friendly people tend to have higher levels of inflammation, meaning more a strong immune response that allows the body to recover faster from injury and fight infections. Tests have shown that the genes responsible for inflammation are 17% more active in people who have been identified as extroverts as a result of their character studies than in more introverted people.

    However, the downside here is that inflammation is often associated with various negative side effects, including diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cancer, so it probably cannot be considered a completely positive response, especially for older people.

    According to one theory, the observed effect does not mean that the person's personality informs the immune response; on the contrary, the immune response informs the individual. Perhaps the existing weakness of the immune system makes introverts more cautious and less prone to risk.

    Optimists have better health and a lower risk of premature death

    For decades, studies have been published showing that looking on the bright side is good for your health. For example, in 2014, a study was conducted on middle-aged patients who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery. It turned out that optimists were half as likely to end up in the hospital again, and they also felt less pain during surgery.

    A study in Finland back in 2000 found that pessimists were more likely to develop high blood pressure than people with a more positive outlook, taking into account factors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and alcohol abuse .

    In addition, a 2006 study found that optimists were less likely to develop viral symptoms than pessimists when dealing with the same disease.

    The impact of a positive attitude towards life on health is not limited to this. Here are more examples: people who laugh more increase energy intake and heart rate by 10 to 20 percent, and older people with a more positive attitude are more likely to maintain health and an independent lifestyle. There are numerous theories on this. The first of them says that healthier people are more likely to have a positive attitude than those who are more prone to various diseases. However, optimists are more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle and form the secure supportive environment that is associated with good health. It's possible that optimistic people produce less of the stress hormone cortisol, which reduces inflammation.

    Cynics and introverts are more likely to suffer from dementia

    According to a 2014 study in Sweden, people who are mistrustful of others are three times more likely to suffer from dementia than less cynical people.

    “Perhaps this is because people with a high degree of cynical distrust of others are less likely to participate in social life than people with a more optimistic personality type,” said Anna-Maija Tolppanen, lead author of this study. . “We know that social isolation increases the risk of dementia.”

    It has been shown that social activity, interacting with other people and even just talking to them can all have a protective effect against dementia, so it may well be that people with a more misanthropic personality are more at risk.

    Another 2012 study found that depressive and hostile traits in people are associated with mental decline in old age.

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