I’m a Type A. Life is getting harder and harder for our type. Yes, we are rigid but that’s not the reason. The real problem is: too many choices. Here’s a simple, yet perfect example.
This morning I stop at Caribou for coffee. I’m already running a little late so I’m rushing but I don’t really expect this to take long (another problem with type A: expectations). And of course I’m wrong. I see they now have French press and I can’t resist. I instantly order it (impulsive much?). Then the barista asks the question that will cost 2 minutes of my precious time: “what kind of coffee would you like?” (What??!!!) I wanted to say: “I don’t know you pick, I’m late!” Instead I take a breath and ask what my choices are. Sure enough, Caribou has 12-15 different types of coffee! What do you mean I can have whatever coffee I want so that you can grind it right in front of me then brew it fresh? Where has this world come to? Now I’m really stressed. But I did it to myself and a quick decision is in order. I glance over my choices for a few seconds and then pick Sumatra just because it sounds like a sex position. This better be good. Happy with my ability to make a quick decision, I walk over to pay hoping this transaction is over. But wait. French press takes 5 minutes to brew. Duh! Everybody knows that. The barista senses the anxiety in my pacing and invites me to have a seat while I’m waiting. I reluctantly comply.
Now I’m really late. But while I’m tossing that thought around like a stress ball, I hear a familiar sound. I tune in. Fink is on the radio. The world is better again. And I’m reminded to just breathe (A types often forget to).
5 precious minutes later all I can think is that the coffee is delicious. And that I’m late. Lesson of the day: patience is a virtue…I don’t have. And plan ahead…
The real kicker is this question: What really stressed me out, being type A or having too many choices?
Just in case you were wondering:
The Type A personality generally lives at a higher stress level. This is driven by
- They enjoy achievement of goals, with greater enjoyment in achieving of more difficult goals. They are thus constantly working hard to achieve these.
- They find it difficult to stop, even when they have achieved goals.
- They feel the pressure of time, constantly working flat out.
- They are highly competitive and will, if necessary create competition.
- They hate failure and will work hard to avoid it.
- They are generally pretty fit and often well-educated (a result of their anxiety).
The Type B personality generally lives at a lower stress level and are typically:
- They work steadily, enjoying achievements but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved.
- When faced with competition, they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down.
- They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts.
- They are often reflective, thinking about the outer and inner worlds.