In the mid to late 80’s, women wore shirts, dresses, and jackets with padding sewn into the shoulders. What was that fashion trend about? Were we trying to puff ourselves up to look bigger, stronger, and more capable?
Did the women’s fashion industry know that our super-computing subconscious minds jump to conclusions based on visual cues. Were we imitating puffer fish with our big hair and shoulder pads?
While working women power dressed and set out to smash glass ceilings, I sat in a lecture hall and listened to a Psychology professor explain the differences between Type A and B personalities.
You’ve surely heard?
Type A is efficient, competitive, organized, timely, ambitious…and impatient.
Type B is laid back, reflective, patient, and…relaxed.
Hare/Tortoise? Business Tycoon/Artist? Fast/Slow? Success/Failure?
What I don’t remember learning was that labeling A/B behaviors was initiated by two cardiologists who studied the relationship between stress and heart disease.
Can you guess which personality traits many of their patients displayed?
If my instructor told us that A/B traits run on a continuum—and we all contain a mish-mash of both traits—I wasn’t paying attention. To my young mind, people were an A or a B.
Do you identify with one or the other?
Back then, I raised my hand for A.
Many of my role models exhibited, executed and touted type A behaviors.
In contrast, my Grandma Mabel fell as close as one could get to the letter B—like a dropped cherry at the trunk of its mother tree. The sweet woman with curly black hair made dolls out of dried apples, fiddled endlessly with her instamatic camera, and aggravated my father’s type A tendencies while we waited for her to get in the car. On holidays when Grandma Mabel attended church with us, we always ended up in the balcony or basement.
Don’t be like Grandma Mabel was never spoken, but clearly heard.
I believed As stood on mountain tops while Bs snoozed at the base.
Interestingly, the A I once thought I should be hid many of my B traits.
B is Beautiful—patient, kind, creative and mellow. Oh—and less likely to have a heart attack—if you believe the study.
ABBA-Knowing Me, Knowing You is the best we can do.
Unlearning (breaking-up) is never easy to do, but sometimes we gotta let go of who we thought we were to become the best of who we are.