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Type D vs Type A Personality – 18 Differences

Type D vs Type A Personality – 18 Differences

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

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

Type D vs Type A Personality – 18 Differences

So, you’re ready for the face-off in type D vs type A personality? Hmmm… let me guess, are you a type D and someone asked you to be more like an A-type?

Well, that happens a lot because people praise As the most… but even if that’s not the case and you just want to differentiate between your type A and D people in your life, welcome!

This think-piece is the perfect and only place where you’ll get a detailed comparison between the two.  

So, don’t waste your time and know everything you need to here…

Type D Vs Type A Personality

Type Ds are often looked down on because D stands for distressed. On the other hand, A is the first alphabet, and in the scoring system, As means the best.

However, both personality types have their own issues… yes, even type As are flawed, so stop glorifying them so much.

Don’t believe me? Take a quick look over this chart…

 Type DType A
SimilaritiesHealth concerns are knocking at their door.They often tend to push away chances of socializing.They don’t have a good sense of boundaries.They’re bad at communication.They dislike the untidy environment.
DifferencesThey’re people pleasers.They can’t be pleased.
They doubt themselves.They’re oozing with self-confidence.
They’re conflict-avoidant.They get into conflicts.
They try to avoid attention.They dominate others and get attention.
They get burnt out from excess work.They’re married to their work.
They lack leadership qualities.They can be strict leaders.
Change disturbs them.They can handle change.
They get overwhelmed by the crisis.A crisis is another name for a challenge for them.
They suppress their emotions.They’re known for free-floating hostility.
Their lifespan might get lowered.They might lead a long life.
They’re risk-avoidant.They’re risk-takers.
They’re afraid of failure.They look down on failure.
They fear being judged.They’re pretty judgmental.

But a simple chart isn’t enough to point out the good and bad sides of each of these personalities. So, judge them fairly here…

1. They’re both vulnerable to serious health concerns

People with type D personality traits suffer from extreme psychological distress and suppressed emotions. Due to this, they’re extremely prone to mental health concerns like anxiety and depression disorders. They also suffer from physical health concerns like high blood pressure and coronary heart diseases. Other than that diabetes and osteoporosis are also indirect possibilities.

On the other hand, people with A-type personality traits are also prone to coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and other heart problems due to their impatience, stress, and irritable nature. They’re also prone to anxiety and depression.

However, no study to date proved the link between the diseases and the personality types themselves. Instead, they’re linked with the traits of each personality.

2. They’re both inclined to miss socializing

Type D individuals choose to avoid socializing. They suffer from high levels of social inhibition and negative affectivity.

Social inhibition refers to the avoidance of social interaction due to their fear of rejection or disapproval. Negative affectivity implies they feel excess negative emotions like irritability, sadness, and worries. 

These issues raise emotional distress and decline in quality of life as they miss out on emotional closeness. This only sends them to deeper pits of depression and feelings of isolation.

On the other hand, A-types choose to skip socializing for work. When they have a tight deadline, they don’t mind skipping the parties. They might even regularly ditch social events because they chase success.

3. They both have poor communication skills

D-types habitually suppress their emotions from others. They don’t want to disappoint others with their difference in thoughts, so they avoid expressing themselves. They let others take the lead to maintain an amicable bond.

On the other hand, A-types also lack communication skills but it’s a bit different. Type As talk more and fast but they don’t listen to others. Due to their irrational sense of time urgency, they hardly allow others to speak which eventually causes huge communication issues.

They only make sure that others listen to them loud and clear. They don’t care to even get back to others to know about their thoughts. Even if they listen to others, they’re not ready to have long-drawn or emotional conversations.

4. They both have a poor sense of boundary

Type Ds can’t stand up for themselves even if they’re mistreated. They’re always worried about others feeling hurt if they defend themselves. They’re anxious that others might reject and desert them if they set up strict boundaries.

So, they let others take advantage of them without even knowing. D-types have a huge chance of sticking back with toxic people.

On the other hand, A-types have poor boundaries in their workplace. They take up more tasks than they can deal with.

Though they can deal with them successfully, they get stressed and harm their health. They must take tasks only as much as they can take and also make time for enjoyment and relaxation.

5. Neither of them can stand a chaotic space

Both Type As and Ds feel uncomfortable with clutter in their personal or professional space. Type Ds particularly feel anxious about being unable to find the right documents on time. They worry that their tasks will be abruptly stopped if they can’t find their things on time.

Type A individuals worry about the same, but they get angry about it instead of being anxious. They try to keep their space as clean and tidy as possible.

So, they know instantly that someone touched their things and didn’t bother to fix them… this is a pretty normal reason for them to lose their mind for them. After all, they lose their calm too easily and this is a legit reason.

6. Ds never expect anyone to please them while As are hard to please

Type Ds might give you their entire world and make you the happiest person alive but they don’t seek anything in return. They just don’t want to make others feel burdened for anything.

They worry that they might put others off and lose them from their life. So, even at their worst times, they don’t expect others’ presence.

However, type As are perfectionists. When they do something to impress someone whether it’s their boss or their lover, they go all out. They work extra hard at work for perfect tasks and plan beforehand for dates to make it extra special.

So, they expect the same energy from a lover’s expression of love, a boss’ reward, or a subordinate’s performance. They only want what’s perfect.

7. Ds lack self-confidence but As are confident and stubborn

D-types always feel that they’re not enough. They look around, see everyone in their most perfect state and compare their worst sides with others. This hurts their confidence a lot and they isolate themselves from society even more.

However, A-types are the total opposite. They’re extremely confident in their hard work. They believe they can succeed in everything they want to because of their endless efforts and dedication. Moreover, when they think they’ll do something, they become stubborn. They don’t easily give up once they have their mind on something. Even if others say it’s a bad move, they’re confident in their judgment.

8. Ds avoid conflict while As might get into conflicts

Type Ds aren’t people-pleasers but they become one when they need to avoid conflict… so much that they’re ready to give up on their own likes, preferences, and interests.

They act like they’d do anything the other person demands just to bypass a disagreement. They feel anxious about conflicts and worry about what might happen next. They’re never ready for any confrontations.

But type As create conflicts. They’re popular for their free-floating hostility. For instance, they’re extremely impatient, punctual, and perfectionists. They expect the same from others. If others can’t meet their expectations, they become hostile.

9. Ds like to stay low-key but As dominate others

In group settings, D-types like to stay low. Forget about leading the team, they don’t even try to put forth their thoughts and ideas.

They fear that their suggestions might be questioned and their poor convincing skills might make them a laughing stock. Or, if their suggestion wins and someone else loses, they might get in a bad relationship with them. The anxiety makes them shy away.

But, A-types are confident. They come off as the dominant team members in every team. They have good convincing skills and know their way with words. Their confidence and wits help them dominate over others.

10. Ds might work more and get burnt out while As are workaholics

D-types don’t mind working extra, but they’re always worried about their reputation and performance streak. They try hard to work consistently. They push themselves too hard and then end up taking all the sick leaves and miss work often. They get burnt out too from the stress of work.

But, for A-types, work is their life. They’re so addicted to success and creating a better life for themselves and their loved ones, they can take any amount of challenge. They’re often misunderstood because they work so much. But it’s all for the comfort of their loved ones.

11. Ds don’t have leadership qualities, As do

Type Ds don’t believe that people will listen to them. Instead, they’re scared of judgmental eyes around them.

They worry whether others will accept them as a leader because they have or believe that they have too many flaws to guide others. They want to be away from any kind of limelight or attention, so this is a hard pass for them.

On the other hand, A-types naturally take the lead in group situations even if they’re not the leader. They feel that everyone works too haphazardly and takes the job of creating an approach and explaining everyone’s responsibilities.

12. Ds dislike change but As can deal with any kind of change and love it

Type Ds like to stay within a routine. They like to follow a repetitive and monotonous lifestyle. Abrupt and frequent change makes them anxious and dissatisfied. They even resist any kind of change if that’s at all possible. They like to do jobs that don’t have any surprise factors in them.

But, A-types like it when there’s a challenge and constant change in their life and job. They dislike being stuck in a routine and instead want to have a certain amount of surprise in their life. They get bored too fast when they get stuck in a monotonous routine life and lose motivation.

13. Ds feel overwhelmed by crisis while As just level up

During a tough situation, a type D person becomes scared and anxious. They imagine all the negative things that might happen following that.

They overthink their situation and lose precious time dealing with it. They get depressed because bad things happen to them so frequently as if they’re cursed.

A-types, however, get pumped up by challenges. It’s not that they want a crisis in their life, but they get provoked to work harder. This stresses them but they’re extremely devoted to overcoming every setback in their life. Their desire to compete and win is quite vivid.

14. Ds keep their emotions under control but As lose their temper easily

Though Type Ds never express anger, do you think they don’t feel it?

Well, everyone says they suppress their low emotions like sadness and feelings of being inadequate. However, they also get furious… and suppress them too.

So, when do they get furious? For instance, when their routines get disrupted or when someone persists in them doing something against their will. However, they manage to cover their emotions anyway!

But A-types don’t even try to hide their dissatisfaction. They lose their cool pretty fast and show it to others without a care. They’re often called insensitive for this.

15. Ds might have a lower lifespan while As might have a longer one

From research on over 900 patients with coronary artery surgery, it was found that type D people had over 4 times the chance of suffering a heart attack or dying within the next 9 months due to their high stress and pessimism.

On the other hand, you might think that type As must also be prone to fatal scenarios. Well, science found that the situation is pretty different. They saw that A-types are more aware of their physical needs. They’re also aware, driven towards their goals, and aren’t ready to compromise.

So, they’re extra cautious about their health and might live longer.

16. Ds are risk-avoidant, As are risk-takers

Type Ds are pessimists and they can’t afford to take any risks. Questions like… What if it all goes wrong? What if I lose everything? What if I can’t ever recover the losses? …plague their minds! They lose many opportunities this way.

On the other hand, type As love to gamble… but don’t think they do it without deep thinking. They calculate the risk-to-reward ratio and only do it when they can gain a lot from risking a small amount. And challenges are A-types’ passion, so they jump right into it.

17. Ds fear failure while As look down on it

Whenever a Type D person does something, they fear the outcomes. They think too hard and only consider the negative possibilities. Due to this, they often have the fear of failure and lose major opportunities.

However, type A people look down on failure. They believe failing is unacceptable. They try hard and don’t keep any chances of failure in their story. If they fail, their inner critic comes out. The self-criticism is as harsh as they criticize others… or even more.

18. Ds suffer from fear of judgment while As are judgemental

D-types are afraid of being judged unfairly and rejected. They don’t socialize for this very reason. Unless they feel the other person is kind and warm, they’re skeptical to approach them. They don’t try to step out of this comfort zone either.

But A-types are pretty ruthless and judge others. They have a particular standard for everyone. When others can’t meet their expectations, they face a lot of bitter words. A-types believe that if one can’t do something at once, one can never achieve it. So, you can guess how bad it can get.

A word from ThePleasantPersonality

Type As and Ds each have their own pros and cons. Plus, their environment also defines the way they turn out. So, never assume their traits or habits will always be the same.

They might have worked on some weaknesses or might have not gotten enough attention to grow some strength. So, don’t blindly judge them and try to know them up close if you want to understand them.

If you particularly want to know about type D personalities, you can always refer to Mols and  Denollet’s study “Type D personality in the general population: a systematic review of health status, mechanisms of disease, and work-related problems”… but I’m sure that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so we have everything ready for you in short!

Article Sources


1. https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-to-know-about-type-d-personality
2. https://www.insider.com/what-type-a-b-c-or-d-personalities-mean-2018-8
3. https://www.insider.com/what-is-a-type-d-personality-2018-7