Table of Contents
- What Is a Type B Personality?
- Research on Type A and Type B Personalities
- How Type B Is Different From Type A
- Ways to Determine If You’re Type B
- The Benefits of Having a Type B Personality
- Risks of Being Type B
- How to Navigate the Type B Personality if You’re Type A
- Stepping Into Your Strengths as a Type B
Psychologists and researchers use various terms to describe people with different personality traits, such as introverted, extroverted, type A, and type B. Suppose you’re not very familiar with the differences between the two main personality types (A and B). In that case, you might be unsure whether or not you exhibit more type B versus type A traits.
Those with type A personalities tend to get a lot of attention in the workplace, considering they’re known to be ambitious, detail-oriented, and diligent. While type B personalities may have less of a reputation for “getting the job done,” they’re equally as strong in certain areas, especially stress management, creativity, and maintaining relationships.
You’ll find plenty of type B people in high-achieving positions and challenging career paths. For example, one study involving medical students uncovered that a whopping 90% of undergraduate medical students leaned toward having type B personalities, compared to only 10% being mostly type A. An equal number of males and females were type B; however, the chances of someone being type A increased if they made it through to the 4th year of medical school, highlighting how type As tend to be persistent.
Learning about your personality type highlights your strengths and weaknesses, helping you become a better leader, employee, partner, or parent. So, what is a type B personality? And how do you know if you’re type B or type A? In this article, find out which personality type you identify with most, plus how to use your personality “superpowers” to improve various aspects of your life.
- If you consider yourself to be calm, flexible, and easygoing, there’s a chance you lean toward being type B.
- Type B people are known for building supportive relationships because they’re usually empathetic, understanding, and patient.
- About 80% of Fortune 500 companies use personality tests to vet for upper-level positions.
- Highly sought-out type B traits include being innovative, adaptive under pressure, and collaborative.
- As a type B, you can use your natural ability to handle stress and adversity to stay calm in tough situations.
- On the other hand, type B people may need to learn to manage their time well and stand up for themselves.
What Is a Type B Personality?
Those who exhibit type B personality traits tend to showcase a more carefree attitude along with a more easygoing approach to problems and issues. Someone with a type B personality is often described as being down-to-earth, relaxed, flexible, and patient. At the same time, they can become easily distracted and may have difficulty managing their time.
When we compare the two main personality types, type A versus type B, people with type B tend to be more capable of handling criticism, setbacks, and the unexpected. Research suggests there are certain advantages to having mostly type B personality traits, such as having lower stress levels, more patience, an adaptive attitude, and an easier time getting along with others.
Research on Type A and Type B Personalities
Type A and type B personalities were coined by two cardiologists named Ray Rosenman and Meyer Friedman in the 1950s. As part of their personality theory, these doctors predicted that certain personality traits, such as being perfectionistic and high-strung (which they referred to as type A), led people to deal with “incessant struggles” that increased their risks of developing heart disease and other physical ailments.
Risks of being highly type A may include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease and coronary artery disease
- Injuries due to aggression and impatience
- Anxiety, depression, and other forms of psychological distress
- Sleep disturbances
- Low self-acceptance and self-esteem
Several studies (although not all), including the Western Collaborative Group Study (WCGS) and Framingham Heart Study, have found evidence that people with mostly type A tendencies are more likely to develop heart disease than type Bs.
For instance, findings from a study published in Atherosclerosis suggest that type As may be at greater risk of experiencing all-cause mortality compared to type Bs. Psychologists believe this is because of type As dealing with more inner anguish and pressure.
Is the Type B Personality Healthier?
On the other hand, having a relaxed attitude and an easier time letting things go (which Rosenman and Friedman referred to as type B) was believed to be better for someone’s physical health.
Here’s what empirical research shows about the connection between someone’s personality traits and physical well-being:
- People with type B tend to have better stress management skills.
- Type Bs may benefit from enhanced immunity due to handling stress better, which results in healthier levels of stress hormones such as cortisol.
- Cardiovascular issues like heart disease may be less common among type Bs.
Certain type A traits, such as having high levels of stress, being competitive and hostile, and being perfectionistic, can contribute to health concerns. That said, because type As are more meticulous and sometimes anxious, they may be better at taking care of their health and keeping up with regular doctors’ visits.
While type Bs are more relaxed and less paranoid, they may be more likely to brush off health concerns and procrastinate getting help for illnesses that require treatment. Type Bs might also be more likely to use substances and drugs because they’re less worried about the outcomes.
How Type B Is Different From Type A
Researchers typically focus on three areas of life that divide type As from type Bs. These include:
- Job involvement
Those with strong type A personalities tend to score high in all three of these areas, considering they are often hard workers, very competitive, sometimes aggressive, and not very patient.
Although we speak about people being either type A or type B, most people possess characteristics of both personality types. Psychologists tell us that personality traits occur on a spectrum or continuum, with most people leaning more toward one personality type.
Top Traits of the Type B Personality
- More relaxed and carefree approach
- Flexible and easy-going
- Adaptive to change
- Tolerant of others
- Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty
- Creative and imaginative
- Even-tempered or level-headed
- Warm, understanding, and supportive in relationships
- Good at listening
- Tendency towards procrastination
- Sometimes not great at advocating for themselves
Top Type A Personality Traits
- More aggressive
- Strong problem-solving abilities
- Hard-working and determined
- At times hostile
- Difficulty with vulnerability
Cons of Being Type B vs. Type A
Type B people have many strengths, such as forgiving others and tolerating different viewpoints. However, type Bs are also more likely to do the following compared to type As:
- Waste time at work and not be very productive
- Delay switching jobs if they’re experiencing job dissatisfaction
- Avoid speaking up for themselves if someone is disrespecting them
- Stay in an unhealthy relationship rather than leaving them to pursue a better one
- Appear to be lazy and unmotivated in their approach to life
- Fall into substance abuse due to novelty-seeking tendencies
- Tolerate bad behavior
Are Type Bs More Extroverted or Introverted?
Being type A or type B personality type isn’t necessarily linked with being more introverted or extroverted. It’s possible to be type B and very social and outgoing, or more reserved and quiet.
The same can be said for type As. Some are vocal and outspoken, but some are introverted and more “neurotic,” making them less social. Both personality types can also be omniverts (super introverted or extremely extroverted, depending on the situation) or ambiverts (balanced introversion and extroversion).
Ways to Determine If You’re Type B
One of the easiest ways to determine your personality type is to take a free personality test online. Try completing one or more of these tests for insight into your personality:
Businesses also use a number of personality tests to help screen employees and choose those with the right characteristics for a position.
Examples of such tests include:
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): Used by more than 88% of Fortune 500 companies.
- SquarePeg: A smart recruitment platform that helps companies source, screen, and hire the right talent.
- Traitify: Helps assess how someone interacts with others.
- DiSC Behavior Inventory™: Measures how well someone will communicate and work on teams
Questions to Ask Yourself to See If You’re Type B
Below are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you’re type B. If you answer “yes” to most of these questions, there’s a good chance you lean toward the type B side of the personality spectrum.
- Are you naturally relaxed and easygoing?
- Do you have ways to manage stress that usually work well?
- Do you prefer letting others lead and make decisions?
- Do you usually take your time completing a task instead of rushing?
- Is having fun with no end goal in mind important to you?
- Do you frequently wait until the last minute to complete a task?
- Do you shy away from competitions and enjoy seeing others win?
- Do you enjoy creative and sensual experiences, like making art and slowly eating something delicious?
- Are you able to easily relax when you’re not working or focusing on a project?
The Benefits of Having a Type B Personality
Relationship Benefits of Type B Personalities
- They forgive people if they make mistakes and praise them for their achievements without feeling envious.
- They easily adapt to new or changing situations, including ones that require socializing.
- They practice patience instead of rushing.
- They listen well, making others feel seen, heard, and valued.
Professional Benefits of Having a Type B Personality
- They make great team players, since they can collaborate well and don’t feel the need to always compete or defeat.
- They brainstorm well since they can think quickly and “outside the box.”
- They’re quick to come up with new solutions when a project fails.
- They take accountability for their actions instead of blaming others.
- They can practice work-life balance that helps keep stress under control.
- They can listen well, receive feedback, and grow from critiques without getting defensive.
Risks of Being Type B
While there are many admirable type B personality traits, there are also some downsides to having a strong type B personality. The majority of people can benefit from balancing their personality characteristics in order to adopt some that are type A and some that are type B.
When someone is overly type B, their weaknesses can include:
- A tendency to procrastinate
- Poor time management
- Being passive and not taking chances
- Loss of income due to complacency
- Failure to uphold boundaries, which can lead to unhappy, imbalanced relationships
- Being taken advantage of due to not standing up for themselves
How to Navigate the Type B Personality if You’re Type A
If you’re more of a type A, here are tips for creating harmony with others and successfully dealing with type B personalities:
- Don’t assume that everyone else thinks or works the same way you do, including at the same speed or with the same level of detail.
- Give people enough time and space to work on projects without micromanaging them. Avoid rushing people or putting too much pressure on them.
- Ask for updates so you feel informed about a project’s progress.
- Don’t expect others to multi-task even if you like to.
- Keep in mind that perfection isn’t usually attainable.
- Try using feedback (such as from a type B manager) to improve instead of seeing it as an insult.
How Do You Handle Type A Personalities if You’re Type B?
- Establish a schedule so that you understand each of your responsibilities and when things need to get done.
- Communicate well with others to make sure you’re on the same page. This can mean answering emails, texts, and phone calls quickly rather than putting them off.
- Share positive feedback to create strong rapport, especially if you’re a type B who manages type As.
Stepping Into Your Strengths as a Type B
If you’re type B, you have a lot of advantages when it comes to maintaining supportive relationships long-term, preserving your physical health, and achieving happiness. You can use your type B “superpowers” to prosper personally and professionally in some of these ways:
- Continue to prioritize active listening, which is one of the best ways to learn and also build trust with others.
- Use empathy to build strong bonds.
- Tap into your creativity to be innovative and come up with great ideas.
- Spend time each day doing things that are fun and creative.
- Create specific goals with actionable steps. Writing down goals and making vision boards can be helpful.
- Appear professional and responsible at work by making sure you understand your responsibilities and deadlines.
- Give your team or manager regular updates on your progress, which keeps you accountable and on track.
- Establish a schedule to stick to, which helps you continuously progress toward goals and avoid procrastination.
Want to learn more about signs of emotional maturity and why it matters among people with different personality types? Check out this article: Great Leadership Requires Emotional Maturity: Here’s Why.
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