Happy A-Type Wednesday - The Joyful Company
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Happy A-Type Wednesday

Happy A-Type Wednesday

Have you ever been called “A-Type” personality … I have, many times in fact.  By various people in my life, family, friends, work colleagues, Clients, suppliers … almost every kind has referred to me as this before.
There are times (probably more so than not) that I am happy to be called ‘an A-Type’ … because to me it means that I am driven, ambitious, and that I strive to achieve certain things in my life.  It also makes me feel like I am organized, responsible and reliable.  I think of those as pretty good qualities.

Well I thought so … but then this happened …

Over the last few months, actually a really long time, I have found myself in various situations saying, in a very irritated and angry tone: “s/he is such an A-Type personality”.
So if I like these ‘good qualities’ why do I get so upset when I am presented with them?

Why does it bother me that others are so driven, ambitious, want to achieve, organized, responsible, and reliable … ?

So I went and looked up what A-Type personality actually means. And it came from a study by a cardiologist who observed the behaviors of patients sitting in his waiting room, and who turned out to have heart conditions … yip, it actually has a lot to do with stress, but stress linked to personality traits.

The definition is: A temperament characterized by excessive ambition, aggression, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, focus on quantity over quality and unrealistic sense of urgency. It is commonly associated with risk of coronary disease and other stress-related ailments.

Now I bet some people that work with me will be nodding their heads and saying, yip, that’s Joy!
But that definition didn’t make me feel so good about myself, and specifically around the words excessive, aggression, quantity over quality, and then obviously the whole coronary disease thing freaked me out!
So I went looking a little more, and I came across an article from The Huffington Post, where they detail 16 signs that make you (a little, or) a lot A-Type personality and this made more sense to me.  Not all the signs make you a person, this is a general list right … so here is the list and here is how I fall into this ‘A-Type’ thing.

  1. Waiting in long lines kills you a little bit inside – this is about feeling stifled in achieving your goals, and feeling like someone or something is slowing you done … yes, this happens to me. Tick.
  2. You’ve been described as a perfectionist, overachiever, workaholic or all of the above – well no explanation needed there, yes, this would be me. Tick.
  3. You bite your nails or grind your teeth – I don’t do this. No tick.
  4. You have a serious phobia of wasting time – well I know I hate wasting time, hence the reason for Organized Joy, but a phobia … I suppose if it comes to a situation where I feel like I am not in control of my time, and I feel like it is being wasted, like sitting in traffic or in a doctors waiting room, then maybe? Kind of tick.
  5. You’re highly conscientious – apparently this about the fact that it is important to you to stay on top of things and make sure everything gets done. Mmmm yes that is me. Tick.
  6. You’ve always been a bit of a catastrophist – i.e. you can’t help but worry about the future and dwell on the worst possible outcome of any problem or failure. This is not me, I am very positive about the future. No tick.
  7. You frequently talk over and interrupt people – I used to do  this a lot, now I think I do it a little. So maybe me. Kind of tick.
  8. You have a hard time falling asleep at night – definitely not me, I can sleep anywhere. No tick.
  9. People can’t keep up with you — in conversation or on the sidewalk.  This is me, for sure, but I have meet my match at work for sure. So tick.
  10. You put more energy into your career than your relationships.  This was me before I meet my husband, and even now he would probably say this is more the case than he would want it to be (in his ideal world, even though he loves me as my ambitious and driven self). So no tick.
  11. Relaxing can be hard work for you. I definitely do get bored of doing nothing, and I battle to relax, but when I choose to relax, I really do.  So kind of tick.
  12. You have a low tolerance for incompetence. Definitely me, and more so each day. Tick tick!
  13. You’d be lost without your to-do list. Again, definitely me. Tick tick.
  14. At work, everything is urgent.  Yes, I like things done when I ask for them  to be done, but the older I get the more I realize this is somewhat unrealistic, unless I had a bunch of robots working for me 🙂 Kind of tick.
  15. You’re sensitive to stress. I think I work well under stress, it makes me operate … but I do feel the stress a lot. So tick.
  16. You make it happen. 100% Tick!

So out of 16 points I have 8 definite ticks, and 4 kind of ticks, and 4 no ticks … so probably 10 / 16 which is 63% A-Type personality.

That sounds ok to me … I am happy with that.

But now the question comes back about why I get ****** off when someone else throws their A-Type personality in my face … 🙂
I suppose it comes down to the fact that I worry that their A-Type will create trauma in my A-Type life.  But if I go back to the 16 points above, I should filter the situation with the fact that they are also just trying to achieve their goals … and good on them.

Here’s to all A-Types out there … may we all achieve what we want, because you know what, we all deserve it, so let’s cut each other a little slack and embrace the many of us just trying to do our thing.
The reality is that no one is actually trying to sabotage your thing, they just trying to achieve their thing.


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