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Help for a "Type A" personality

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pringle, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    OK, so after years of being on edge constantly, of tossing golf clubs in the water when I don't hit a good shot or being thrown into a deep depression if I don't win an APSE - those are but two examples - I have come to realize that I have a big-time, big-time "Type A" personality. If you don't know, it's marked my hyper-competitiveness, an obsession with achievement and extreme impatience.

    I've read the description in many places, and everyone is so much describing me that it's almost frightening (though enlightening). Anyway, I want to change, mostly because I see how it affects my wife. I can be tough to be around. I'm hard on her sometimes (OK, often) when she doesn't move as fast as me, for example. And hard on myself if some measurable achievement doesn't go my way. Or if I've gone months without being measured.

    Any success stories out there on managing this type of behavior? I'm thinking about eliminating caffeine, maybe that'll help. And maybe just being conscious that this is my nature will help me deal with it, as well. If nothing does, it might be time to see somebody.

    But it seems like it's sapping a lot of enjoyment out of life. I want to be a fiction, screen or book writer, for example. But it seems like I can never get going, because I feel like if I don't hit No. 1 on the NY Times best seller list, then I've failed. But on the other hand, I don't have the patience to just enjoy the process of honing the craft.

    It's a cycle that, now that I'm about to turn 30, I really, really want to turn around to improve my quality of life and the quality of life of those around me.

    You guys have been so helpful with people with depression and other personality issues, I was hoping there might be some worthy advice here, because this just can't go on anymore. I feel trapped by it. It's draining (APSE is a trigger for it this week, obviously).
  2. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I hate to sound like Ann Landers, but you need therapy.

    I have Type 'A' personality, along with ADHD and ADD.

    I have been through counsling before, but have turned a huge corner with my current therapist.

    Ask your local mental health service center to get you a counselor that specialises in EMDR therapy.

    EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It's working wonders for me.

    Good luck.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I can't believe every Type A person needs therapy.

    I used to be very competitive. Used to have a bad temper in my younger days.

    It just seems that there is a point when you start to get mad and have a fit that you can decide, "Screw it. I'm going to let it out. Throw these clubs, kick the wall, etc."

    That's the point you either decide to act like a jerk or reign it in. I think it can be done.
  4. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    The dumbest thing is, I used to see my dad act like this while I was growing up. Now he's calm as can be - but it also seems like he's beaten and has lost his will and his way. Like he just kind of gave up and lost his passion for life.

    Of course, everybody's afraid of turning into their dad. So I guess I fear that if I quit striving every second of every day the way I do, that I'll be a beaten man and lose something in the process.

    It's stupid, I know.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Funny. I was gonna ask if you had kids and make the suggestion that it will sap the competitive fire right out of you.
  6. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    None yet. And it fits right into a symptom of "Type A" I was reading - you always want to put off things like relationships and family until you accomplish your important personal goals (but, of course, you always set another bar in front of you and the cycle repeats itself).
  7. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    There's a difference between being young and hot-headed and being over-assertive.

    Everyone grows up. But some of the traits that make us Type 'A' personality are deep-rooted things from our past.

    I'm not even saying you can't fix some minor things on your own. But if you are truly Type 'A' and don't want to be, you're not going to fix it by yourself.

    I'm 43 and have grown up in many ways. But that didn't change the Type 'A' traits that I didn't like about myself.
  8. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Crippler - So we talking meds? Behavioral therapy like the eye movement thing you mentioned? Just learning some techniques to lose that edge or some outlets (something as simple as funneling your competitive instincts into learning to play something like chess or really getting into fantasy baseball)?
  9. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    My 2 cents...

    I know something about Type A because Mr. Lugs is one. I'm the opposite of Type A, so we actually make a good fit, as I'm sure you and your wife do. He lights a fire under me sometimes, and I help him relax sometimes. He helps me stay focused, and I help him reveal his creative side.

    But most of our (few) fights revolve around his Type A behavior and my not-so-Type-A behavior.

    What I would say is, don't try to change. Embrace your Type A for the great thing it is. So many people in this world get nothing done. You are somebody who gets things done.

    That said, ask your wife for help, and listen to her. Let her help you take the edge off sometimes. Tell her how much you love her un-Type-A qualities. Discuss your goals with her, and let her help you figure out how to get there.

    I'd be willing to bet she married you in part because she admires some of your qualities.... so I wouldn't try to change.

    Just my thoughts...

    Oh, P.S., Mr. Lugs doesn't drink any caffeine. Good gracious, I can't imagine what would happen if he did. Some people are "naturally caffeinated."
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I bet that being married to Luggie would cure a whole lot of what ails ya.
  11. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Ha! If only. Ace, you're sweet. Right back atcha, fella.
  12. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    By others, obviously. :D :D :D

    Pringle, I know how you feel re: ending up like your dad. Generallly, my dad and I could not be any more different. He was a stockbroker, I, uhh, am not. He is fanatical about saving money, I, uhh, am not. He's on Tom Coughlin time, I, uhh, am not.

    But we both have a bad temper and we both spend far too much time worrying over things we can't control. Those are the two traits I'd rather not inherit from my dad, but...

    When I'm pissed about something that shouldn't piss me off, I realize I'm acting like my dad. I'm trying to get better, to take deep breaths, to figure that I can't go apeshit over something out of my control. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    Good luck.
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