Personality types have been at the focus of many interesting conversations. People like to think about how they fit in with others, hence, using personality type classification,has been a useful way to do it. And, while everyone wants to be considered unique, most people can identify themselves with one of the common personality types, at the very least.
How Is Personality Determined?
Many personality theories have been proposed, so there are many well-established ways to look at personality. Personality begins with genetics and develops through the course of a lifetime, but it's mostly formed by the time you reach adulthood. The following factors contribute to the development of personality.
Genetics play a big role in the development of one's personality. Before you were born, there were already clues within your genetic code about what type of personality you would ultimately develop. Recent research has explored the connection between genetics and personality.
One twin study suggested that genetic differences were far more important in the formation of personality,than previously thought. Further, this study showed the stability of personality over the lifetime, and for the first time, gave an adequate reason for it.
Character can be defined as the mental and moral qualities unique to an individual. The type of character you have, determines to some extent, what choice you are likely to make in response to certain situations. Your character is complex, but it's also a stable part of who you are. Some character traits include:
Your temperament is your nature. It's a combination of the mental, physical, and emotional traits that make up your natural disposition. It is manifested in your usual attitudes, moods, and behaviors.
Teachers often notice the temperamental differences of their students just by virtue of being around them in the learning setting. Different children have different ways of learning, following directions, interacting. Each child also has different interests, as well as, different ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.
However, temperament doesn't go away as you mature. In some ways, it may become even more pronounced. Temperament has a strong biological basis that starts in the genetic code and through varying changes in chemical levels, like dopamine and hormones like estrogen or testosterone.
The 4-Type Personality System
One system for classifying personalities is the 4-type personality system, which started out as the Type A and Type B personality theory, developed by two cardiologists. Their interest in personality was to find out if people with a certain type of personality were more prone to heart disease.
Later, this theory was expanded, with the addition of types C and D. Although the Type A personality is a well-known concept, only a few people are as clear about the characteristics of the other types. Nonetheless, this system of four personality types is often used in businesses and other organizations.
People with a Type A personality are driven to pursue success, sometimes at all costs. They seek to be in control of everything within and outside of themselves. They care little about details, and often delegate the responsibility for those to others. They're goal-oriented and tend to keep their eyes on the bottom line.
Type A's value independence and despise being restricted or restrained. Workaholics almost always have a Type A personality. Type A's are impatient and easily bored by steady routine. They focus on the completion of a goal more than enjoying the experience as it unfolds. They pay little attention to the needs and feelings of others, as they work on making progress towards their own goals.
These people are often leaders or business owners who show confidence and determination in their quest for success.
Someone with Type B personality is usually very outgoing and energetic. They want to be the focus of attention. They're more interested in relationships than Type A's are, and they seek approval from others more than A's.
In fact, Type B people thrive on acknowledgement, admiration, and applause. They enjoy talking about themselves and their achievements. They fear being humiliated or disapproved by others. Their appearance is extremely important to them, and they dress for success.
Type B's are outgoing and friendly. They're great at persuading others to do as they wish. They're spontaneous and enthusiastic, and often have a quick sense of humor. They're very expressive and have a hard time hiding their feelings.
Like Type A's, Type B's tend to be impatient. They aren't especially detail-oriented, but they are great at turning their lofty dreams into reality. They're highly social creatures, often putting social interactions above making accomplishments.
Type C individuals tend to prefer things that are steady, stable, and controlled. They're detail-oriented and prefer to talk in terms of facts and logic. They don't like being with people who don't control their feelings. Actually, they care very little about other people's emotions.
However, Type C's can be very controlling themselves. They like following the rules and strictly adhere to policies and standard practices. They're careful, methodical, and resourceful. They consider options carefully before making a decision.
Type C people want to know exactly what's expected of them in a job. They don't fall for arguments that are based on emotions. Yet, they are creative thinkers who strive for originality.
Type D people like to take it slow and easy. They want security so much that they don't mind doing jobs others might find boring. They want to be excellent at what they do, and they manage to do so by sticking to one job for the long term. They resist change, because they don't like the learning curve it involves. They tend to shy away from risks.
Type D's want to be respected and accepted. They're happy to work hard if it brings approval from others. They need the security that comes with reassurance from others. They like things to be organized in their environment.
Type D's, unlike their Type C counterparts, can be very supportive of others. They enjoy working alongside other people and often help stabilize the group. They tend to be slow, but they excel in accuracy. They want long-term success.
Sometimes, an X factor is added to one of the four basic personality types. The X indicates that the person is equally similar to two or more different types. A person who has the same amount of A characteristics and B characteristics might be an AX and BX type. In rare cases, the person may equally fall under each type, in which case, he or she may be considered to be a true Type X.
What Is the Most Common Personality Type?
Of these four types, Type D is the most common personality type. This works out well, since there are more places in society and business for followers than there are for leaders. The Type A and Type B people can take the risks and push for success or approval. Meanwhile, the Type D's keep the ship running smoothly, no matter how treacherous the water is.
How Important Is It to Know Your Personality Type?
There's very little chance that this, or any other system of personality classification, can define you perfectly. So why would you need to fret over which of the different personality types best describes you?
Some people need to be reassured that their personality type is commonly accepted, while others, want to deepen understanding of themselves, or otherwise, use it to justify their behaviors. Whatever the reason may be, the fact of the matter is, that there is no "best" personality type.
Instead, it's more important to know yourself in your own way. You need to understand what your preferences are and how you tend to behave in different situations. This can be extremely helpful as you make decisions and interact with others. There is value in knowing yourself, as opposed to understanding a set type of personality, in which you may fit.
There are many different types of personality tests to take if you want to know what someone else thinks of your personality. A counselor can help you understand the results of the test. They can also help you see the weaknesses in your natural personality and guide you as you overcome those weaknesses.
Keep in mind, however, that you're a unique individual with own thoughts, needs, feelings, and behaviors. You aren't like anyone else precisely. Talking to someone who understands the complexity of personality and human behavior can help you become more self-assured and resilient.
You can talk to a licensed counselor at BetterHelp.com for help in understanding personality issues as well as other mental health issues. Online therapy is convenient and private. You don't need to worry about who you are based on a predetermined classification system. All you need to do is know yourself and accept yourself for who you really are!