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20 Type D Personality Traits You Must Know About

20 Type D Personality Traits You Must Know About

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

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

20 Type D Personality Traits You Must Know About

Speaking of type D personality traits, emotional distress is the most talked-about one. People refer to this personality type with “D” for depressed, desolate, distressed, and all negative feelings.

That’s not the only trait of this personality type. There are lots of interesting positive and negative traits… and this think-piece is ready to show you all of them.

So, without further ado, let’s find everything now!

Type D Personality Traits

In the early 1990s, Johan Denollet – a Belgian psychologist – studied a lot about type D personality traits.

He learned that people with this type of personality usually suppress their feelings and experience emotional and mental distress. He even found that these people, due to these traits, deprive themselves of emotional closeness.  

But hang on… there’s more to it. So, find out about the traits elaborately here…

1. They think they have a gloomy future

Type D individuals don’t feel too highly about themselves or their capabilities. They feel that life has nothing in store for them. They believe that their future is dark and they’d not get what they desire.

They have this instinct that their plans for their personal or professional life won’t work out. They don’t even look forward to a new day positively.

After a bad day, people usually expect a better experience the next day. But people with type D personality traits just can’t do that. They believe that there won’t be any progress in their life.

2. They always focus on life’s negatives

An individual with type D personality traits always sees life from a negative standpoint. For instance, they’ll see the glass half empty, they’ll focus on the dark clouds instead of the silver lining.

Whatever incident takes place in their life, they highlight the negatives more than the positives. Even if something positive happens, they might not pay much heed to it. In fact, they might look for something bad even in good happenings.

Moreover, they react more intensely to negative situations. But their reaction won’t be comparable when something equally good happens.

3. Their self-confidence is too low

Folks with D personality types can never feel confident about themselves, their capabilities, or even others’ faith in them. Even if they win something and stand out, they feel that something extremely bad will happen.

Or, they worry that they won’t be able to perform consistently. Sometimes, they might even feel that they aren’t worth winning anything and others mistakenly reward them.

When they’re given a responsibility, they always worry that they might disappoint others and wish they were given to others instead. This eventually makes others lose confidence in them.

4. There’s a high rate of social inhibition

They stay far away from social interaction. When a type D person attends a social event, they try hard to avoid contact with others. They might even avoid eye contact so that nobody tries to strike up a conversation with them.

They make sure that nobody notices them. They don’t like to stand out and act as inconspicuously as possible. People usually call them introverts. But their introversion goes beyond the normal levels.

They’re always on the edge and wish that nobody would notice them. This is mainly due to their insecurities and fears which we’ll understand better in the next point.

5. They have an irrational fear of rejection and judgment

People with a type D personality always feel inferior to themselves. They often compare themselves to others… and they don’t even do it consciously. So, if you ask them to stop comparing themselves to others, they can’t mindfully do it as it happens naturally.

When they must introduce themselves to others, they feel overwhelmed about it. They can’t figure out which to mention and which to hide. They’re afraid that if they say something that makes them sound “uncool”, “boring”, or “appalling”, others might unfairly judge and reject them.

They’re also worried that the other person might spread rumors or make fun of them. They fear being the outcast or others’ laughing stock, so they actively avoid socializing with new people.

6. They feel negative emotions all the time

Nobody is consistently happy in life. On some days, you’ll feel more happy and less sad… other days, you’ll feel more sad and less happy. However, type D folks consistently feel low. There are almost no days when they feel positive.  Negative feelings dominate their life as if it’s the default emotion.

In whatever they do, they mostly feel low. They always have a reason to feel sad. If asked why they’re like this, they’ll give excuses about having a bad life. But that’s never the truth… rather, their mind is devised that way to notice the negatives of every moment and feel them more intensely than the positives.

7. They’re great at repetitive tasks

Type Ds are good at monotonous tasks whereas the general population dislikes the idea of doing the same repetitive tasks forever. They feel more comfortable when they follow a fixed routine every day.

When they know the type of tasks they must undertake regularly, they feel calmer. They like the fact that they don’t need to prepare anything extra or feel cautious that they might need to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

If the task is repetitive, they can confidently work throughout and provide great results. They can be reliable and have zero mood swings about their job being repetitive.

8. They don’t want sudden and unfavorable surprises

Before you assume something, let me clarify that if you surprise a type D person with their food, they won’t mind. Rather it’ll make their day.

However, they dislike surprises that might interfere with their plans. Suppose, a type D employee planned to finish all of their pending tasks for the day by a particular time. But they were assigned another more important task.

This is a sudden and unfavorable surprise to them as they can’t follow their plans. This makes them feel negative about the situation and demotivates them.

9. They treat others fairly

D-types are also known for their kindness. They’re caring, sincere, compassionate, and dependable. They’re never mean to others and are extremely supportive when someone needs their help.

Since they always suffer from their pessimistic thoughts, they can’t turn a blind eye to others’ feelings. They can be extremely reliable during dark times.

Though they can hardly share optimistic words, they’re always open to lending a shoulder or listening to others’ worries. They don’t turn down people that need their help during tough times.

They might help others with physical or even financial support. They seem approachable which helps others open their hearts to them.

10. They always build backup plans about everything

Type D people are usually worried about everything they do. The moment they undertake a new task, work on it or even conclude a task, they worry about all the possible ways it might get screwed up.

This worry keeps them up at night. So, they’re always out making plan Bs for everything they do in life. This can be both a good and bad thing. They might save their plans from truly getting spoiled… or, they might lose time they could use for something even better.

11. They get hurt without a valid reason

Suppose, your partner is a type D person and you promised to take them out on a date. But at the last minute, you got stuck in more work. You inform them you’ll be late for the date but you guys will still go out later. But they’ll still feel low about it.

Though the plan is only delayed, a type D person will feel hurt about it. They misunderstand others and get hurt frequently. Others might even call them crybabies or extremely sensitive for being hurt so easily.

12. They want to work in a calm atmosphere

Type Ds simply can’t keep up with a chaotic workplace. So, what does a chaotic workplace look like? It consists of tight schedules, hurrying, fast results, multitasking, balancing with a group, and/or working overtime.

In such working environments, a D-type employee is more prone to be burnt out sooner. They can’t handle a stressful workplace and are more likely to give up sooner. They might want to skip work or resign if they’re financially stable.

They feel more secure and comfortable in a calm working environment where they don’t need to manage high levels of stress.

13. They desire stability in their life

More than anything else, type D people want a stable life. They’re almost always anxious about things going wrong and them starting everything from scratch. If they have one good day, they want the rest of their life to be as good as that.

When they begin their day in the morning, they worry if their day will be worse than the previous day. Even if they’re not blessed with enough luck to have a fabulous day, they wish for nothing worse.

Though humankind is built to deal with hardships and challenges, type Ds almost fall into deep depression or experience panic attacks from it.

14. They easily get taken advantage of

Due to their kind and compassionate nature, type Ds always extend a helping hand to others. However, not everyone is worth the help… and type D people can’t tell whether a person truly needs them or they only want to take advantage of them.

Though type Ds are extremely cautious about life situations and feel that everything will lead to a bad ending, that kind of thought completely shuts down when someone seeks their help.

Normally they fear that the other person will judge them. But when someone shows their vulnerability or acts vulnerable, they forget the possibility of the other person having ulterior motives.

15. They’re prone to many health concerns

As per a 2010 study, Type D personality individuals are more prone to psychological distress like anxiety and depression. Compared to other personalities, D-types also have higher chances of suffering from serious physical health issues like chronic heart failure.

Type A and Type D both are susceptible to coronary heart disease. But type Ds are much fewer chances of recovery from it. They are more prone to death from it… and even if they survive it, their quality of life might never be the same. So, out of all the personality types, type Ds need to seek medical help the most.

16. They never express their feelings to anybody

In their relationships, when type D people feel something is off or get mistreated by anyone, they don’t express their feelings. They fear that they’ll hurt the other person, feel guilty about it, and won’t be able to forgive themselves.

They assume that they probably took something wrongly. So, they don’t want to create a mess in their life just out of misunderstandings. They also want to protect themselves from losing someone close or being judged and rejected for feeling a certain way.

17. Cleanliness is a must for them

Much like type Cs, type Ds are obsessed with tidiness. In fact, they might be much more into it than type C people. Type Cs tidy up their space when it’s untidy to make sure they find everything on time. They’re anxious that they might not be able to find things once they need them.

Well, type Ds are also anxious about not finding important things on time. But their anxiety makes them tidy their space regularly… even when their space isn’t untidy.

Moreover, even after tidying, if they feel dissatisfied or the anxiety of not being able to find things doesn’t go away, they might start to organize their space once more.

18. They avoid conflicts

Type Ds are also prone to becoming people-pleasers due to their conflict avoidance. They’re constantly afraid of upsetting others. They feel that their life is full of negativity and they can’t deal with more stress.

So, they completely avoid situations where they might disagree with others. They nod their heads almost to everything others say, just to keep an amiable bond with everyone.

They feel anxious that others might get angry, misunderstand them, or feel disappointed in them. They don’t want to worsen others’ moods themselves.

19. They have poor convincing skills

As mentioned earlier, Type D folks always doubt themselves and their capabilities and have the least to no faith in themselves. Due to their low self-confidence, they’re also bad at convincing others about anything.

When they talk with others, they always feel negative. Thoughts like “I won’t be able to persuade them” come into play instantly. So, they give up the moment the other person shows a bit of resistance.

Their negative thoughts intensify during that. They lose their willpower and never succeed in convincing others.

20. They hate persistent people

If someone asks them something, it’s not that they always give in… at least not initially. They refuse others when they feel uncomfortable or believe that they can’t grant their request.

However, in this situation, a persistent opponent is a type D person’s greatest nightmare. They feel guilty when they repeatedly refuse someone’s request. Moreover, due to their poor persuasive skills, they can’t convince the other person about their discomfort. Eventually, they give in against their wishes.

A word from ThePleasantPersonality

If you’re a type D person’s loved one, try to keep a close eye on their mental health status. If they experience these negative emotions in long term, they might get serious physical and mental health diseases. So, convince them to seek a doctor ASAP.

On the other hand, if you’re a type D person, learn more about your issues and find a way to improve your situation before it hurts you further. Don’t forget that you’re worth every ounce of happiness, so fight for it if you need to!

Article Sources


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_D_personality
2. https://www.healthline.com/health/type-d-personality
3. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/personality/what-is-a-type-d-personality-and-do-i-have-it/