Type A personality characteristics can bring an increased risk of health problems since they are more ‘high-strung’ or always in a state of chronic stress.
Researchers believe that Type A characteristics are more of a reaction to environmental factors, or tendencies toward certain behaviors, and are influenced by culture and job structure. Here’s why:
- Many jobs put heavy demands on time, so people become very concerned with getting things done quickly if they’re to adequately get their jobs done.
- Some workplaces put heavy penalties on mistakes, so efficiency and achievement becomes extremely important.
- Other jobs just create more stress, making people less patient, more stressed, and more prone to ‘Type A’ behaviors.
- Other people do have a natural tendency toward being more intense, but this tendency can be exacerbated by environmental stress, or mitigated by conscious effort and lifestyle changes.
Type A Personality Traits
To some people, Type As are rude and impatient people. Others tag workaholics as “Type A”, with competitiveness as the main characteristic. According to research, below are the hallmark characteristics of Type A Behavior (TAB):
- Time Urgency & Impatience, as demonstrated by people who, among other things, get frustrated while waiting in line, interrupt others often, walk or talk at a rapid pace, and are always painfully aware of the time and how little of it they have to spare.
- Free-Floating Hostility or Aggressiveness, which shows up as impatience, rudeness, being easily upset over small things, or ‘having a short fuse’.
- Strong Achievement-Orientation
- Certain Physical Characteristics, due to stress and long-term Type A Behavior:
- Facial Tension (Tight Lips, Clenched Jaw, Etc.)
- Tongue Clicking or Teeth Grinding
- Dark Circles Under Eyes
- Facial Sweating (On Forehead or Upper Lip)
Negative Effects of Type A Behavior:
Over the years, the type of extra stress that most “Type A” people experience takes a toll on one’s health and lifestyle.
The most common negative effects found among those exhibiting TAB are:
- Hypertension: High blood pressure is common among “Type A” personalities, and has been as much as 84% more of a risk among those with Type A characteristics.
- Heart Disease: Some experts predict that, for those exhibiting TAB, heart disease by age 65 is a virtual certainty.
- Job Stress: “Type A” people usually find themselves in stressful, demanding jobs (sometimes, the jobs create the Type A behavior!), which lead to metabolic syndrome and other health problems.
- Social Isolation: Those with TAB often alienate others, or spend too much time on work and focus too little on relationships, putting them at risk for social isolation and the increased stress that comes with it
How Type A Are You?
- Are you often in a hurry, more often than not? YES NO
- Do you grind your teeth, when you’re awake or asleep?
- Is it difficult to fully listen to someone who’s talking, because you find yourself thinking of other things at the same time?
- Do you usually read mail or sort papers while talking on the phone, or read while eating?
- Do you talk faster than most people, sometimes having to repeat yourself because others can’t understand your fast speech?
- Do your facial muscles feel tense most of the time?
- Do you interrupt others when they speak?
- Do you have a significant need for recognition from others?
- Is your walking pace faster than most people, to the point that you need to slow down to keep pace with them?
- Do you lose sleep thinking about rude or frustrating things people have done during the day?
- Do you find yourself anticipating disasters often, always aware of what could go horribly wrong?
- Do you sweat often, especially on the forehead and upper lips, or have dark circles under your eyes?