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Are You a Type B Personality?

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 10, 2021

Psychologists have come up with various ways to define personality types. There are quizzes you can take online and personality profiles you can fill out. One of the simplest ways to define personalities is by Type A and Type B. Two U.S. doctors, Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, outlined their findings in the 1970s, and the method is still used today.

Characteristics of Type B Personality

Type A and B personalities are on a spectrum. They are opposite one another, with most people being a healthy mix of the two extremes. If you have a Type B personality, you are more laid back. You may feel stress, but not as much as a Type A person does. ‌

If you have a Type B personality, you may:

  • Be more creative
  • Have more patienc‌e
  • Spend more time thinking philosophically 
  • Feel less pressure when you face deadlines
  • Not have a sense of needing to rush
  • Manage stress easier ‌‌

Less stress. Type B characteristics mean that you do your best work, but you don’t stress about the small stuff. If you miss a deadline or can’t complete a project the way you expected to, it may not bother you. You go with the flow and see things through a creative lens.‌

Just as you put less pressure on yourself for deadlines, you feel less pride in achievements. Reaching goals is important, but it’s not where you find your sense of purpose.‌

Taking a more relaxed approach in life makes you easy to get along with. You tend to tolerate difficult people in your life. You may not be competitive, and you prioritize downtime instead of being an overachiever.

Comparing to Type A Personality

People with Type A personalities are much more competitive and goal oriented. If you're Type A, you can never do enough to reach your goals and always strive for the best. You’re hard on yourself if you miss a deadline or don’t do your best work. This internal pressure can lead to added stress and negative consequences.‌‌

You may see areas in your life where you are more Type B than Type A. For example, you may be goal-oriented without taking it so far that you feel too much stress over deadlines. Or you may be creative enough that your projects tend to be unique instead of fitting a certain expectation.

Benefits of Type B Personality

You may be happier in life if you have a Type B personality. Putting less stress on yourself leads to lower overall frustration. When life throws you a curveball, you can adapt and keep going more easily. People may gravitate to you because you make them feel safe and comfortable.

You’re patient, so you may be able to problem-solve better than a Type A personality. Stress doesn’t cloud your judgment. You may not make decisions as quickly, but you do commit to thinking things through and considering your options.

Risks of a Type B Personality

Being laid back is great unless you have a job that puts a lot of pressure on you. Type A personalities respond to pressure and rise to the occasion. As a Type B personality, your boss and peers may perceive that you don’t have as much drive and determination. You may need to set smaller goals and deadlines to help you meet larger ones on time.

It’s important for you to schedule time for creativity since it’s what you thrive on. Spend time each day doing things you love to fulfill your creative needs. This can help you feel ready to focus on important projects and deadlines.

Health Impacts of Type B Personality

Feeling less stressed is a huge benefit for your health. You’re less likely to have stress-related health conditions like heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure with a Type B personality. 

The downside is that your laid-back outlook may translate over into your attitude toward your health. Enjoying indulgences may not seem like a big deal. Gaining a few pounds doesn’t bother you. If your doctor talks to you about health concerns, you may not take them as seriously as you should.

Health Tips for Type B Personality

You can maintain your health by taking a proactive approach. Keep up with regular preventive care. Talk to your doctor about concerns early instead of putting them off. Set goals related to eating healthy and exercising. Find creative ways to reach your goals so that staying healthy is fun instead of boring.

WebMD Feature

Sources

SOURCES:

American Psychological Association Dictionary of Psychology: “Type A personality, “Type B personality.”

Cleveland Clinic: “9 Ways to Prevent Disease (and To Live Your Healthiest Life).”

Mayo Clinic: “Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior.”

Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences: “Type A and Type B personality among Undergraduate Medical Students: Need for psychosocial rehabilitation.”

Simply Psychology: “Type A and B Personality.”

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