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Type D Personality at Work – 20 Things to Know

Type D Personality at Work – 20 Things to Know

Updated on Nov 18, 2022 | Published on Oct 04, 2022

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

Type D Personality at Work – 20 Things to Know

Wondering about the effects of having a Type D personality at work? Thinking about what they can bring to the plate? Did you make your employees take a personality test?

That’s a great way to know your employees’ strengths, weaknesses, and even their needs!

And, if you want to find out how they act in their professional life or what troubles they face, you came to the perfect place. This think-piece is an all-inclusive piece about their experience and performance at work.

So, let’s get to the point here…

Type D Personality at Work

The world knows type Ds as the distressed ones, so the bottom line: they can’t perform well in high-stress jobs. Well, if you thought that, you’re so wrong!

Type Ds have some cool ways to surprise you… and don’t worry, we won’t just sing praises.

So, let’s get down with the facts here…

1. They’ll always be there to help others

Whether you’re a subordinate, coworker, or boss of a person with type D personality traits, if you seek their help, they’ll never turn you down. They’re helpful, kind, and understanding of others’ issues.

If you’re a boss, they won’t turn you down because they want to be praised for being hardworking. In this situation, you might think they’re just being respectful.

You can understand their heartfelt gestures only if you’re a subordinate, or coworker, or watch them helping someone else.

They truly have all the compassion in their heart to help out… just to make others’ lives a little easier. They’re not happy themselves, so they work like the messenger of happiness for others.

2. They can’t connect with their coworkers or supervisors

Though an individual with a type D personality profile is helpful in the workplace, they can’t connect with anyone from the bottom of their heart.

Yes, the workplace is a professional platform and people usually don’t make friends there… but people also spend almost 40 years with their work buddies.  So, without chemistry among coworkers or a close bond with their boss, it’s hard to coordinate.

This is all because they’re socially inhibited. Both social interactions and social situations stress them. Negative emotions and fear of rejection and judgment wash over them.

They feel everyone is better off, so they maintain a distance and this might cause trouble because they can’t be on the same page or communicate their thoughts freely.

3. They might help resolve team conflicts

Folks of type D personality style feel emotional distress from conflicts. They can’t stand it even when others in their work team fight. In these situations, their anxiety gets triggered so badly, it’s insane!

They might worry about the entire task failing, the team losing unity, the team getting fired, the parties that just disagreed throwing fists at each other, or the one whose idea gets accepted bullying the other. Crazy but possible scenarios pop into their mind.

So, before any of them comes true, they try to calm the situation and mediate between the two team members. They usually don’t talk but they get forced into problem-solving here.

4. They don’t actively partake in meetings

A major issue with type Ds in the workplace is their non-participation in brainstorming sesh. They don’t propose ideas even when something clearly pops into their mind. This again arises from their social inhibition.

They won’t put forward ideas or suggestions in meetings and only stay in the background.

Don’t get me wrong, they work so hard… but then, they don’t want any clout from the tasks. A team grows together, they can’t ignore someone completely.

Their actions and behaviors force other team members to ignore their presence on the frontside. They understand that representing the team is also hard and nerve wracking… and actively avoid it. Others might also struggle with it, but they don’t think that.

5. They think more than they say

Again, they’re always consumed in their thoughts. Clearly, a lot goes on in a type D employee’s mind, but they’re too afraid to express it. Others might feel that they’re judging their ideas and being mean. Some might feel that they’re being uncooperative by not putting forth their opinions.

Only type D knows that they act this way due to social inhibition, but not everyone knows about personality traits and their struggles.

If you’re in the same team as them, try to make other members understand their situation. Plus, make the D-type understand others’ thoughts.

6. They’ll never hang out with office bullies

So, how does that even matter to anyone?

Well, rookies will know exactly which seniors they can approach if they ever need help and which person might be mean. This doesn’t seem like anything of grave importance, but we all know how office bullying is a major issue.

But most people don’t come out because #1 the workplace will trust and support the older employee more, #2 the newbie will get mean comments like grow up, they didn’t mean you any harm, and #3 a termination letter.

Type Ds can’t stand bullying even if the bully is their long-term friend. Though they don’t do it to help rookies, it’s indirectly helpful. Moreover, supervisors can somewhat get a character certificate of other people based on who D-types hang out with… but never use it as proof.

7. They won’t seek help in their work even if they need it

D-types don’t ever want to burden others. So, when they face troubles while working, they won’t seek others. If they need to pull all-nighters, they won’t even ask if anyone is free… they might not even seek their supervisors about the problems.

They’re scared whether they made a massive mistake and that others might feel they’re a misfit on that platform. They worry if others will think they’re incapable… and even worse if they get demoted or fired for the mistakes.

See what their ruminating mind thinks?

Due to overthinking, fears, and suppressed emotions, they might get in serious trouble.

8. If pushed, they might take too much on their plate

Type Ds just can’t refuse others’ requests. They have zero sense of boundary. Moreover, if their boss asks them to do something, they can’t say NO on their face. After all, they try to be acknowledged every moment.

Okay, not everyone… Some of them try to set and maintain boundaries but fail miserably. Especially if the other person persistently asks them something, they feel bad about refusing. They feel conscious about others’ eyes on them. They worry about others’ opinions regarding their strong refusal.

Even if they successfully refuse their boss, negative thoughts cloud their mind. They feel anxious about losing their job and might even ask their boss for the task themselves.

9. They always worry about consistent results

Confidence is a major issue for D-types. They worry everyone around them is improving their skills while they’re stuck without any progress, whether it’s true or not. They feel worried about being left behind or becoming the worst employee of the bunch because of their lack of skill progress.

So, they work even harder than usual to maintain their reputation. This might take a toll on their body, but they don’t mind it so long it can stabilize their position.

They don’t want their supervisors to feel disappointed or regret assigning them tasks or promoting them. They’re always afraid of losing their current professional status.

10. They’re great with monotonous tasks

Most people make mistakes and get bored of monotonous tasks. They even get puzzled about the steps when they do one task at one go.

But for type Ds, it’s heaven! They can continue that task forever… without worrying about anything. It’s as easy as following routines for them (they like routines). This helps them stay calm… and since it needs lots of attention to not mess up, keeps them from overthinking.

11. A non-repetitive job might give them an anxiety attack

On the other hand, if a type D’s job doesn’t include repetitive tasks… but there are lots of surprise and spontaneous factors in their job, it might be the death of them quite literally.

If their job needs them to decide something instantly and deal with unexpected situations, they might feel anxious about these every minute. They’re not quite fit for these job roles. They also can’t cope well with a chaotic workspace.

12. They’re never confident about their decisions

Type Ds always compare themselves to others and highlight their inferiorities. They always wonder how others can do better and why they’re so incapable. But in reality, they’re as capable yet they don’t believe that. There’s a serious lack of self-confidence.

They feel anxious about responsibilities and think that they’re not the best fit for the job. They worry they’ll decide something and everything will go down in flames. They worry that they might put their workplace in danger if they undertake serious tasks.

They’re ready to do the hard work, but they don’t want to call the final shots.

13. They struggle to achieve their goals

All D-types are known for their negative affectivity, i.e., they always experience negative emotions like anger, frustration, irritation, sadness, shame, insecure, and so on.

So, they can hardly stay focused or motivated. They often feel that their tasks and projects won’t work out. They fear someone will find faults in them. They’re sick of feeling this way but they can’t stop.

Most people ask them to think positively, but the mind doesn’t work that way. It’s out of their control and unless they start believing in their potential, it won’t work out.

So, on their way to success, they struggle with these emotions every single moment. They can’t look past the problems and also lose time.

14. They never appreciate their wins

Even though they struggle to accomplish their dreams, they sometimes hit the jackpot with hard work, healthy motivation, and support from loved ones and coworkers. However, the moment they succeed in one thing, their worries about something else kicks in.

They never take a moment to just acknowledge their efforts or pamper themselves. They don’t celebrate their little efforts or feel positive about their long-drawn efforts. Instead, they worry about the next possible thing.

Suppose a type D succeeds in convincing their boss about their business proposal.  They won’t take time to feel good about their achievement. Their next trouble will be the thought train of “Will it be possible to do it as effortlessly?”

As you thought, there’s no end to their worries.

15. They find their work more challenging than others

Type Ds work harder than they must. While being anxious about their consistency and performance and worrying about others’ performance, they overwork themselves.

This is why type D employees that are under pressure have burned out faster than others. Compared to other employees, they feel more troubled with their work.

They put both their mental health and physical health in trouble along with their quality of life. They often end up taking their sick leaves faster than the rest. They run the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, anxiety, depression, osteoporosis, diabetes, and so on.

They often skip work days and wonder if quitting is the best idea. The type D in your workplace probably didn’t yet ponder on this because they don’t have any more financial support.

16. They seek appreciation

D-types are always hungry for acceptance and acknowledgment in their professional platform. They always suffer from self-doubt, so they expect their superiors to give feedback about their hard work.

They want to know that their tasks are on par… because they clearly can’t tell whether they’re on the right path or not. They also want appreciation as it reminds them they’re worthy of being kept in the organization.

Since they’re pessimistic, it’s common for them to ponder on thoughts like the organization doesn’t need them and so on. So, they work and put all their efforts at once for others’ praises.

17. Their work desk is always organized

If you have a type D employee, they’ll always keep their workspace clean… even if an earthquake shakes everything up, they’ll make everything tidy.

Now, this can be both a pro and con of having a type D at work.

So, if a type D person is in charge of keeping records of all important documents online or offline, this is great. You’ll find anything you want within seconds.

However, if their designation requires them to work with lots of documents and urgent tasks, that’s troublesome. If by any chance the documents aren’t organized but they also have urgent tasks piled up, they’ll prioritize organizing the papers before everything else.

Moreover, if your office has an open office layout and they’re seated beside an untidy person, they’ll be troubled and distracted. They won’t be able to focus while their neighbor works with everything all over the place.

18. They’re patient even if they’re irritated

If a type D mentors someone, the rookie will obviously make mistakes. But the type Ds know what it feels like to be judged and rejected by others. They know the fear they suffer from every day. So, they just can’t bear to do it to someone else.

So, they always treat them patiently, try to understand where they got things wrong, and give them enough time to learn things well. A type D might be the best mentor for nervous newbies.

19. They feel better in teamwork than solo

Since D-types are confident about their decisions and always need someone else’s approval to support them throughout their tasks, they’re not made for solo tasks. They’ll continuously doubt themselves and the quality of their work.

On the other hand, teamwork is far more comfortable for them because they know that someone will always supervise them, they won’t need to call the shots, they can rely on others for all the route finding and stuff, and they’ll just work hard on their responsibilities.

Though they don’t particularly like talking to people, this is a better choice for them.

20. They like a permanent and secured job more

Type Ds like stability and security in their life. So, they’d rather work a 9 to 5 office job rather than build their own business or be self-employed. If a job needs them to be patient and consistently put effort into it… but there’s no promised money in it, they can’t calmly do it.

They feel anxious about everything and this situation raises questions like will my efforts be paid off? Or, am I working in vain? Will I collect a massive debt after this?

These negative thoughts just won’t allow them to focus on creative jobs that take time to grow. So, they’ll always go for a job that will assure them money at a particular point.

A word from ThePleasantPersonality

Type Ds aren’t as great as type A personalities and they overthink a lot. However, they’re pretty diligent in their tasks and can even do monotonous tasks at a stretch.

So before you judge them, think about what qualities you actually want in your employee. Of course, the rest depends on you and the organization!

However, if you think they fit in your organization perfectly, acknowledge them a little more. That confidence boost can do magic in their performance. Look after their needs and they’ll give you quality work.

Article Sources


1. https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-to-know-about-type-d-personality
2. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-does-it-mean-to-have-type-d-personality-4175368
3. https://www.thomas.co/resources/type/hr-blog/type-d-personality