Your personality type provides insight into your strengths and weaknesses and suggests situations and environments you might feel most comfortable in. Together this information allows you to make more informed decisions regarding how you want to grow or what you want to pursue professionally.
Understanding your positive and negative traits is the first step in adjusting your behavior to account for pitfalls and achieve your goals.
If test results attribute you with a Type B personality, you might feel relieved or disappointed. Maybe some of the Type B personality traits hit too close to home and you admire others. Regardless, there are strategies you can undertake to make the most of your self-development and lead a life that leverages your unique characteristics.
What’s Type B personality?
Type B personality stems from Meyer Friedman and Ray H. Rosenman’s personality categorization, which they developed after noticing overt behavioral patterns in medical patients. While they outlined three types — A, B, and C — Johan Denollet later defined Type D, which completes this personality type system.
Friedman and Rosenman define Type B personalities as having the following characteristics:
- Not competitive
- Less prone to stress
Although Type B personalities are laid-back and non-competitive, they still work steadily toward their goals and bring their own set of advantages in the workplace. These individuals feel comfortable with unstructured tasks and are easy going with deadlines, allowing them to quickly adapt to changes in plans and stay flexible.
4 types of personalities
People often try to understand the strengths and weaknesses of Type A versus Type B personalities, but those aren’t the only options. Here are all three accompanying personality types:
Type A personality
Type C personality
- Rational and logical
- Thoughtful and caring
Type D personality
- Prone to anxiety and depression
Alternative personality type systems
This is just one personality-classifying system. A couple others include the Enneagram model and the Myers Brigg Indicator.
The Enneagram model classifies types into nine characters:
- The reformer
- The helper
- The achiever
- The individualist
- The investigator
- The loyalist
- The enthusiast
- The challenger
- The peacemaker
Each character is defined by emotional, cognitive, and behavior patterns. If you’re Type One (the reformer) you’re an idealist thinker with perfectionist tendencies. And if you’re Type Six (the loyalist) you’re reliable, hard working, and strive for security.
These characters sit as points along a circle, and the types beside your core type are your “wing” characters. This means you’ll also identify with aspects of these types.
The Myers-Brigg Indicator classifies personalities into 16 categories, depending on your levels of:
- Introversion versus extroversion
- Sensing versus intuition
- Thinking versus feeling
- Judging versus perceiving
If you tend to be more introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceiving, your Myers-Brigg personality type is INTP. And if you’re an intuitive extrovert who makes decisions based on feeling and judging, you’re an ENFJ. You can take a self-reporting-style personality test to determine your type.
The best part about exploring any of these methods is learning more about yourself so you can leverage this information to gain further personal and professional growth.
The pros and cons of Type B personality
If you identify as Type B, here are some of the pros and cons of this personality type.
Navigating Type Bs if you’re Type A
Some personality types clash more than others, and that rings true for Type As and Bs. The former are highly ambitious and detail-oriented, so sometimes a Type B’s disorganization can cause conflict or create frustration.
Understanding how to resolve misalignment will help you communicate effectively and reduce stress. Here are a few ways to navigate a Type B personality as a Type A individual.
Recognize the environment Type Bs work best in
Type B personalities value collaboration and thrive in team environments. Because they tend to procrastinate, project work means more eyes on their tasks and more coworkers helping them stay on track. It’s also more difficult to put off to-dos when you know that slows down coworker progress.
At first glance, this procrastination habit may seem detrimental, but remember that their creativity produces valuable outside-the-box ideas. And these individuals are excellent social collaborators that can inspire those around them.
Understand what motivates Type Bs
Like most workers, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards serve as great motivation to improve productivity. If you’re working alongside or managing a Type B personality, consider giving them recognition or providing financial incentives for hard work.
Type Bs are also very social. You can often play to this strength by offering public speaking opportunities or inviting them to take on a leadership role in teamwork.
Get to know what Type Bs dislike
Try not to rush a Type B’s work process, since this might make them feel even more inclined to procrastinate as a method for handling their work stress. Type Bs are also people pleasers, so verbally expressing that they’ve made you happy or affirming that they’re not disappointing anyone is valuable to them.
And because Type Bs are creative and innovative thinkers, structuring their brainstorming process might feel stifling. Give them room to breathe so they can offer up novel suggestions you and your teammates love.
4 tips for handling your Type B personality traits
If you’ve just discovered you have a Type B personality, you might feel like some of your more common tendencies are now explained. Maybe you worried you were flaky but now realize you’re more prone to procrastination than others. Or perhaps you recognize and love the loyalty you offer friends and family.
Luckily, personalities are malleable, and you can adjust less-welcome traits by building new habits and leveraging your brain’s neuroplasticity. Here are four tips for regulating Type B behavior patterns.
1. Keep track of your time
Your laid-back personality means you might feel less urgency regarding hitting deadlines and completing tasks. To combat this, consciously work on your time management skills. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Try time-saving strategies like time blocking
- Journal about timing shortfalls to discover what’s holding you back
- Join the 5 AM Club to become more productive
- Set calendar alarms and reminders
- Talk to coworkers to better understand how delays affect them
- Work with a coworker or mentor who can hold you accountable
- Consult with a career coach about how to become more motivated
2. Set SMART goals
Your preference for work autonomy and a flexible schedule can hinder your progress toward your goals since you’re left to your own devices more often. But setting SMART goals — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely — might help you stay on track even when you’re your own boss.
SMART goals are less flexible because they’re well-defined and include a strict due date, but you can still enjoy autonomy regarding what these goals are and how you work on and pace milestones within them. And habituating setting and achieving specific goals with clear success metrics might motivate you to procrastinate less.
3. Double-check your work
Because you’re easygoing and understand that perfect is often the enemy of good, you might miss important task details or hand in work before it’s up-to-par. Make a habit of double-checking everything you submit to ensure you’re meeting manager and employer expectations. This practice also reminds you that you’re capable of producing excellent work.
4. Set boundaries with others
You’re social, caring, and worry about disappointing people — and all that might lead to people taking advantage of you. You might offer support or emotional energy too quickly, feeling burned out after interactions with social or emotional vampires.
To avoid mental exhaustion and the symptoms of toxic empathy, set clear boundaries with yourself and others. This might mean keeping workplace chats professional, saying “No” to a few social invites every week, and prioritizing one act of self-care daily.
Strategies for living well with any personality type
No matter your personality type, you can learn to leverage positive traits and build new habits that mitigate less-appreciated ones. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your personality type:
- Leverage your strengths: If you’re Type B, you can make teamwork more enjoyable by being easy-going and less competitive. And if you’re Type A, you can keep everyone on track to reach big and audacious goals.
- Find ways to express your positive personality traits during a job hunt: When applying for jobs, you need to stress your employee strengths to persuade your audience you’re the right fit. A Type B personality example of this might be using an anecdote to show a hiring manager how patient you are in high-stress situations.
- Use your knowledge to better your relationships: Understanding your personality type helps you recognize your own actions and emotions, and recognizing others’ types helps you appreciate them for who they are and acknowledge their needs. If you know a fast-paced environment causes your Type A friend to feel stressed, you can choose a relaxing and calming café when suggesting a spot to grab coffee.
- Reach out for help: If you know of traits you want to mitigate or leverage, consider working with a friend who’s trying to do the same. You can hold each other accountable and offer more objective feedback. And if there are some more distressing behavioral tendencies you want to face, consider speaking with a mental health professional who can create a safe and thoughtful action plan and monitor your progress.
Take advantage of your personality type
Being your authentic self means knowing who that is. Whether you have a Type B personality or not, you can develop habits to overcome behavioral challenges and better understand others.
Admitting your weaknesses is the first step in improving, even if it’s difficult. You can then communicate your needs to others to build trust and develop deeper connections. And all this progress allows you to live an even more fulfilling life, which is priceless.