Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sound Off: Type A

Once upon a time while earning my bachelor's degree through the University of Phoenix, I belonged to the highest functioning team I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of.  I honestly don't know if I can even remember their names.  I'm going to take a stab that they may have been Tyler, Mike, and Kim.  But the beauty of this team is that despite working together for over a year during a time period in which the good ole UoP still required a face-to-face team meeting weekly in addition to our night of class, I don't even remember these people's names!  That's because in all the time we sat around a table at the Union Park Barnes and Noble, we didn't get to know each other at all.

And the others in our class simply called us the OA's: over achievers.

I was never so content working with others as I was when I had the chance to work with three people who understood perfectly what, apparently, "Every Type A Personality Wants You To Know."

1. We're not impatient, just efficient.
Oh how I wish I could go back in time and direct a certain television personality who asked my Dickens cast, "Is she always like this?" to this article.  I still feel really badly that I cut off his sentence.  I just already knew what he was going to say, and it seemed to me like time was of the essence, and me listening to apologies I didn't need for offense I hadn't taken just seemed inefficient.

2. Arriving late to anything is agonizing.
Actually, for me, arriving more than 5 minutes early is agonizing.  Think of what I could have accomplished with that 3 minutes I wasted waiting for the meeting to start!

3. We live by to-do lists.
Yes.  Every day.  Everywhere.  I even put my leisure activities on my list so I can earn the satisfaction of crossing something off.

4. Each task we're assigned is urgent.
One of the hardest things about becoming a teacher was learning to have an ongoing list that didn't necessarily all have to be done today, because things come up and a good teacher puts people before tasks.  Now I call my list my "wish" list.  I "wish" I could do everything on it today, but some of it will almost always have to roll over to tomorrow.

5. We're extremely goal-oriented.
Yes, and my goals take up precious mental space when I am trying to sleep.  Sadly for me, I have a healthy dose of laziness to go with my lofty goals.  Otherwise I would mostly certainly have made millions from one of my dozen schemes and inventions.

And sometimes, apparently, this makes me scary.  I have been told that when I'm focused on the goal (like when I am directing), I get a little intense.

6. It's hard for us to relax.
I can relax!  As long as I planned to do it.  Having friends over for games is the perfect mix of relaxation and activity.  But just sitting on the couch watching TV is definitely difficult for me.

7. We get stressed out easily.
According to the article, "We also tend to default on the worst possible outcome when working through a situation."  So true!  The first time I remember doing this was when my parents' ended up on a later flight back from a trip they'd taken.  I was certain the plane had gone down and I was already planning which cars to sell and how I would take care of my siblings.  Now I plan for every contingency just because I deal poorly when my plans get changed.  Some people find it macabre.  I find it calming.

8. We have nervous habits.
I clench and grind my teeth.  I also doodle when I feel like my time is being wasted.

9. We're emotional.
According to the article, this is because we care too much.  I'd like to say it's because we care about the people too much, but I think it may be because I care about the system too much.  Not sure that's due to the Type A... more likely do to my love of logic.

10. We're constantly ruminating over something.
For me it is conversations.  Ones I have had.  Ones I wish I could have.  Ones I think I am about to have.  Ones I plan to write.  Ones I may have written but can't remember for sure.  Always words in my head.  Always!

11. We have a competitive side.
What?!  Not me!  I have never dislocated a pinky trying to beat Chris Kennedy in a blow up obstacle course.  Or broken a blood vessel in my hand accidentally hitting a teenager while trying to win at States or...  okay.  Fine.  I'm competitive.

What's funny is that I see most of this as my strengths, though I have read personality tests that shed a different light on these traits.  What I've learned over the years is that not everyone is going to like me.  Thankfully, I have a husband, family, and friends who seem to, and that's enough for me!