Go-getter. Achiever. Competitive. Absolute planner who dots their i’s and crosses their t’s.
Do you know what kind of person I’m describing here?
You probably guessed right – the Type A personality!
People with this personality have a kind of energy that’s hard to keep up with. They’ve got everything one needs to get to the top – ambition, drive, tons of confidence, and a battery that never seems to run out.
And there’s always a sense of urgency in everything they do.
Want to know how to spot a Type A personality in any social setting? Here are nine telltale signs:
1) They’re the ones doing the planning and organizing
Before anything else, I’ll be upfront and say that I lean towards having a Type A personality myself. As such, anything that involves planning and organizing for social events often falls on me.
If there’s a get-together with friends or an out-of-town trip with family, people like me are the ones who send messages to everyone and do the crazy work of landing on a date that’s good for all.
On top of that, we’re the ones who arrange the venue, sometimes even going to the point of coordinating how each person will get there.
I guess it’s because we have a need for control and structure – things must go perfectly. Or at least, as minimally chaotic as life will allow.
We have this kind of attitude towards work, and somehow it extends into our social lives, too.
It’s not just about control, though. It’s also about efficiency.
2) They exude efficiency in every way
Are you meeting a Type A friend for dinner at 7 PM? They’ll be there at 6:30.
Not sure which restaurant to try? They can decide on that faster than you can say “Bon appétit!”
As you can see, Type A personalities don’t like wasting time. Even their communication style shows that – they like being direct to the point, as clear as possible so that there’s absolutely no miscommunication.
However, all that desire for efficiency comes with a downside. Type A people have a rather short fuse whenever things aren’t going as smoothly as they planned.
If you spot someone getting impatient while waiting for their order at a restaurant…
Or gently nudging along (or in extreme cases, interrupting) someone who’s speaking in circles…
…That person is likely a Type A personality!
3) They get assertive/aggressive when they need to be
Speaking of rudeness, it’s not uncommon to encounter forcefulness or even aggression in a Type A personality.
According to Explore Psychology, people with Type A personalities are often described as “abrupt, blunt, rude, or even hostile.”
Again, it comes down to that intense sense of urgency. Remember, Type A people are doers – they want things done, and they want it done right away.
That aside, they’re naturally confident – they know what they want, and they have no qualms about saying it.
In social situations, you’ll find them speaking up when they’ve got an opinion to share. They’ll be the ones who’ll say, “I think we should just go with [insert decision],” when everyone around them is waffling about.
That’s why it’s perfectly normal to find them doing this next thing…
4) They’re always leading the conversation
When you’re at a social gathering, notice who’s leading the conversation and taking charge of the group dynamics. I’m willing to bet you’ll find a Type A personality at the helm.
You see, this is a role that they naturally assume.
Whether they intend to or not, Type A personalities often end up being a dominant presence in conversations. They’re expressive, confident, and remember – they have lots of energy!
At parties, for example, they might be the ones asking everyone else to raise their glasses for a toast. They’d be the ones rallying the troops for a fun party game.
Basically, you’ll find them proposing activities, guiding the flow of the evening, and generally being the driving force behind the social scene.
5) They take party games seriously
While we’re talking about party games, any friend of mine will tell you that – uhm, not bragging here but – they always want me on their team. (Okay, so maybe there’s a little bit of bragging there…)
You know why? Because like anybody else with a Type A personality, I play to win.
Pictionary. Charades. Trivia night. And my all-time favorite – escape room games.
Whatever it is, I’m right there taking it seriously.
That’s not to say we’re sore losers or we kinda dampen the fun. Not at all. It’s not about ego, at least not for me. For me, it’s just about the sheer pleasure of strategizing and conquering the challenge.
If anything, we take the excitement a notch higher just because we get so excited about it all!
6) They’re all about the details
It’s safe to say that many Type A personalities have a keen eye for detail, and this trait shows up, even in social settings.
Why? Again, it’s all related to the pursuit of excellence.
You’ll notice it in the way they dress, often well-coordinated and polished. Or it might show in the impeccable dinner table settings if they’re hosting a party.
For others, that detail-oriented streak shows up in interpersonal communication.
They notice body language and other things others might overlook. They remember details someone has told them and use that as a springboard to make a deeper connection.
Even their compliments to others might be specific instead of general. For example, instead of simply saying, “Your pork chops are delicious!”, they’d say, “I love that hickory note in your pork chops!”
That skill helps them engage with others in a more meaningful way.
7) They talk about achievements and goals
Another common way that Type A personalities connect with others is by turning casual chats into meaningful discussions about the big stuff.
One minute you’re talking about the weather or the latest celebrity gossip, then the next minute, it’s all about goals. Projects. Achievements.
As in, “What are you up to these days?” “What goals are you working towards?”
These are topics that resonate with their ambitious nature. They like hearing stories of how other people are learning, planning, failing, succeeding…all those things that have to do with growth.
Sure, it might sound rather heavy for a conversation over drinks. Especially when all you want to do is unwind and escape from those very things for a while!
But real talk – isn’t that what makes for a deeper connection? Tell a Type A personality your dreams and hopes, and you can be sure they’ll be cheering you on and proposing ways to collaborate!
8) They can multitask like hell
Last weekend, I attended a charity event for kids with cancer in my community. Right away, I could spot the fellow Type A personality there (several of them, in fact).
You know how?
They were running around, managing several things at once. They actually reminded me of an octopus with its eight arms moving around and getting things done simultaneously.
They’d be hosting, entertaining guests, talking to the waitstaff, overseeing the food preparation, and prompting the staff for the next activity, and so on. All with smiles on their faces.
Whew. Being a Type A personality is hard, isn’t it?
9) They get easily stressed
Now, I’ve talked about how Type A personalities are go-getters always aiming for the best and pushing themselves to achieve it.
And that’s generally a good thing. The world needs Type A people to lead initiatives, set high standards, and make things happen.
But those high standards and intense drive can sometimes lead to stress, especially if things don’t go as planned.
For example, I once hosted a barbecue for my friends. I planned everything down to the last detail, but on the day…the darned grill wouldn’t start.
My friends, the relaxed and happy bunch that they are, shrugged it off and said, “Hey, we could order pizza, you know?”
Despite that, I was tense the whole afternoon, feeling stressed that the main thing I needed for things to go well had failed me.
That’s how it can get for Type A people in social settings. Even minor hiccups can create unnecessary tension and set our teeth on edge.
If you spot a Type A friend or family member feeling stressed, offer a little help or a word of encouragement. Sometimes, the person who takes care of everything needs taking care of, too!
As you can see, Type A personalities are quite the movers and shakers of the world. And generally, you can spot them in any social setting by the way they move efficiently and take charge of things.
Keep in mind, though, that this list is general and isn’t meant to perpetuate stereotypes. The reality is, we are complex and multidimensional. Being labeled Type A (or B, C, D) doesn’t necessarily capture every nuance of someone’s personality.
Simply put, while we may lean more towards one category, we have personality traits from every other category as well. That’s quite interesting, isn’t it? All the more reason to walk up to someone at a party and get to know them!