Being Type B Isn’t a Bad Thing

It doesn’t make you a second-class citizen.

In a time where being type A is all the rage, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who openly admits they’re a type B.

After years of open adulation and gushing over type A personality, being labelled type B can make one feel like a second-class citizen. It even starts with the labelling itself: A precedes B.

A leads, B follows.

A achieves as B sits on the bleachers to watch.

Type As seem to be everywhere these days. On books, blog posts, Youtube videos — they all include, at some point, the famous disclaimer: “as the type A that I am, I couldn’t (insert the one thing that person couldn’t stop doing until they did it perfectly because they’re SO type A).”

It’s become so shameful to be a type B, and so much preferable to be type A, that I swear half of those who claim to be the former are actually the latter in disguise.

Being type A does sound awesome

They’re supposed to be driven, competitive, true-born leaders; which seems to be how everyone wants to come across these days.

Everyone wants to be the boss, the hero, the protagonist not only of their own story, but of the stories of everyone else around them. Everyone wants to be a shinning star, and what else implies “shinning star” more than being type A?

Type A implies bigger and better. The A team, Hollywood’s A list celebrities, the straight As student, bound to a great college and an even better job.

When it comes to personality types, however, A doesn’t necessarily mean “above B.” In the context of personality types, it’s just a way of differentiating between two distinct styles of responding to inputs from the world around you.

There’s no black and white distinction of which personality type is better. Type As have many positive qualities, but they can also be controlling, excessively competitive, and quite aggressive. Not to mention bossy — in the worst sense of the term.

Type Bs are awesome, too

Being type B isn’t the same as being submissive.

True, type Bs are usually not the first to seek out leadership roles, but when placed in those positions, they tend to exercise them with open mindedness and empathy towards their subordinates. They actually make great bosses, being that their patience can be invaluable both in seeking long-term goals as in managing a crisis.

Bosses who are type B also tend to listen to their subordinates more often, and to create a work environment where open dialog and the ongoing exchange of ideas is the norm. They work hard to make everyone feel welcome.

Type Bs are made to sound unfocused, disinterested, and lacking in clear goals, but that’s an unfair characterization. Type As and type Bs are not an exact antithesis of each other. Just because type As are very driven, it doesn’t mean type Bs lack in goals or even ambition, they only tend to take a more easy-going approach to achieving what they want.

Type Bs are more patient, more mindful of the people around them — not seeing them exclusively as competition — and more prone to achieving a healthier work-life balance.

Sure, there are disadvantages to being a type B. Sometimes, being too easy-going can cross the line into being careless, and not being so anxious to achieve your goals can turn into a lack of determination that makes you constantly behind on deadlines, or even catastrophically unproductive

Nobody is perfect. All anyone can do is to focus on the best aspects of their personality while making an effort to curb their worst instincts. To a type A, it might mean to work on their anxiety; and to a type B, it might mean to exercise being more proactive.

Both personality types can find room to shine

Variety is good for society, and by allying type A’s unstoppable attitude to type B’s tender-hearted patience, there’s no saying what great things can be achieved.

The possibilities are endless, if only we stop believing one is better than the other and start to work together.

Life explorer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store