life Mar 08, 2018
You really can’t fit people into well-defined boxes, but it sure is fun to try. With
absolutely no reservations, I would identify my husband as a Type A personality-
highly motivated, driven, multi-tasker; and myself as a solid Type B –relaxed,
patient, easy-going. However, when I took a simple personality test, I landed right in
the middle between the two. And when I took the test for my husband (we’ve been
married 28 years, I can do that) many of the answers were the same, and some of
the answers that were obviously the Type A response weren’t ones I checked for
him. So while I am thrilled to discover that I am apparently more motivated than I
thought I was, the differences between my husband and I are still a reality.
Following are statements from the internet describing five classic traits of the Type
A personality, and how we make them work for us.
1) Type A’s have got a severe sense of time urgency. They are always
running and can hardly relax. If they sat without doing something
useful they may end up feeling guilty. Often, they quickly become
impatient with delays and unproductive time, schedule
commitments too tightly, and try to do more than one thing at a
time, such as reading while eating or watching television. – Simply
I like to relax. This is the main trait that has always defined me as a type B. In
addition, I really can’t multi-task. And I’m rather patient. Sure, some of those things
balance out a Type A, but in reality, they actually just stress out a Type A. The reality
sounds unjust, unfair, I should be able to do whatever I want, right? Of course, but
we are a pair, and I what I do does affect him. We share a household, we share
children (even if they are adults now), and in our case, we often work together. It is
only natural for us to project our expectations on each other. My goal is to make
sure I can balance what I want, with what he wants. The obvious solution is just
plain old communication, but sometimes you have to get creative.
For instance, my husband is a woman’s dream. He likes to cook, and he always
cleans as he goes. Great right? However, I only like to do one thing at a time, so, I
cook, and then I clean. I might even eat in between, I might clean the next morning.
This drives him insane, so he often runs around behind me putting things away,
which is probably nice, but I just take it as criticism. That being said, I’ve chosen to
learn a few things from him, and I try to clean as I go if I remember, and if I don’t,
and he wants to run around a clean up after me, so be it!
At night, when we relax, he likes to play a movie on half of his laptop screen, while
reading emails, web surfing, and even watching additional videos on the other half
of his screen, while explaining to me some project we should tackle. Very relaxing.
Uh-huh. I like to read a book. Sometimes, so that we are doing something together, I
watch the half movie, or I listen to his project idea (obviously, I can’t do both). But
eventually, I just read my book. I tried.
2) They’re prone to stressing. Put simply, they worry a lot. They
do their best to see into the future and can’t shake the fact that
things can always go wrong. Plus, being as passionate as they make them
dread that ever possible and looming, crappy
outcome. Type A's biggest problem is stress, they are usually
overwhelmed by the amount of tasks they have to do. These tasks are
usually a huge list that they planned for themselves. -The 25 Things
That People With Type A Personalities Do
When type A is stressed, you can’t tell them to stop stressing and expect them to
just start being calm. That stress is their reality. At these times, he likes actions. The
best solution is for me to ask how I can help, and then do it. Deeper rooted stress is
more complicated. As my husband is very confident, I was confused when he would
show self-doubt or fear for what he would be able to accomplish, because I had
every sense of confidence that he would take care of everything. That was probably
a little unfair of me, but hey, Type B’s are supposed to be relaxed right? And besides
that, he always had done everything necessary to fix everything previously, so why
shouldn’t I feel that confidence in regards to everything? To help him, I’ve learned to
voice the inner confidence I have in him. “You can do it. That is your strength. I
believe in you.” Maybe that sounds trite, but it is part of that communication, I
mentioned earlier. Sharing my perspective on the situation has true value, and can
help him redirect his stress to something more productive.
3) “They have trouble understanding the stupidity of others. They
don’t believe themselves to necessarily be exceptionally gifted or
genius. So why is it that they are competent when almost everyone
else seems like a moron?” -The 25 Things That People With Type A
I found the above summary on self-identified Type A blogger Paul Hudson’s blog,
and it just fits perfectly. This trait, is probably the one that irritates me the most.
You see, my husband hates excuses, they are his biggest pet-peeve. Meanwhile, I
have a running litany of excuses in my head, that I can never use. Such a waste.
One thing I realized, however, is that he applies the same level of expectation he
has for himself to me, and actually believes I am capable of it. Quite honestly, he
has a lot more belief in what I can accomplish that I do myself. I’ve decided to
run with that belief and attitude, and it is actually helping me get things done.
4)” Type A individuals tend to be easily aroused to anger or hostility,
which they may or may not express overtly. Such individuals tend to
see the worse in others, displaying anger, envy and a lack of
compassion.” -Simply Psychology
This is the dark side of a Type A. And as the partner of a Type A, you are going to see
some temper. As intuitive as he is in seeing the best in a person, he is also quick to
recognize their failures, and this disappoints him. I believe he actually feels
responsible for the actions of those closest to him. As a peace loving person, and
someone who likes the happy version of my spouse I do spend a bit of time trying to
avoid his triggers. However, that can lead to dishonesty on my part, failing to tell
him that the dog ate his favorite shoes, or that I forgot to pay the insurance bill, or
that I loaned one of the kids money, or that I am writing a blog post completely
about him... Again, it comes back to communication. It has to be honest.
5) They love solving problems and believe there is always a
solution. They believe the world to work in a logical manner –
minus the illogical creatures that live in it – and therefore, believe
that there must always be a solution for every problem. For the
very few that may not have a solution, they should be forgotten. -
The 25 Things That People With Type A Personalities Do
This trait took me awhile to figure out, but brings me endless entertainment
now. He is constantly coming up with new ideas, which we may or not do, but he
will invest time in exploring. I kind of like going down those rabbit trails with
him, deciding whether or not to become emotionally invested along the way. His
favorite thing to do is to help other people. If someone mentions a dilemma or a
need, he has a solution. Recently, someone who was about to meet my husband
in a casual work setting, asked me how their visit would go. I said, “he will drill
you about what you are doing, and then give you a bucketful of additional things
to do.” An hour later, I got to ask, “What did I say, Kyle?” And a dazed Kyle
nodded in amazement.
He gets so invested in coming up with solutions, it amazes me. It is when I get to
see him at his creative best. Now, sometimes those ideas are for me, and I might
not always think it is quite so amazing, but I’m a type B, and I am really good at
being passive-aggressive. Maybe he won’t notice I completely ignored him?
As millions of people have proved, it is quite possible to live happily, and of
course, very productively with a Type A partner. It all comes down to balance
and communication and just a little bit of magic.
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