We have probably all heard of the type B personality. We might envision a chill, laid-back personality, or maybe even the classroom or office slacker. The type B personality is most often unfairly characterized in a negative way compared to the other types in this categorical theory, specifically, type A. There is actually much more to this personality type than the nonchalant underachiever.
Personality theory is usually limited to the field of psychology, but this particular one was developed in the 1970s by two cardiologists, Dr. Friedman and Dr. Rosenman, as they observed the behavior of some of their patients. Although their link between personality type and cardiovascular issues has been disproved, their personality typology is still widely used today.
Type B personality has existed and has been studied under various names throughout history. In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates called the type B personality the "sanguine temperament," and he asserted that this was the ideal temperament for males of the time period. Plato called this type the "Artisan." Dr. Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, also studied the type B personality, but he called it "the Intuitor" in his research.
Type B is described as laid-back, patient, and not competitive. People with this personality type like to relax and enjoy life, and they tend to live in the moment. Type B's are also tolerant and adaptable if their plans change. These individuals are the most relationship-oriented out of the four types, and they are the most social.
Type As are thought of as the opposite to type Bs. Where the type B person is relaxed, the type A is stressed and impatient. Type A people typically lack some of the interpersonal skills possessed by their type B counterparts. Type B personalities are also considered more creative and display more imagination than type A personalities. Type A people tend to be more successful than their type B counterparts.
Individuals with type C personality are extremely logical and analytical. This may cause them to suppress their emotions and needs, while type B personalities are good at expressing their emotions. Type Cs can also become irritable when they are not expressing their emotions and needs, but Type Bs tend to lack all the irritability of types C and A.
Personality type D individuals are socially inhibited, while type B individuals tend to be more carefree and fun in social interactions. Type D people also tend to experience negative emotions like worry, irritability, and unhappiness to the point that it can negatively impact physical health, while type B people are generally less stressed, less anxious, and happier.
Personality type B has many strengths. They can stop a bad habit easier than the other types due to their adaptability. Type B people are also more emotionally stable, more self-confident, enthusiastic, and persuasive. Those with a type B personality are also reportedly more easily liked by their peers than the other types, and they are better team players, which helps them thrive in group projects.
The type B personality is not without its weaknesses. Type B individuals are more likely to have trouble finishing things, have a short attention span, and become easily bored. They can be impulsive, and this can mean that they spread themselves too thin in their social and working lives. They may also procrastinate, and they're more likely than the other types to be complacent, unmotivated, and self-indulgent.
The weaknesses or negative traits of the type B personality can be managed so that type B people can become just as successful as their type A counterparts. To counter the procrastinator and "live in the moment" tendencies of the more extreme type B, it can be helpful to work on setting goals and timelines for accomplishments.
The "types" personality theory is often criticized because many psychologists assert that personality is a spectrum, and therefore, cannot be categorized into A, B, C, and D. This means that people are more likely to be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, creating combination types instead of the extremes usually described in categorical approaches.
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