The Dark Side: 4 Common Faults Of People With Type A Personalities

by Lauren Skirvin

Type A women are the kind who run companies and open their own businesses. They are never late for appointments or meetings and have a very full social calendar.

A Type A woman was probably class president in high school and played at least two sports. She is a great team leader and can handle having a lot on her plate. She always looks put-together and is up-to-date on all the new trends.

Type A women are very intelligent because they are always looking to learn and improve their skills. If they have children, it’s in addition to having a full-time job. These are the type of women who “have it all.”

Being that I am a Type A woman, I’ve always thought we were the cream of the crop. We’re generally successful in our professional lives, and we can handle any challenge thrown our way.

We are sometimes a lot to handle, but what we can give in return more than makes up for it.

Despite the personality strengths of a Type A female, there are some frightening downsides. Here are four of the most prominent I’ve found to be true of most Type A personalities:

Brain on Cocaine

Unless I am drunk or so exhausted I can’t see straight, I spend at least an hour each night in bed going over what happened during the day.

My brain is going 110 miles an hour at all times. I find it difficult to concentrate, not because I have ADD, but because my mind takes me down a rabbit hole, listing every last thing I need to get done.

And, I can never just do one thing at a time. I’m always multi-tasking for better efficiency, and if I’m only doing one task, I get bored.

I have high anxiety because when I can’t be completely in control, my mind freaks out.

I need Valium or alcohol for plane rides; I get incredibly nervous when I need to perform or speak in front of groups because I want it to be perfect, and I have a panic attack when I get lost or when things take a turn for which I hadn’t planned.

It’s exhausting.

Obsessive Compulsive

There isn’t a single Type A woman I know who doesn’t work out religiously. It’s about more than feeling healthy and managing weight; it’s something we do because if we don’t, we feel like a lazy slob.

I can’t tell you the last time I went more than two days straight without working out. Not when I was sick with a nasty flu, not when I sprained my ankle so badly I needed crutches and not even when on vacation. I always find a way and a reason to work out.

The adrenaline is necessary to feel that natural high. The release is necessary to get out all the anger we have about people or things that let us down. The sweat makes us feel alive and accomplished.

This goes hand in hand with eating disorders, as we become obsessed with an ideal body type we want to exhibit. We can be the strongest, most athletic, most flexible and skinniest person if we just push ourselves hard enough.


Type A women like to be the boss. Since we are good leaders, it’s only natural to want to take control in relationships. But, gender roles tell us that men naturally want to be the ones in that dominant position.

Most of us have a hard time surrendering to that idea. It feels unnatural to take a backseat when it comes to dating. We want to control the pace of the relationship.

We want to pick the day, time and place of every date. We want to make the first move. We even want to pay or at least split the check for dinner.

For many Type A women I know, they are completely baffled when a courtship goes awry after following this pattern. They don’t understand the implications of doing all the courting.

They say they just want to follow their instincts and how they feel, but they don’t realize that what they are doing is just another way to control things and most men are not attracted to that.

Because of this, many Type A women are single for long periods of time. They then become hard and indifferent to dating altogether. They convince themselves that they like being alone and they don’t want men in their lives.


Type A women don’t show weaknesses. Our friends and families have no idea when we are upset because we don’t talk about it. If we cry, we do it behind closed doors or into our pillow at night.

Covering up our emotions, in turn, gives us a hard outer shell. People sometimes find us to be cold and insensitive.

This also adds to the difficulties of being in relationships because most of us have a hard time communicating to our partners how we’re feeling. Instead of coming from a place of love and vulnerability, we address things through a shield of anger, which never gives us the response we’re looking for.

We push people away because the idea of having to be emotional in front of someone feels too exposing. It’s better to not have to feel than to have to deal with covering it up all the time.

There is a great episode of "Will & Grace" where Will (a lawyer and Type A male) goes to an acting class with his best friend just to observe, and the teacher forces him to go on stage for an acting exercise. In the exercise, he is supposed to apologize to someone in his life he feels he’s treated unfairly.

After much encouragement, he finally closes his eyes, wraps his arms around himself and says, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve been so hard on you. I’m sorry I expect so much from you.”

The teacher responds with, “Who are you talking to?”

Will replies, “Myself.”

I challenge all of you Type A individuals to apologize to yourself right now. Stop being so hard on yourself; try to learn to relax. Life is too short to be so intense all the time.

Learn to let people in, let go and relinquish control. It’s bound to make you much happier.