My latest insights on love and courage.
In our high-speed culture, the type-A personality is often admired and held up as the prime example of what it takes to achieve and succeed. Yet, for every type-A person in the world, there is at least one type-B person who is also to be appreciated.
One of the qualities of type-B persons is humility, so it’s rare that they will promote or brag about themselves. Nevertheless, speaking myself as a type-B person, here are some key things we would like you to know and understand about us:
We tend to be introverted. This doesn’t mean we aren’t social. We often enjoy being with people. However, we prefer small groups versus large crowds, and in large groups, we tend to interact with one or a few people rather than “work the room.” We want to feel a deeper connection with others, even in one-time encounters.
Type-B people nurture relationships. Because we value deep personal connection, we devote the time to continually growing our relationships, especially with those who mean the most to us. We proactively keep in touch and make ourselves available with sincerity, empathy, and caring. We seek to have meaningful conversations, and we easily lose track of time when we’re immersed in one.
We seek to understand as fully as possible, logically and emotionally. We like to have adequate information to make the best decisions, plus we’re in tune with our feelings and intuitions about those decisions.
Type-B people are open to a variety of viewpoints and opinions, even if we don’t agree with them. We are mindful that everyone is unique and multidimensional. Mutual respect is one of our key values, and we are quickly turned off by people who are devoted more to conflict than to conversation.
We need solitude to recharge. It is essential for type-B people to take respite from the busy, hectic, high energy world we live in. When we don’t do this, we feel fatigued, moody, and out of sorts.
The type-B person can’t be motivated by pressure. You might rush a type-B person into action, but you won’t get the best work from her this way. Though we can adhere to a schedule and meet deadlines, we do our best work to our own rhythm. You’ll surely lose the loyalty of a type-B person when you don’t trust the process that works best for her.
We engage best when we’re invited in. Type-Bs usually don’t imbed themselves into situations or opportunities. We’re good at communicating the value we can provide, but then we pause and sense into how we’re being received. In an assertive, enterprising world, this can be viewed as a limitation. You have to “ask for the business” after all. However, the most astute person sees and appreciates substance as much as appearance in others and invites them into his world accordingly.
Type-B people seek for balance. We often take a both/and philosophy to life versus either/or. We value knowledge and wisdom, work and rest, sound and silence, firmness and gentleness. In appreciation for the rich complexity of life, we rarely see things as being either black or white. Sometimes this makes it difficult for us to give a simple answer to what seems a simple question. However, you can be rest assured that we will give you the most thoughtful answer.
Finally, you might be surprised that some type-B people used to be type-As. These types run more along a spectrum than they are exclusive. Factors such as age, life experience, evolving beliefs, and embarking on inner work influence where anybody falls on the spectrum. This has been certainly true for me. The value of this is that I integrate the best of my type-A qualities, such as focus and productivity, with my primary type-B qualities, such as mindfulness and introspection, to be a more generative and compassionate human being.
If you don’t consider yourself a type-B person, consider how some of these type-B attributes have shown up for you, even in the smallest ways. At the very least, you’ll have a new appreciation for type-B people. At best, you’ll be empowered by awareness of your own type-B qualities and how they can help you.