9 Things Only Type B People Will Understand
Type Bs might not get as much spotlight as Type As, but that’s kind of the point, right? In the 1950s, two cardiologists developed the Type A personality model based on people with a higher incidence of heart disease. Now the concept is so ingrained in the field of health and wellness, we talk about the Type A personality profile as a predictor of wellness, says Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology. Hence the rise of Type B. One type is not better than the other because there are certainly things both types can learn from the other. “You might not fit in a box; you might be an emotional Type B but still want to take charge,” says Michael Sanger, manager, Asia Pacific for Hogan Assessments, a company that provides personality assessments to businesses. How much of a Type B person are you? Let’s find out.
1. You’re OK With Someone Else Taking the Lead
If Type As are your typical, take-charge leaders, then Type Bs are more content to sit back and let them do it. “They’re less interested in being in charge of others and have less need for structure,” says personality-type expert Michael Sanger. And when you do take the lead, you’re more likely to consult others before making a decision. “A Type B person is a consensus-driven leader,” Sanger says. “Type As lead by their knowledge, but Type Bs look to align everyone before moving forward.” And while being easygoing is your trademark, just make sure you’re not blindly following orders or struggling to make everyone happy.
2. You Become Emotionally Invested in Your Work
Whether you’re putting together a new project at work or planning an upcoming event for your neighborhood, you put your heart and soul into it. “Type Bs become emotionally engaged in a task and value people over processes,” says personality-type expert Michael Sanger. For you, it’s more about how many people you can collaborate with than getting everything done. This means you’re also more inclined to be the person who appreciates the journey more than the destination. While this helps you focus on the nuances of the here and now, it’s also important to not get so caught up on teamwork and collaboration that you forget a deadline.
3. You Make Friends Easily
One of the frequently used personality rubrics is the Five Factor Model, which takes into consideration five different personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Based on this model, “Type B may be more consistent with agreeableness and openness,” says Dr. Ramani Durvasula. For this reason, Type Bs are probably easier friends and partners to have than Type As. But with a high degree of agreeableness and openness there comes a need for a greater degree of self-preservation. As a people-pleaser, she cautions, you’re more likely to put other people first, so you have to be extra careful not to sacrifice too much of yourself or your health in helping out others.
4. Your Ideal Job Allows You to Be Creative
Another of the more well-known personality assessments is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which both Type As and Type Bs can be mapped to. “Type Bs’ introspective natures, creative tendencies and flexible mindsets draw close comparisons to INFPs and ISFPs among other feeling and perceiving types,” says Molly Owens, CEO of Truity, developer of the TypeFinder personality-type assessment. So instead of trying to fit yourself into a job that doesn’t interest you or fit your personality type, choose an employer that allows you to embrace your strengths. “Find an organization looking to make a change or pivot,” suggests personality-type expert Michael Sanger. “Or choose a job in R&D, marketing, design or consulting.” That way you won’t stifle your creativity or feel so trapped by an overly structured line of work.
5. Your Life Motto Is “Just Go With the Flow”
Some mistake your easygoing attitude with laziness or complacency, but you know that some things just aren’t worth stressing over. While Type Bs aren’t as ambitious as Type As, they’re more agreeable and malleable, says Durvasula. “And they respond to stress well because they don’t set themselves up with unrealistic expectations.” But the flipside of that is being too lax. “You know you’re a Type B person when you can let things fall through the cracks and you’re a little last-minute,” she says. You also run the risk of not being as proactive as your Type A counterparts about things like regular doctor visits, waiting until your sick to schedule an appointment. For certain things -- like your health -- it’s OK to be a little bit more take-charge.
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6. Deadlines and To-Do Lists Aren’t Really Your Thing
“Type B tends to work more steadily, less driven by outcomes and deadlines and tension and more prone to equanimity,” says Durvasula. But sometimes you just have to get the job done, so Durvasula suggests setting deadlines for yourself that are realistic without being punitive. Also, realize that last-minute isn’t always realistic (and can be frustrating for those you’re working with). Take a page from a Type A’s playbook: Set some reminders or create a to-do list for the important things.
7. You Have a Good Work-Life Balance
Because you’re more easygoing about a lot of things, you generally have a good idea of how to balance your work life and your personal life. “Rather than putting undue pressure on themselves to succeed, they reflect on what is important and are typically more flexible with their measures of success,” says personality-type expert Molly Owens. You also don’t necessarily rely on gold stars, trophies and accolades like a Type A person would, instead finding value and fulfillment in investing time in personal hobbies or spending time with your family and friends.
8. You’re Totally OK With Ambiguity
Unlike Type As -- who need stability, structure and routine in their day-to-day environment -- you’re perfectly capable of handling the curveballs life often throws at you. “Type Bs have a lower need for structure and can function in situations of ambiguity,” says personality-type expert Michael Sanger. “When you’ve got an uncertain situation, they’re the individuals that can step up and tell you how they feel and direct a situation.” So the next time things don’t go according to plan, use that as an opportunity to step up and take the lead. Chances are your Type A counterparts will appreciate your levelheadedness in the face of what feels like chaos to them.
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9. Your Doctor Said Your Blood Pressure Looks Great
The way you approach life can have a positive impact on your overall health. “Over the years, studies have shown that the stress and anxiety that Type A personalities put themselves through makes them much more susceptible to life-threatening heart disease,” says personality-type expert Molly Owens. “Type Bs, with their more relaxed, laid-back attitudes, tend to be healthier overall.” So whatever it is you’re doing -- keep it up! Whether it comes naturally or you have to work on it through meditation or conscious behavioral modification, your heart will thank you for it.
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What Do YOU Think?
Are you a Type B person? How many of these traits do you identify with? Which ones are definitely not you? Are there any others you think we should have included in the list? Let us know in the comments section below!
- iStock/eternalcreative/Ethan Young