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The 4 Personalities Explained: Type A vs Type B vs Type C vs Type D

We’ve all heard the comparisons between “type A” and “type B” people: those in the first camp are tightly wound busybodies who never learned to relax, while the second group is laid back, the very model of zen and peace. It turns out those two are part of a four-personality model.

We’ll take a look at the four main personality types, described by letters: Type A, Type B, Type C, and Type D. Everyone will have some mix of all four personalities, but one dominant type will tend to surface in most people.

Type A

1. You Are Competitive
This aspect of the Type A person is the one that perhaps falls most in line with the general public perception. Type A people are highly competitive, always striving to be the best at whatever they attempt. They crave public recognition and have a deep-seated need to rise above the others. They will typically volunteer for the hard assignments, but may only take on what they know they can excel at. They may be competitive, but they also want to win, so they will make sure that they have the best chance of success and victory at whatever they do.

2. You Are Ambitious
A competitive nature fuels another major aspect of the Type A personality: ambition. They are never satisfied with second-best, and they are never satisfied with their current position or level of expertise. They must always strive to become better, earn more, amass more achievements, and hit loftier goals. The concept of “taking it easy” does not apply; if they are not being challenged, they will consider those efforts a waste of time. These are the ones always seeking a promotion or naturally taking charge in a social situation.

3. You Are Impatient with Your Time
Type A people are always looking at the clock, anxious to be somewhere else. If you were to look at their calendars, they would be full of checklists, appointments, and meetings to go to. Their schedules are always packed, and they like it that way; always being busy can be an achievement in and of itself. If they are idle, they will find some way to feel productive during that time. Unfortunately, this can mean that they do not invest in relationships as well; to them, people are a waypoint on the path to bigger things, and slowing down to hear about someone’s day can impede their progress toward marking off the next item on their lists.

4. You Devote a Majority of Your Time to Work
Type A people are the most likely to be workaholics. Their innate drive makes them hyper-focused on their jobs or hobbies. They will never take a full hour-long lunch break, but may instead simply eat at their desk while checking emails or brushing up on the latest news stories. They are the first ones into the office in the morning and the last ones out late at night. Even at home, their hobbies can become small-scale obsessions; they will not rest until they solve a certain puzzle or master a certain skill. This inability to relax can harm them if they fail to take the proper rest, but they are often recharged by a sense of accomplishment anyway.

5. You Are Highly Focused on Your Goals
Type A people always have a clear goal in mind, and nothing can distract them from it. If there is not a larger purpose behind a task, or if it does not serve to complete the project at hand, it is easily swept away and dismissed as unimportant. While focus on a goal can be good, it may leave them blind to other concerns, including group dynamics and personal relationships. They are always looking toward the endgame, seeing how the pieces will all ultimately fall into place and trying to plan several steps ahead. This can serve them well if they are working on a long-term project or on something with multiple moving parts or variables.

6. You Are Organized
A Type A person plans their schedule out well in advance, sometimes including mundane tasks such as commutes or meals. This organization can help free up their brainpower to solve other problems or allow them to fit extra work in during their day. This drive to organize can also be seen in other areas of their lives: their clothes are likely color-coded, their homes are clean and spotless, they always maintain their vehicles, and their belongings are sorted by a system only they can understand. Even their thoughts are organized, and they are sometimes able to recall seemingly useless information at a moment’s notice. This tendency can serve them well, but may leave them feeling flustered or anxious when things get out of control.

7. You Multitask to Accomplish More
Type A people are the original multitaskers. They do not see this as a distraction, but simply as a means to an end. If they are able to work on multiple projects at once, they are that much closer to crossing items off their to-do list. Type A individuals can jump back and forth between projects or phone calls with ease. They are naturally able to switch between one train of thought and another, and typically prefer to take on more projects anyway in order to feel that they are living to their fullest potential.

Type B

1. You Are Easy Going and Relaxed
Type B people are never rushed, never stressed, and never seem busy. They have a smile on their face and just want everyone to get along. Nothing seems to get under their skin, and they do not let problems or worries consume their thoughts. This allows them to set aside their work when they clock out and focus on recharging and rejuvenating during their off-time. Their weekend calendars are usually empty, and their leisure activities are not as exciting as others. But they prefer a calm environment to a flashy one any day.

2. You Are Patient
Type B people are naturally patient with others. They do not get annoyed easily and can find the best in almost any situation. Unexpected delays or issues may paralyze others, but the Type B person takes it in stride and figures out alternatives or solutions. They are not heartbroken when things don’t go their way. They also do not see time as an absolute but will take an extra few minutes to hear about someone’s day or allow their alarm to ring once or twice more. This does not mean that they are uncaring or unmotivated; rather, they are better equipped to be “in the moment” and invest in their experiences.

3. You Are Creative
Type B people are also highly creative. Because they are less stressed and not bound by artificial parameters, they can often find unique solutions that others might miss. They will take the time to thoroughly study a scenario and find a new angle, then develop and hone an idea over several tries. Like anyone, they like winning, but it is not the end of the world if they do not take home the trophy. What matters to them is that they found fulfillment in the effort. This can also express itself in artistic or musical creativity; since they prefer to be alone versus spending time with others, they will have the freedom to pour more energy and effort into activities that give them that creative outlet.

4. You Are Adaptable to Changing Circumstances
A late bus, a flat tire, or an unexpected bill does not faze a Type B person. They are at ease when a plan goes right, and they can always be counted on to keep a level head when a plan goes wrong. They may have already thought of a fix for a recurring issue, but even if not, they will react to problems as they arise and deal with issues one at a time. Changing deadlines or requirements on a project is also not a problem for these individuals. They will simply take it in stride and fold them into their current work without batting an eye.

5. You Have Low Stress
Stress does not affect Type B people very much. They do not hold onto pent-up anger or grudges, and they typically do not take things personally. Any insults will roll right off their backs. Because they are highly adaptable, they do not panic when a plan goes wrong. This can allow them to gain greater enjoyment and pleasure from their day, especially when things are running smoothly. No one thing is the end of their world, and they will not normally let even the cumulative effect of all their worries affect them too much.

6. You Are Emotionally Stable
Since very little causes an adverse effect on Type B people, they typically have a very balanced emotional state. This stability can provide a calming influence when they need to step into the conflicts of others; they can resolve an explosive situation and find an equitable solution that accounts for everyone’s viewpoints and feelings. They do not attract or create drama in their personal lives; they make fast friends with nearly everyone, and can always be counted on to come through when needed.

7. You Procrastinate
A slightly lower drive to get things done can sometimes mean that Type B people can procrastinate. They would rather not rush if they can help it, so they may wait until the last minute to finish a project or an assignment. They can fall into the “crunch,” which can be a problem if they have left too much until the last minute. Where a Type A person may be more proactive and start work immediately, a Type B person sees a deadline as far enough away that they do not have to stress about it right this minute.

Type C

1. You Are an Introvert
Type C people are very quiet and reserved. They are classic introverts, choosing solitude over social situations if they can. They may have trouble opening up and sharing their feelings with others, although this does not mean that they don’t feel anything at all. They simply have a hard time letting others in and trusting them. They may also remain silent when they need or want something because they do not want to appear disruptive or demanding. They do not gain energy from social situations and need lots of time to recharge after extended periods out in public.

2. You Are a Perfectionist
Type C people are focused on the nitty-gritty details. Nothing escapes their gaze, and they will not rest until everything is perfectly ordered and accurate. Even the smallest aspects of a project or problem will consume them until it is resolved. This can be helpful when accuracy is key, but it may cause unnecessary delays when time is of the essence. They do not see this extra time or effort as a negative; however, they want to do the best job possible, and will usually only trust themselves to get it done right.

3. You Are Even-Tempered
Although they will tend to hide their own feelings, Type C people usually have a firm grasp on them. They are not swayed by violent mood swings but will remain level-headed and not lose their tempers. Not much can throw them off balance, which can make them excellent at resolving conflicts or dealing with changing deadlines or requirements. In a social situation, they will “roll with the punches” and will not be easily offended. Even though they tend to take responsibility for making sure things are done to their satisfaction, they will still refrain from burdening others with their emotions.

4. You Are a Pessimist
Type C people may not fall prey to high or low mood swings, but they may be pessimistic or cynical. This does not mean they are unable to see the positives in a situation, but they will instead be more realistic in assessing what could go wrong. If ninety-nine out of a hundred things have succeeded, they will inevitably point out the one thing that went wrong. They will usually see the downsides first and assume that the worst can happen when unknowns arise.

5. You Do Not Like Change
Type C people are very set in their ways, and they do not take well to change. They have comfortable, familiar routines and tend not to stray from them except in extreme circumstances. They know their preferences and have orchestrated their lives around stability and security. They do not do well in new environments without something or someone to anchor them in their comfort zone. When changes occur in their life or relationships, it may take them time to acclimate.

6. You Are Considerate and Thoughtful
Although they do not seek out numerous relationships, they invest a great deal of energy and consideration into the few relationships they have. They typically have a small group of close-knit friends that they are open and vulnerable with, and they can be counted on when others need to let their guards down. They will always put the needs and feelings of others before their own, and they can always be counted on to pick out the perfect gift on a special occasion. They take pride in caring for others.

7. You Put Harmony Above Your Own Needs
Type C people extend their balanced, comfortable nature into their surroundings and group dynamics. They would rather remain silent or acquiesce to the crowd than risk pushing their own agenda alone. They value group harmony above their own desires, which may mean that they are swept up into something unfamiliar. They may indeed have strong preferences, but they place much greater stock in the feelings of others and would rather give up their own wishes to create agreement between their friends or coworkers.

Type D

1. You See Your World Negatively
A Type D person always sees the glass as half empty. They are pessimists in the truest sense, rarely able to focus on the silver lining. They are never satisfied with how things are going, instead wishing things had gone differently or better. They tend to be consumed by these negative emotions and have trouble seeing the positives.

2. You Avoid Social Interaction
Like Type B people, Type D people tend to avoid social interaction. But where Type B people enjoy some close relationships, Type D people would much rather avoid interaction altogether. They can have trouble expressing themselves in even basic social settings, and so will simply not place themselves in that environment to begin with. When they do have to be involved in a group setting, they are usually the ones hanging out on the outskirts or the far side of the room. Some of this stems from a lack of ability to connect with others, but they are also uncomfortable being vulnerable at any level.

3. You Tend to Burn Out at Work
A Type D individual is the first to throw up their hands when things get hard. They can become overwhelmed with professional deadlines and personal commitments and can suffer from burnout much quicker than others. They tend to hold onto stress much more easily, and it wears them down more quickly than most. Because of this, they can procrastinate or even avoid taking on extra work altogether; they would count it a win to get the bare minimum done then go home for the night.

4. You See Your Workplace as Stressful
Because they do not do well in social situations, they even see the workplace as a stress-filled environment. Teammates and coworkers are simply friends they are forced to be around 40 hours a week, and they would much rather stay isolated. They may not actively dislike someone, but they typically will not say much if you greeted them in the hallway or asked how their day was going. In addition to their own responsibilities, they see interaction as yet another stressor to internalize and deal with, and they can reach their emotional capacity pretty quickly.

5. You Feel Unaccomplished
Even though they do not seek out extra work or achievements, Type D people can feel undervalued and unappreciated. They can feel as though they have not accomplished anything of value in their life, and wish that they could have achieved something greater. Even when they do finish something that interests them, they wish that they could have done better or achieved more. This lack of personal satisfaction and fulfillment can apply to work, relationships, hobbies, and their general quality of life.

6. You Tend to Be Depressed and/or Have Anxiety
Moody, sullen, and withdrawn are words that apply to how Type D people may commonly be perceived by others. In reality, Type D people may be depressed or struggle with deep-seated anxiety. Their natural inclination is to internalize every feeling and never let anything show, even positive emotions like joy or gratitude. They would prefer not to let others in, and so it can appear as though they have no feelings at all. This can fuel their depression in some cases, and they can fall further into their own thoughts, which is an unfortunate cyclical effect.

7. You Tend to Have Pain and Fatigue
With all of the mental and emotional pressure that builds up over time, Type D people can suffer from physical repercussions as well. They can get hurt or become sick easily because their bodies are dealing with the physiological effects of what they are feeling. Their lack of drive or depressive feelings can lead to a state of fatigue, even if they are getting enough rest and taking care of themselves. They are usually tired and can use this as an excuse to withdraw from social situations.


Understanding these four basic personality types can be very helpful in professional and social settings. We should remember that everyone is a mixture of the four personality types with one dominant type to their personality. Once you learn which dominant type a person has, you can be watchful for the typical negative traits of that type. Knowing how people around us are inclined to act can make us better coworkers, friends, and family members.

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