15 Unexpected Struggles Faced By Type A Personalities

15 Unexpected Struggles Faced By Type A Personalities

Being a Type A personality has its benefits – you’re organized, ambitious, and get things done. But even the most driven people have their struggles. Here are 15 challenges that might sound surprisingly familiar if you’re a Type A individual, and how understanding them can be the first step towards managing them.

1. Always being “on”

Your drive and intensity make it hard to ever fully relax. Even on vacation, you feel guilty if you’re not being productive. Learning to truly unwind and be in the moment is a constant challenge. You’re always thinking about what needs to be done next, what goals you’re chasing, and how to optimize your time. It’s exhausting being so “on” all the time, but you don’t know how to operate any other way. Letting go of that constant sense of urgency is a skill you need to cultivate.

2. Analysis Paralysis

That perfectionist streak leads you to overanalyze every decision, agonizing over each tiny choice. You expend so much mental energy sweating the small stuff that it’s exhausting. Sometimes good enough has to be good enough. But you struggle with that concept. You want to make the absolute best choice every time, even when the stakes are low. You have a hard time pulling the trigger on decisions because you keep second-guessing yourself. Learning to trust your gut and make quicker choices is an ongoing battle.

3. Impatience with other people

Not everyone operates with your sense of urgency. It’s frustrating when people are slow, indecisive, or fail to follow through. But you can’t expect the whole world to match your constant, breakneck pace. You frequently find yourself tapping your foot, looking at your watch, or biting your tongue when other people take too long to get to the point or make a call. It’s not that you don’t care about people, but you wish they could just get on your level and hustle the way you do. Developing patience is a lifelong lesson.

4. Difficulty delegating

Man on longboard at sunset©iStock/oneinchpunch

You know you can’t do it all yourself, but your exacting standards make it hard to trust people with important tasks. Remind yourself that delegating frees you up to focus where you add the most value, Forbes suggests. Learn to let go of the reins more. It’s not that you think you’re better than everyone else, but you know exactly how you want things done. The thought of handing off a project fills you with anxiety. What if they mess it up? What if they don’t care as much as you do? But trying to do everything yourself is a recipe for burnout. Practice delegating small things and build from there.

5. Overcommitting

Sad looking long haired brunette©iStock/themacx

You have a hard time saying no and always bite off more than you can chew. But trying to be everything to everyone just leaves you overextended and frazzled. Set boundaries and be more selective with your yeses. You want to prove you can handle anything that comes your way, so you rarely turn down a request or opportunity. However, your plate is only so big. Overloading it means you can’t give your best to anything. Learning to say no is self-care, not selfishness.

6. Obsession with time

hipster couple holding each other©iStock/tucko019

You live and die by your calendar, packing in appointments, calls, and activities. A 5-minute delay throws off your whole day. Pencil in more buffers and learn that not every minute must be accounted for. You’ve turned productivity into an art form, but the constant clock-watching is wearing you down. Unexpected interruptions send you into a tailspin. You need to inject more flexibility into your schedule. Leave space between commitments to breathe and regroup. The world won’t end if you’re not on a tight timetable 24/7.

7. Emotional suppression

You see feelings as a distraction from getting things done. But bottling up stress and negative emotions leads to blowups. Carve out time to process feelings in a constructive way — journaling, therapy, heart-to-hearts with friends. You push through tough times by compartmentalizing. But shoving down difficult feelings doesn’t make them go away. They bubble under the surface until you boil over. Acknowledging emotions isn’t weak, it’s healthy. And it allows you to release steam gradually instead of reaching a breaking point.

8. Tunnel vision

When you lock onto a goal, you pursue it relentlessly. But this can cause you to miss the big picture and alternative paths. You can still dream big while staying open to different routes to get there. You love having a north star to guide you. But staring at it too intensely means missing scenic detours and shortcuts. Don’t be so determined to reach your destination that your journey becomes joyless. Goals can evolve, timelines can shift. Embrace the winding road sometimes.

9. Struggling to celebrate achievements

The moment you achieve a goal, you’re already onto the next thing, never pausing to savor success. Give yourself permission to celebrate milestones before charging forward again. It’s energizing and helps prevent burnout. You think celebrating is a waste of time, that you’ll bask in the glory when you’ve “made it.” But that day may never come if you keep moving the goalposts. Take a beat to toast achievements, big and small, along the way. It’s not slacking off, it’s recharging your batteries.

10. Impostor syndrome

Despite outward success, you often feel like a fraud, and you deflect any and all praise as a result. It’s important to recognize impostor syndrome as a common response to achievement, Psychology Today explains. Own your wins and strengths. You’ve earned your place at the table. No matter how much you accomplish, you often feel like a kid playing dress-up, waiting to be exposed. But that voice saying you just got lucky or fooled people is a liar. Acknowledge it, then replace it with affirmations of your hard work and talent. You’re not an impostor, you’re the real deal.

11. Overthinking relationships

From corporate politics to personal relationships, you spend a lot of mental RAM decoding interactions and other people’s intentions. But most people aren’t as calculated as you assume. Don’t let over-analysis sabotage genuine connections. You tend to ascribe ulterior motives to straightforward statements and gestures. Not every colleague is trying to undermine you. Not every partner’s sigh means they’re unhappy. Take people at face value more. Resist the urge to read between every line. Most folks say what they mean.

12. Snap judgments

Caucasian woman assistant talking and discussing work to businesswoman.

You quickly size people up and once you put someone in a mental box, it’s hard to see them differently. Question your snap assessments and stay open to people surprising you. First impressions aren’t always accurate. Within minutes of meeting someone, you think you’ve got them pegged. But people are complex. Pigeonholing them too quickly means missing nuance and hidden depths. Challenge your initial labels. Give people space to show you different sides. You may find an ally or friend in an unexpected place.

13. Defensiveness about feedback

Worried angry businesswoman using phone

Your identity is so tied to being competent that any critique feels like an attack. But feedback, even critical comments, can sharpen your game if you’re open to it. Being great doesn’t mean being flawless. When you pour so much of yourself into your work, commentary can feel personal. But resist the knee-jerk reaction to get your back up or make excuses. Assume people have good intentions, even if the delivery is clumsy. There’s usually a kernel of truth in critiques that can help you grow.

14. Overdosing on “should”

Your self-talk is littered with “shoulds” — things you should be doing to optimize every area of life. But the weight of those expectations is crushing. Focus on a short list of “must-dos” and release some of those “shoulds.” From your diet to your hobbies to your parenting style, you’re always evaluating if you measure up. But that constant score keeping is a recipe for anxiety and guilt. Strive for progress, not perfection. Prioritize what truly matters and let yourself off the hook for the rest.

15. Fear of failure

Failure simply isn’t an option in your mind. So you avoid healthy risks and stay in your comfort zone more than you’d like to admit. Embrace the growth that comes from setbacks. Even failures bring you closer to where you want to be. You cringe at the thought of falling short or looking foolish. So you stick to the safe and predictable, even when your gut urges you to take a leap. But playing it small keeps you stagnant. Failure is just a stepping stone to success. Adopt a growth mindset and view strikeouts as practice swings, not the end of the game.

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Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.