I don’t think anyone has not heard someone described as a Type A Personality in movies, a family member, or someone you work with on a regular basis. Okay, I’m not immune to this personality type label. I admit it, I’m driven, focused and I have goals for both my personal and business ventures, and…. I can be intense at times.
So is this a good or bad thing?
Well, I wanted to dig a little bit further to find out where this Type A Personality Type originated because it seems to be a given these days and a part of our everyday vocabulary.
I decided to start with someone who could answer this for me, Carl Jung (1875-1961), who started out with an interest (or rather fascination) with medicine and spiritual phenomenon, and then of course moved into psychiatry. He struck up a friendship with Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), which greatly influenced his later theories and the study of the human mind through dreams, myths, art and philosophy.
From the website MBTI Type Today, it explains,
“The essence of Jung’s theory of psychological types is simple; when our minds are active and we are awake, we are alternating between taking in information and making decisions in our internal and external worlds. Jung identified eight different patterns for how we carry out these mental activities (now referred to as mental processes, functions-in-attitude, mental functions or cognitive processes). He created these patterns through combining his opposite pairs of attitudes and functions.”
Jung’s theory of the psychological types was that we approach the world with an attitude of either introverted or extroverted. Then our perceptions (sensing or intuitive) and judgments (thinking or feeling) drive us, which in turn make up his eight mental processes.
Fascinating stuff! This is a great way to analyze yourself or use it to create a fictional character in a story. It adds depth and understanding into personality types and what makes an individual unique.
Definitions for Personality Types are typically described as:
Type A Personality:
Characterized by excessive ambition, competitiveness, drive, impatience, need for control, focuses on quantity over quality, and also has been described as aggressive.
Type B Personality:
Characterized by moderate ambition and drive, attitude cooperativeness, focuses on quality not quantity, and generally has an easy-going approach to life.
Type C Personality:
Characterized as having a lack of emotion, when in fact, they are frustrated and angry. They may seem quiet and thoughtful, but there’s some unresolved feelings lurking below the surface.
So… I’m guessing that you’re seeing a clearer picture of yourself and some of the people you know. I dislike labels, but it’s interesting to take a closer look and my take is that most people are a combination of personality types. There is a nice balance of personality types that would make life easier, and make you a calmer and more focused person.
The next time someone calls you a Type A Personality, you can reply by saying you’re more of a Type B Personality with drive, ambition, and easygoing attitude.
Do you agree?
What’s your personality type?
(reposted from 10/2012)
Check out the 3-time Medal Award Winning Emily Stone Thriller Series and find out how she captures killers using her criminal profiling techniques into the personality types.