D. Weaknesses of Type A Personality Trait.

Every strength carries a reciprocal weakness, i.e., for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  

1.  Arrogance. The dictionary defines arrogance as an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance. Arrogance does not necessarily require someone to boast about their self-importance.  People boasting about how important or how rich they are often indicates the opposite. 

Arrogance is a natural consequence from winning and is a form of confidence.  However, when confidence results in ignoring or deferring other valid information or opinions, it becomes a detriment.  This can negatively affect decision making, protection, ambition, control, etc.  When this happens the type-A must take corrective actions.   

2.  Entitlement. This is the belief that a person has a right to something. This could be a result of arrogance, i.e., “I have a right to that because I am always right.”  It could also be the result of a law, regulation, or historical precedence.  A strong belief of entitlement can be extremely costly where the detriments exceed the benefits.  It would be tough for the Type A person to walk away from something that is rightfully owned.  That task should be delegated to another to perform a cost-benefit analysis. 

3.  Over-Protection. This is a serious problem and is an area where advice from another is beneficial. If it deals with over-protection of children, it may be necessary to consult with an expert.  As can be seen in the next section on “Types of Fears,” childhood over-protection is the root cause of many fears and phobias, i.e. abnormal fears.  They should be resolved as soon as possible and not ignored. 

Spotting over-protection takes a little effort, but it is not difficult.  A few clues include:

  • Do you make more than 3 decisions a day for each child?

  • Do you shield them from harm from everyday realities, such as filtering more than a couple G-rated television programs?

  • Do you have too many safe zones, like not allowing your children to sleep over at any non-relative’s home?

  • Do you choose all of your children’s friends, rather than guiding them in choosing their own friends?

  • Do you search their rooms every day rather than talk, ask questions, and listen?

  • Do you not allow your children to fail, such as doing their homework rather than helping them?

  • Do you accompany your children everywhere they go, barring them from exploring, getting dirty, receiving minor cuts and bruises, or discovering new playmates?

Parents must also learn how to let go to allow their children to grow and survive.  Dr. Benjamin Spock’s early books on baby and child care are trusted methods on raising children. 

4.  Abuse of Power and Control.  Some define abuse as getting another to do something that they did not want to do.  That definition could literally mean anything.  The legal definition is the use of power or position of authority by employing a wrongful/illegal act.  The definition here is an unreasonable use of power or control to achieve a purpose unrelated to the advancement of any positive trait. 

The prime minister of England in the late 1700’s said that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  It was quoted in a political context, but it likely applies to all human endeavors. 

Laws control most abuses.  But, there are voluntary methods as well.  All organizations, professional and social, have adopted ethics to control abuses and promote fair play.  Religious organizations, local ministers, and spiritual advisors often mediate in this area. 

It is not difficult to spot abuses.  Legal actions are the most public.  But abuses also lead to internal disputes within businesses. When distrust between members of a business clan develops there is often a high turnover rate.  This is prime hunting grounds for competitors, resulting in hiring key employees, scheduling meetings during high conflict periods, and observing the reactions among business clan members in company meetings or social gathering. 

5.  Workaholic.  Most Type A people have this trait.  Unfortunately, it often causes problems with their family life.  Coping with a workaholic boss or spouse requires planning and scheduling.  An effort must be made to put more quality in the activity, as opposed to the quantity.  A few examples include:

  • Rather than attending a child’s entire soccer game, negotiate to attend a segment of the game. Communicate with the soccer coach so that the workaholic spouse can see their child actually play.

  • Praise for a workaholic partner is more rewarding than nagging.

  • Telephone and video conferencing allows more real-time interactions.

  • Be honest with what is bugging you. Talking and listening are extremely important. 

  • Do the PAC method: Plan an activity, Advise the other of it, and Calendar it in on both personal and business calendars.

  • Learn how to negotiate. The A-type respects the art of negotiation. They do it daily.  If you want to go on a cruise, then ask the workaholic spouse to name the five best vacation destinations.  Narrow it down to the one you like, and ask, “What do you like about ….”

Remember talking is the conveyor, while listening is the receiver.

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