My Thoughts On Being “Type A”

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you’ve all had a good week. Mine has been good and even though I’m not working from home today (hopefully exciting news to share with you soon), I’m still feeling like it’s Friday- woohoo! I’ve got a little bit of a “heavy” post for you today, but I’m hoping some of you can relate and we can get a good discussion going in the comments section. So, read away and let me know what you think!

If you’re on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve seen this post, which gives 16 signs of being a little (or a lot) “Type A”. Since I frequently joke about being super Type A, I couldn’t wait to read through the article; I just had to see if I was really, truly Type A or if maybe I just carried some of the Type A traits.

Waiting in long lines kills you a little bit inside.
You’ve been described as a perfectionist, overachiever, workaholic or all of the above.
You bite your nails or grind your teeth.
You have a serious phobia of wasting time.
You’re highly conscientious.
You’ve always been a bit of a catastrophist.
You frequently talk over and interrupt people.
You have a hard time falling asleep at night.
People can’t keep up with you — in conversation or on the sidewalk.
You put more energy into your career than your relationships.
Relaxing can be hard work for you.
You have a low tolerance for incompetence.
You’d be lost without your to-do list.
At work, everything is urgent.
You’re sensitive to stress.
You make it happen.

Verdict? Holy crap. If being Type A was on a scale of 1-10, 1 being not at all and 10 being the definition of… I am right there with a big ol’ 10. Woof. I mean, it wasn’t a huge surprise, but I didn’t know that I would pretty much be/do all of them so much “by the book” (or article in this case).

With that said, this article made me think… a lot. While I like and appreciate a lot of these qualities that I have because I think they have been a huge factor in why I am where I am today, there are some that I’d like to be more of a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-10 instead of the 10 I currently am.

As I mentioned in my New Years Post, this year it is my goal to relax more and stress less, go with the flow more and schedule less, live a little more carefree and worry less… you get the idea. Basically, it’s very natural for me to be the way and act in a way that’s listed out above, but is that “good”? Is that “healthy”? I do all these things for myself to be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle (workout, eat well, try to not drink too much, take the stairs and walk when possible, etc.), but am I doing too much? Is my need for overachieving, succeeding and always wanting to be better an unhealthy trait? Is my fear of wasting time, taking on too many things, saying “yes” even when I want to say “no” and having an inability to relax creating an unnecessary stress on me? Sometimes, yes, I think it is.

I’ve talked to my friend Athena about this before because I know she can relate. I remember telling her about one particularly upsetting weekend when my Type A came on strong. It was a Sunday last summer and I was really stressed… to the point my sister told me I was being a crazy person. The week had been crazy busy and I had a bachelorette party in NH on Saturday night so when I got home Sunday morning, I did go a little crazy. I was so stressed about cleaning the apartment, doing my laundry, going grocery shopping, getting my blogging done and working out that I was literally tunnel-visioned and wouldn’t stop until I got those things done. It was a terrible, terrible feeling and although my sister told me to relax and forget about all those things because they weren’t things that I HAD to do, I couldn’t. That’s the hard part… it’s when you know something isn’t really that big of a deal, but you make it out to be.

But, for me, it’s easier to just get the things done and off my list (I ALWAYS have a to-do list going and I love the feeling of crossing things off. Sometimes if I do something that wasn’t on my list, I add it just so I can cross it off…) when it’s bothering me and THEN relax. If I relax and push things to the side, when it comes time to face them, I am even more stressed than I was to begin with.

Knowing this about myself is one step closer to working on letting go of some of those thoughts and “type A” qualities in favor of relaxing, going with the flow, being spontaneous, putting more into a relationship and choosing that person over something on my to-do list, etc. I don’t always have to be in a rush or on a time schedule. I don’t always have to have a to-do list. I don’t always need to do X amount of things on one day because I did Y amount of things the day before. I don’t need to be home by a certain time so that I can blog and make my lunch for the next day. Because you know what? Life will still go on if I don’t do those things; I will survive, haha. Although it’s hard to imagine, it will all be ok if I let go of things for a day, few days or even a week. So, that’s my goal for this year. To loosen up and work my way down the 1-10 Type A scale and get a little more balance in my life.

I want to hear your thoughts! Where do you find yourself on the “spectrum”? Do you relate to any of those Type A qualities that I listed above? What’s something you want to work on this year?

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17 thoughts on “My Thoughts On Being “Type A”

  1. Leah says:

    Monique this is my life! I can totally relate. I am a big bold 10. My goal this year is also to just try and go with the flow a bit more and not feel so uptight about all the “to-do’s”. Oh my goodness is it a challenge!

    • Burpees to Bubbly says:

      Hi Leah! It’s so nice to have people understand and relate, although I don’t always wish the “type A” trait on anyone 🙂 It’s so hard to let go, but I honestly believe that things will be better once we do! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Fiona MacDonald says:

    Oh man, I share so many of your same thoughts. I stress about getting deadlines met that I do stuff like th day it is assigned. I stress about working out, making dinner, walking the dog, finding time to hang out with friends, but I don’t know if there is any easy answer to how to overcome ‘Type A’ traits. Just work on trying to take each day one step at a time and no you’re not alone! I still haven’t found the right balance but if you do let me know! Great Post!

  3. Meredith says:

    You are not alone! I am type a in many ways! I think it’s very admirable to acknowledge it and make goals to try and relax and go with the flow more. You will because you’ll set your mind to it! Xoxo

  4. Aunt Sue says:

    Monique, as you collect years around your accomplishments you will gain more appreciation for the elements of your life that are REALLY Very important. I always liked Stephen R. Covey’s work around life priorities and time management. If you haven’t already, I suggest you connect with his books “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “First Things First.” They are old publications, but are filled with wisdom. You can listen to them when you run! I don’t know that I was ever really a type A, but I was pretty hard driven at one time in my life. I not only lived by lists, but saved them after I crossed everything off. Just recognizing the need to change is a great start! You are an amazing woman!

    • Burpees to Bubbly says:

      Hi Aunt Sue. Thank you for your kind words. You are right- I’m already learning about what’s important and what isn’t, but it’s a challenge every day and often times I don’t see it until after. I will absolutely look for those books; they sound like really good reads for me to have. Thanks for your support!

  5. Kim says:

    I’m like you – pretty much maxing out the scale on the type A thing. Funny that you talked about the weekend you were trying to get everything done – I’m the same to the point that I get super cranky and, to see (or hear) me, you would wonder why I’m doing the party (or whatever) in the first place. Not always pretty!!!
    Having kids did force me to relax a couple of things but now that they are older (teens) I feel like I’ve reverted back on many things.

    • Burpees to Bubbly says:

      I totally understand, Kim!! Sometimes I think an alter-Type A-ego comes in and replaces me when I get like that! I think having kids definitely will force me to relax, but until then, I need to try and be the force! Thanks for sharing how you relate!

  6. suzanne gagnon says:

    Hi Nick, What an insightful blog! You’re my first born, and you certainly meet all of the characteristics of a first born. You started walking on Jan. 15th, at just 9 months old, and haven’t stopped since. You do, however, have a little of both of your parents’ traits in you–I NEVER write lists(dad does!), but I have a high energy drive(for someone my age!), I can’t relax very well(unless I’m at the beach or by a pool), and I always have a nagging sensation that I should be “doing something”. Don’t know if I am a “type A” personality, but I sure get it! Mom

    • Burpees to Bubbly says:

      I walked at 9 months?? That seems young! no wonder why I’m so good at power walking… I’ve been doing it for so long! I definitely have both you and dad in me… in equal amounts in a lot of ways. Always appreciate you understanding and listening to me vent!

  7. Athena @ Fitness & Feta says:

    I think for some things, it’s just easier to accept that “this is how I am” than actually try to change myself. That often ends up being more stressful to me. For example, I’m ALWAYS going to have a list and have the need to cross things off it. I’m not going to change that. But lately I’ve been trying to change my approach to lists and instead of dumping a thousand things on there, I’ve been trying to take it day by day and define 5 small things, 3 medium things, and 1 main thing I need to get done. It makes it seem more manageable and helps me feel more balanced, but without giving up my “Type A” traits.

    But the putting your career/to do list over relationships? Not okay for me. That I’m working on. It’s tough!

    • Burpees to Bubbly says:

      I totally agree, Athena. Like we’ve discussed, it’s not worth it to create more stress to try and act differently, but, I do need to re-evaluate the “important” things in my life and a relationship shouldn’t be put on the back burner for a career/to do list. I like your idea of your “to-do” list… I tend to just put everything on it, which can be overwhelming! Glad we can relate and chat about this!

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