Are you a Type B personality?
Maybe you’ve never heard of a Type B personality. That’s because our society tacitly endorses Type A qualities like drive and ambition.
For this reason, I’ve felt as though my desire to take things slow constituted laziness. And my lack of competitiveness made me wimpy.
In truth, the Type B has so many sought-after qualities, we should be shouting our status from the rooftops.
What is a Type B personality?
According to Wikipedia:
Type B personality, by definition, are noted to live at lower stress levels. They typically work steadily, and may enjoy achievement, although they have a greater tendency to disregard physical or mental stress when they do not achieve.
When faced with competition, they may focus less on winning or losing than their Type A counterparts, and more on enjoying the game regardless of winning or losing.
Type B personality types are more tolerant than individuals in the Type A category. This can be evident through their relationship style that members of upper management prefer.
Type B individuals can “…see things from a global perspective, encourage teamwork, and exercise patience in decision making…”
So, you see the life of a Type B is much more relational and enjoyable. Why would anyone feel guilty about that?
Because the world tells us that getting along is not as important as winning. And that reduced stress levels are less important than achievement.
Another reason you might feel guilty about doing less comes from your family of origin.
Children raised in families that did a lot but never talked about their interior lives tend to perceive achievement as their only value. Love is something they must earn.
In this way, compulsive achievement can mask feelings of inadequacy. We feel we’re not enough so we do more to prove our value. While, if we loved ourselves we’d recognize our value as intrinsic.Compulsive achievement can be a mask for feelings of inadequacy. Click To Tweet
When we talk more about what we did rather than how we feel, it creates distance between us. And makes us feel bad if we’re not doing enough.
Yet another reason Type Bs might feel less than is the way society has changed since the sexual revolution.
With it came a rise in two-income households and “quality time” with children.
Everyday togetherness has been usurped by an overvaluing of less frequent but more intricate plans.
The pressure is on to create the experience of a lifetime for our kids and the important goal of family bonding gets lost.
Spending money becomes essential in order to bond with your children. And earning that money requires more doing.
An integrated family life means bonding comes in the everyday. But in our modern families, even bonding has become a matter of achievement.
It takes tremendous courage to reject this notion of quality time and see value in time spent doing nothing with your children.
Sitting on the couch together or eating dinner at the table are simpler ways to stay connected.
How to embrace your Type B gifts
So, how do you resist our culture’s subtle and not-so-subtle message that striving and achieving are the superior path?
For me, the shift came when I read the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.
Jesus praised Mary for sitting at his feet and soaking up his teaching. He admonished her sister Martha for prioritizing meal preparation over Mary’s choice to simply enter Jesus’ presence.
I felt so seen and validated by this passage! To find that everything I’d resisted about myself was actually the better way.
The ability to sit still and receive came as a gift not everyone knew. Sharing our thoughts and feelings more important than sharing a nine-course meal.
When you have the compulsion to do more, ask yourself why. Is it feeling worthless that’s driving you?
Are you kowtowing to societal expectations? If so, remind yourself of what Jesus sees as most important.