The first time I recognized that I had a Type A personality was when I read a Huffington Post article called “16 Signs You’re A Little (Or A Lot) Type A” and realized that fifteen of the sixteen signs they mentioned applied to me. Luckily, I outgrew biting my nails before I entered adulthood.


Type A individuals are often misunderstood. The mind of a Type A person works in mysterious way, and communicating with these forward-thinking, nail-biting, and fast-talking people can be challenging.


Here’s a list of traits that I and many other Type As exhibit (both the good and the bad):


Lists are your life (irony intended)


It wouldn’t be an article authored by a Type A without the inclusion of a list.


List making is one of my favorite ways of organizing all of the information that travels into my brain. Part of it stems from a fear of forgetting to do something, but most of the list making comes from a craving for fulfillment. The fulfillment of crossing off an item on a to-do list is just as satisfying for me as a piece of chocolate cake.


Type As like having a sense of accomplishment, no matter how long it lasts, which is likely to be fairly short-term, because there is always a next step or goal a Type A person wants to strive for.


The word “nothing” doesn’t exist


Every time my mom talks to me, somewhere in the conversation she asks “what are you thinking?” or “what are you doing?” I am always doing something, or have that “itch” to do something. There are feelings of guilt if I ever start feeling lazy or bored. My mind scrambles to think of something productive to do, because I’d rather be doing something than nothing.


While this means procrastination is a rarity, you can imagine how tough it can be to quiet my mind when I’m trying to sleep. This is why you should never ask a Type A individual to “relax.” Never. It’s another word on the banned list. (I said we have a list for everything, didn’t I?)


There’s always a chance the world is ending


One of the warning signs that caught my attention in the Huffington Post article was “you’re a catastrophist.” Something can get set off in my brain and my life can become one of those apocalyptic disaster movies.


I am mentally wired to strive for and accept nothing less than what I consider to be “perfection.” If something falls short of what I wanted or hoped for, disaster can strike.


They like to get to where they’re going


Type A individuals are quick on their heads, feet, and emotions. My friends always comment on my fast walking, and while this is plus for competing on The Amazing Race, taking a nice leisurely stroll is not my style.


Type As have laser focus, and it can be hard to take a step back and appreciate the view. Type As don’t enjoy the journey to the destination; they hurry up and reach the destination and then start contemplating their next journey.


Type As do get a bad rap. But, they do have the ambition, the determination, and the drive to get to where they want to go.


So, when dealing with these somewhat difficult individuals, what should you do?


It’s simple. Don’t push, but gently remind them that everything is going to be all right. Our habits may be unbreakable, but taking a break is necessary. Just don’t suggest that they “relax” or “do nothing” for a change. Suggest that they do an activity that doesn’t fall on their urgent to-do list. Everyone, even Type As, needs to straighten out what is most important to them at some point!


-Don't push, but gently remind them that



Read more about Type As here and here.