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10 Things Only “Type A” People Would Understand

10 Things Only “Type A” People Would Understand

Type A people are motivated to achieve and make a great help for our society. Like any group of people, they have their winning qualities and their blindspots. Let’s dive in to explore the qualities that define these people. If you have Type A pride, then read on!

1. You Love To Win At Work And Everything Else

More than any other quality, Type A people love to win.

You work hard to get a big bonus. You have no problem putting in extra hours to help your boss meet a deadline. If your company offers awards for top performance, you are working hard to make sure that you win. Outside of the office, you are drawn to playing sports where you can keep score and record victories. If an activity comes with a medal, a score or an award, you will find Type A people achieving success.

2. You Are Frustrated By Delays and Process

Sitting in traffic and waiting on hold drives you crazy as a Type A person.

Type A people have a long list of activities to work through and delays keep them from making progress. Fortunately, some Type A professionals have discovered ways to make use of delays – such as working on email or an important document while on hold. Being told to fill out forms and go through complicated procedures tends to make you frustrated or even angry.

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Just remember that exploding and screaming at someone will probably make it more difficult to win!

3. You Are Highly Organized

Type A people are known for their outstanding organizational skills.

High achieving people tend to rely on productivity practices to stay organized. Type A people bring drive and intensity to every part of their work and life. For example, I knew a Type A person who prepared a detailed, color coded Excel spreadsheet to plan a golf trip to Scotland for his friends. He knew that travel can be complicated, so he left nothing to chance. Few things in life frustrate a Type A person more than working with a disorganized person who constantly forgets their tasks.

4. You Probably Have Some Nervous Habits

Type A people are full of energy and passion. Sometimes, that energy can only be expressed in nervous habits and tics.

Unlike some of the other fine qualities that define Type A people, this quality can become a distracting weakness. For example, you may have a habit of tapping your foot on the floor during a stressful meeting. At home, you may check that the lights are off in every room several times before you go to bed. If the nervous habits help you focus and don’t cause harm, you may as well run with them. On a less positive note, you may have stress habits such as grinding your teeth when you sleep (it’s bad for your health – you need to get a mouth guard for that problem).

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5. You Find It Difficult To Relax

Type A people are so focused on achievement and winning that they find it difficult to relax, even after a long day of productive work.

For example, let’s say that you are a Type A with a demanding corporate job. You probably put in a 40-50 hour work week and then keep going on the weekend – building a start up company, studying for a MBA or volunteering. On their own, there is nothing wrong with any of these activities. At a certain point (or when you are over 30), you may find the demanding pace is cutting into your mental health.

What’s the solution? Apply your Type A abilities to relaxation and leisure: Plan a summer trip to the beach. Organize a dinner party for your friends. Pick an idea from your bucket list and do it this weekend. Go on a bucket list trip somewhere (read 50 Extraordinary Places To Put On Your Bucket List to get some ideas).

6. You Are Punctual

Type A people trust the clock and aim to be on time.

Attention to time and punctuality is one of the great ways that Type A people show respect for other people. For example, some Type A people I know in business aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early to meetings. That practice creates a good first impression and it allows them to greet other people as they walk into the room. In social life, Type A people never lose their reservations due to being late – it is one of their best qualities that people admire about them. Whether you identify as Type A or not, paying close attention to time is a great way to show respect to others.

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7. Your Task Manager Is Your Best Friend

Type A people love to-do lists and use powerful task management tools. They know the value in writing down tasks and crossing each item off their list as they work through the day.

Working from a to-do list is one of the best ways to stay organized. In fact, Type A people like task lists because they get a sense of satisfaction from each task they complete. There are also many ways to achieve success with a task manager. For example, Michael Hyatt, a best selling author and former publishing executive, uses Nozbe for task management. In contrast, entrepreneur Tim Ferriss prefers to use index cards. The exact tool used is less important than being consistent in using it. Instead, it is important to learn a productivity framework that you can apply (e.g. Leading Yourself With Getting Things Done)

8. You Constantly Work On Your Goals

Type A people focus on goals and usually achieve what they work on.

In the working world, Type A sales professionals are known to complete challenging sales goals. They invest in sales training, work long hours and seek every advantage in reaching their goals. In order to reach their goals faster, Type A people read about goal achievement and read productivity books. In many cases, high achieving people also set significant goals that go beyond their careers. Did you know that the average triathlete’s household income is $126,000 according to Fortune magazine? It is more than possible to work on challenging fitness goals and earn a high income at the same time.

9. You Commit To Play Full Out

Type A people are filled with passion – it is one of their finest qualities.

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They know that half measured efforts rarely lead to success or satisfaction. At the office, they are happy to edit a PowerPoint file one more time to make sure it is free of errors. Type A people also tend to play hard and enjoy exploring challenging activities such as sky diving, climbing mountains or traveling around the world. Bringing energy and enthusiasm to life makes a big difference to your results.

10. You Think Everything Is Urgent

Type A people are so driven to complete all of their tasks that they view every task as urgent.

Unfortunately, this belief means that some Type A people focus on urgent matters (e.g. responding to every email as it arrives) rather than important matters (i.e. taking care of their health). There are a few ways to work around this weakness. First, you can label certain tasks as “high priority” in your task manager. Second, you can ask another person to help you with priorities (e.g. ask your spouse to remind you to exercise or engage in other healthy habits).

Featured photo credit: Mountain Climbing/Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is a Project Management Professional and Founder and CEO of Project Management Hacks.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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