Strong … passionate … super-achiever …. pushy … Why do people assume that A-type personality people are automatically jerks? Having made the foray into online dating two months ago, it’s interesting to see how people react to the term “A-type.” To most people, the term connotes an annoyingly, single-minded, run-you-over-to-get-what-they-want personality, but that is so wrong. I am an A-type personality and I get along best with other A-types and it’s included in my online dating profile (another story for another day). I spelled it out recently to someone who thought it was masochistic of me to seek an A-type person, and thought I would share the little elucidation I wrote back to him here with you:
People erroneously believe that strong-minded, A-type people – both the strong, silent ones and the loud, pushy, obnoxious ones and all those in between – don’t have feelings because instead of seeing the usual lurid drama, all they witness is what we do and how we pursue to achieve. We are able to put our passion and momentum into our work and the right and left brained parts of us operate in tandem in all things and areas of our lives, not separately from each other.
There are book-smart people who haven’t the will to do anything more with themselves than they need to do to get by, whining their way through their lives looking for a parent and not a mate. But A-type people delight in absorbing knowledge through everything we encounter and synchronize it through an innate desire for doing things with what we learn, knowing that we will always be learning and thrilled to go around the corner to see what challenge next awaits … in relationships, in life, in hobbies, in work … we take on challenges, not back away.
People who don’t “get” us label us as focused or one-dimensional by what we do because we’re not average like them. They wrongly assume that we enjoy running over wishy-washy people’s feelings because we don’t care or have feelings of our own. Nothing is further from the truth: we feel love and joy euphorically and our hurt takes us to the deepest of chasms. We can explode with anger, burst out in laughter or clam up and brood to process our feelings.
We are very hard on ourselves and are our own task masters. We get impatient quickly at other people’s inaction and would rather take things into our own hands and do them ourselves so they are done “right” … sometimes boldly, sometimes quietly behind the scenes. Oftentimes, we get impatient with ourselves for not accomplishing our goals to our own high standards and timelines. We are often guilty of foot-in-the-mouth moments when what we are feeling wells up in us so fast, we don’t think before we speak. We have a hard time taking “no” for an answer and must muster up all of our strength to stand down and not take the control which is so natural for us to wield. It’s our birthright. We’re the ones the greatest love tragedies were written by and about.