Do you make meticulous to-do lists, have trouble sleeping if you have a deadline coming up, or get anxious when you see other people slack? Do people consistently call you an overachiever, a workaholic, or a control-freak? Does anxiety set in when you get to Starbucks or the movie theater and see a long line? Does wasting time make you angry and annoyed? Does relaxing take a ton of effort? If so, you are not alone. I feel your pain, and so do a lot of other people. What you’re feeling is the side-effects of being Type-A, and it can be a struggle, both personally and socially.
Though being Type-A can be a really positive thing, as in you are productive, do great work, and you perform at a high level, there are negatives. Being Type-A can be a bit of a hindrance socially because people have difficulty keeping up with you, and you often pour more into work than into maintaining relationships. I am totally guilty of this. I often say I don’t have time for a relationship, and that’s just a nice way of saying I have trouble making time for anything serious because I’m more invested in my schoolwork, future, and leadership roles. I think this is okay, but it’s harder to justify when it comes to friendships and family. So, if you happen to have Type-A tendencies, I have a few methods for coping with the difficult side of things.
Make time in your planner for coffee dates and dinner dates with friends. Most Type-A people work from a very rigid schedule, and by actually inputting social time into your calendar it is easier to spend time with friends without worrying about the things you should be doing. If you have trouble being spontaneous or going against your schedule, then add social events (even really small ones) to your schedule!
Practice Meditation or Yoga. If you have trouble relaxing, begin doing activities that force you to be relaxed and that get you in the habit of relaxing each week. I personally practice yoga (though being Type-A its often difficult for me to make time), but I also enjoy meditating if I only have a few minutes. If you have trouble working out or meditating, try finding a buddy who will motivate you to go!
Read Before Bed. If I don’t do anything to settle my mind before going to sleep, I obsess about the items on my to-do lists I didn’t cross off, or what’s on tomorrow’s agenda, or even what I’m going to eat for breakfast. The littlest things keep my mind going, but reading before bed gives me something to concentrate on, and then I can go to bed with a focused, but also relaxed mind.
Take A Day Off. Don’t become a workaholic, especially before your career even starts (if you’re in college). Pick a day, and vow to take it off, unplug and decompress! Becoming a workaholic is only going to worsen relationships, hinder your personal growth and make work your life.
Though these may seem like small solutions, I promise they lessen the pressure of being Type-A. This personality can be super positive, but most of us Type-A people have little anxieties and issues that we’re trying to cope with on a daily basis. When all you care about is work, keeping friendships healthy and strong can be difficult. I have a lot of Type-A friends, which can be good because they’re understanding, but it can also be difficult because some of us are more Type-A than others, and some are more competitive than others. Make sure you’re practicing healthy habits, and make sure you’re making time to be social, relax, and take breaks from work!