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How to Communicate with a Type D? 15 Surefire Tips

How to Communicate with a Type D? 15 Surefire Tips

Updated on Nov 18, 2022 | Published on Oct 03, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

How to Communicate with a Type D? 15 Surefire Tips

So, you guys took a personality test and now you’re concerned about how to communicate with a type D? Wondering what might hurt them or give them the wrong impression… after all, they get hurt too easily.

Well, your worries are legit. And I’m glad you reached out for help… because this think-piece has your answers ready. It will show you the exact communication style you must follow in simple steps.

So, just plunge in already!

How to communicate with a type D?

Before you begin this journey to communicate with a type D person, remember to be open-minded. They might not react in the best way and it might sting a bit… however, you can’t let that affect you.

Remember, D-types are scared to trust others, so you might struggle a bit while earning their trust. So, if you have what it takes, get ready to make miracles…

1. Don’t trigger negative emotions

Individuals with D personality types always imagine the worst in every given situation. They think they’re inferior to everyone else and feel ashamed of everything about their personality. They also believe that others judge them for their shortcomings. Negative emotions have a free pass to their mind.

So, don’t tell them anything like “You’re good for nothing”. Don’t make them feel that they’re not capable of anything. Avoid being mean to them.

Especially, many parents and teachers have a habit of saying mean things to their children.

So, if you have a type D child around you, don’t expect them to perform better by being mean. It can backfire in the worst way and you won’t even know about their struggles. Save them by being softer to them.

If it’s a type D coworker, control your emotions to boost their productivity.

2. Criticize them but watch your tone

Though I asked you to avoid being mean, you can’t accept their wrongs. Type Ds try hard to avoid mistakes and perform consistently in all areas of their life. However, mistakes are inevitable for human beings.

So, when you criticize them, choose your words wisely. It might be hard to control your temper if it’s something major, but remember that the wrong words can push them into the pit of depression.

Instead of going straight to “You shouldn’t do this and that”, start with “Your *insert good task or action* was amazing but I found something missing in *insert the faulty task or action*”.

3. Avoid privacy invasion

While communicating with a person with a type D personality style, listen carefully to them. If they sound or seem uncomfortable by any means, avoid that topic.

Especially, if you asked a question (which isn’t about work or any of their responsibilities) and they don’t want to answer it or try to change the topic, know that’s the end. Don’t push them to answer something forcibly.

Building trust with a  type D person takes time, so whether this person is your lover or someone at work, don’t violate their boundaries. If they want to keep something to themselves, it’s a sensitive topic for them.

Respect what they want to keep to themselves. Though you can be persistent and force them to say something, they won’t trust you ever again. So, if you want to be close to D-types, learn to respect their choices despite their age, gender, or position.

4. Show them the bigger picture

Type Ds dwell on the negatives excessively. When they talk, you’ll notice how they put themselves in an inferior position to everyone. They worry about the worst when they make a decision.

Even when something good happens, they feel that so much happiness means something bad might happen… and they anxiously worry about impending danger instead of enjoying the moment.

So, whenever they behave this way, hold their shoulders with both hands and give them a good shake. Help them snap back to reality. Show them that they have a good present… and they must be grateful for that.

Tell them to appreciate what they have at the moment because life is too short to be pessimistic. Remind them that they must enjoy all the little things if they want to be happy.

5. Be open, vulnerable, and optimistic

To make a type D comfortable around you, express your vulnerabilities while talking. Tell about things you’re ashamed of. Show them you’re as flawed as they are. Do it especially if they look up to you and feel low about themselves. Convince them that you have your weaknesses too.

If you have some inspiring stories about your life, tell them. Talk about your struggles and how hopeless you felt back then.

Tell them what helped you succeed. Suggest to them a few tips on how to succeed, what to believe, and things to remind themselves of when they’re low.

Let them know the things you wish you’d known back then. Tell them that you see a reflection of your younger self in them and want them to succeed and be confident. Such optimistic and encouraging words can do wonders.

6. Don’t show your dominance over them

Are you in a superior position to a type D person? Are you an elder family member, teacher, or supervisor?

If you want the type D person to do something, ask them to do it respectfully. They already know you have more power over them. They won’t try to defy you unless you’re wrong or they’re out of their mind.

So, be kind and gentle when you want them to listen to you. Otherwise, it’ll make them feel helpless. A type D person might not want to go to school or work if their teacher or supervisor treats them meanly. They easily get stressed and have poor coping skills.

If you’re a parent and treat your type D child aggressively, they’ll listen but also fantasize about the day they can move out.

On the other hand, are you at the same level as them? Are they siblings or cousins of the same age bracket? Or, are you a friend, classmate, or coworker?

Treat them respectfully even if they make mistakes. Even if you know better, don’t try to boss them. That can hurt their self-esteem in the worst way.

7. Never hurt them

Nowadays, people do anything in the name of poking fun at each other and pulling off pranks.

Type Ds are always stressed that someone will hurt them or call them out on any of their flaws. Don’t make fun of their insecurities… whether you pull off a prank or just talk jokingly.

They WILL take it seriously and get offended, but they won’t even say a word. They’ll slowly lose trust in everyone around them. So, don’t make them a laughing stock.

Especially, if they open up about a worry, don’t try to joke about it. They trust you, so don’t make them feel bad about doing that. Don’t mention these insecurities to others either.

8. Try to respond to their calls

Often D-types feel lonely and isolated. If they ever call or text you, try to receive their calls or reply to their texts ASAP. They don’t want to burden others, so it’s serious when they reach out first. They probably feel extremely low and need immediate support.

I understand you can’t always help it… you might be in a meeting, working on urgent deadlines, are in a pinch yourself, or something else. But at least send a short text that you’ll get back to them ASAP.

Otherwise, they’ll feel that nobody wants them. They might misunderstand your situation and won’t even ask you anything. They’ll suppress their negative emotions and it’ll all take a bad shape.

So, whenever they reach out, say something. Pick the call to say “Hey I’m busy now but I care for yōu… Don’t mind if I get back to you later” or send a pre-composed text.

9. Don’t keep anything for the imagination

The fear of the unknown is real in D-types. So, don’t create suspense in their life.

If you’re a lover, you might surprise them with flowers and gifts… and that’s fine. A good surprise is more than welcome.

But if you fight and plan to talk about it afterward… don’t just say “Hey babe, we need to talk tonight. Wait for me” That gives a breakup aura and of course, they’ll be worried sick later on. Instead, mention what you’ll talk about.

The same goes for friends and family members. If you have something to talk about, give them a heads-up beforehand.

If you’re their boss or professor, give a short gist of what it’s about. This will keep them from overthinking. Otherwise, they might seriously have panic attacks. Moreover, if this is something regular, they’re more prone to getting sick.

10. Snap them out of their internal thoughts

In social situations, type D folks often try to merge into the background. They feel uncomfortable about socializing and worry others might judge and reject them.

Since they feel uncomfortable and afraid, they grab a corner of the room and channel it into their inner thoughts.

If you’re a close one of that type D person, help them out. No, don’t push them into the middle of the room to introduce others. Instead, spend some time with them in the corner.

Ask them whether they’re having a good time or if they’re uncomfortable. As usual, they won’t say anything rude. So, grab some snacks and join them in the corner. Have fun with just the two of you until you warm them up.

When they start genuinely smiling and chatting, pull someone out from the party and introduce them to your type D friend. Praise the type D person to make them feel appreciated. This will also help them get over their social inhibition.

11. Pay attention to their words and react accordingly

When a type D person says something, listen to them mindfully. They often suppress their feelings and don’t get directly to the point.

They don’t want to burden others but when people don’t notice their issues, the pain piles up. It all leads to a bitter situation where they feel nobody wants them.

So, when they talk, try to understand if there is something else hidden behind their words.

If you’re a loved one and they need you, they might text you to know whether you’re available later. Call them if you’re not busy and listen to their voice. If they’re desperate for some support, you’ll notice it in their voice.

If you’re a coworker and they want help with their task, they might ask if you’re done with your work and if you have anything on after work. Sure, nobody wants to work overtime… but if there’s a tight schedule, ask more people for backup.

12. Don’t assume they’re thinking negatively

Yes, Type D people are distressed fellows. However, if your acquaintance claims to have type D personality traits, don’t think they’re pessimistic and depressed. Who knows… maybe they’re working on it?

So, don’t just go up and talk like you know everything about them unless they told you.

Many people try to befriend D-types by showing they understand their struggle. But they truly don’t and only scare them by being that way.

Think about it… if a person whom you never opened up to came and said they know what you’re going through. I might run for my life thinking they’re stalkers!

So, don’t talk like you know or understand them well. Don’t be over-friendly with them if you just know them for a few weeks. That’ll make them uncomfortable and push them away. Instead, you can ask them about their feelings directly.

13. Express your worries and weaknesses and seek help

Type Ds feel their entire life is bad and don’t want others to have the same fate. So, they want to help others in every possible way. They’re caring and compassionate. They can’t ignore a person in a tight situation.

When they help others, they feel better about themselves. They believe they did something good for the world and they matter. D-types usually avoid being focused due to social inhibitions.

However, being a background character hurts them too. They can’t understand their purpose in life. Helping others makes them feel they contributed something to the world.

So, whenever you’re in a pinch, ask their opinion. They’ll feel that someone looks up to them. You’ll also express your worries and weaknesses naturally and bond well. They won’t feel lonely when facing bad situations in life. They might also seek you when they’re in a pinch.

14. Tell them that you believe in them

Whenever a type D person expresses their worries, let them know you have faith in them… and mean it. Don’t stop at “I believe you… this too shall pass!” Talk to them until they’re convinced or until you can pass on a glimmer of hope.

But don’t blindly say positive things without knowing the main issue. Ask them questions about the situation they are in. Know why they feel so negatively. Try to understand if their fears are even rational.

If it’s an irrational fear, help them realize the truth. Tell them that things will be better and they can trust your word for it.

If it’s a serious issue, tell them that dwelling on these thoughts won’t help. They must focus on the issue at hand and that you’re ready to help them with it or listen to them vent any time. That alone might help them calm down.

15. Tell them you’ll be proud if they’re more expressive

D-types don’t want others to worry. So, they avoid getting a health checkup and even if they feel sick, they avoid mentioning any health concerns.

They also try to avoid burdening others by keeping their emotions suppressed. They don’t want to agitate or disturb others. They never open up whether it’s physical or emotional discomfort.

However, they only hurt themselves in this way and compromise both their physical and mental health in the process. They might not take it seriously if you ask them to be more expressive or ask them to get checkups when needed.

So, use their people-pleasing tendencies to good use. Tell them you’d be happy or proud if they expressed any kind of discomfort to you. Say that you feel hurt when they don’t do it. If you’re important to them, they won’t ignore this.

A word from ThePleasantPersonality

Communication isn’t just about spilling words… it requires expressing yourself in such a way that the other person understands you and responds to you. You must also express yourself so that the other person doesn’t misunderstand you.

As you can see, it’s not easy to master it instantly… so, you need the patience to work on it. Keep trying your best to express your thoughts to a type D acquaintance and help them open up.

With your perseverance and dedication, communicate with them and urge them to open up. Convey your thoughts diligently and they’ll definitely understand you.

Article Sources


1. http://www.discpersonalitysource.com/disc-profile-blog/communicating-with-a-disc-profile-high-d-personality.html
2. https://www.psychologyjunkie.com/2017/05/22/communicate-effectively-myers-briggs-personality-type/
3. https://enneagramexplained.com/communication-styles-of-each-enneagram-type/