Type B Personality - What is it?

Type B Personality - What is it?

Type B personality is a psychological classification used to describe generally laid-back, relaxed, and less competitive individuals. Cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman initially introduced Type B personality in the 1950s. They wanted to explore the link between an individual's personality and the risk of developing heart disease.

Type Bs are more relaxed and dislike hostility (Friedman & Rosenman, 1974; Rosenman, 1978;Cherie et al., 2013). They can enjoy leisure time without guilt. For example, Type Bs professionals scored better than type As in stressful situations, i.e., family conflicts, daily hassles, and criticism.

Characteristics of Type B Personality

While the absence of type A traits often defines a Type B personality, several characteristics are commonly associated with individuals who exhibit a Type B personality, according to Dorr B. Gale Researcher Guide for Personality, Stress, and Coping.



A study by Kendra Cherry shows that Type B personalities tend to be more open to change and adaptable in various situations. They are more likely to go with the flow and embrace new ideas rather than sticking to rigid plans or routines.

Lower levels of competitiveness

According to Saul Mcleod, Personality Type B individuals are often less motivated by a desire for success and recognition than Type A individuals. They are not moved on meeting deadlines and goals because they are not as passionately focused on them.

Related: Type C Personality

Low-Stress Levels

One of the key attributes of Type B individuals is their ability to manage stress effectively. They typically experience lower stress levels than their Type A counterparts and are better at handling pressure.

Lower levels of hostility and violence



Type B personalities are less prone to hostility, aggression, and impatience than Type A personalities. They are more patient and tolerant of interpersonal connections and common challenges.

Relaxed Attitude

Type B personalities are known for their flexible and relaxed approach to life, which is often mistaken for laziness and lack of ambition.

Adaptability to Change

Type B individuals are generally more open to change and new experiences.

Even-Tempered Nature

People with Type B personalities are usually more calm and level-headed in stressful situations. They are less likely to break down or become overly emotional, making them more approachable and easier to get along with.

Related: Type D Personality

Laid-back Attitude

Type B personalities are often described as laid-back and easygoing. While this can sometimes be seen as a negative trait, it can also contribute to their ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance and reduce stress levels.


Type B individuals are often considered more creative and imaginative than their Type A counterparts. They tend to excel in environments that encourage innovation and outside-the-box thinking. They may enjoy activities such as painting, writing, or playing music as a means of self-expression and relaxation, demonstrating an inclination towards artistic and imaginative pursuits

Cooperative and relaxed in relationships

Type B personalities tend to be more cooperative, understanding, and at ease in their relationships with others. They are good listeners and are less likely to engage in confrontations or power struggles, displaying a cooperative and harmonious approach to interpersonal interactions.


Compared to type A people, Type B people have a higher level of patience. They can wait peacefully and without becoming agitated or frustrated, exhibiting tolerance.

Type B personality strengths and weaknesses

Disadvantages of having Type B Personality Individuals at the workplace.

While there are numerous benefits to having a Type B personality, there are also some potential drawbacks which are:


One key challenge Type B individuals face is their tendency to procrastinate. This can sometimes lead to missed deadlines or last-minute rushes to complete tasks, which can be detrimental to their professional success.


Type B personalities may sometimes be perceived as lazy or indifferent due to their laid-back attitude. This can make it difficult for them to make a positive impression on others, particularly in professional settings.

Difficulty in Assertiveness

Type B individuals may struggle with assertiveness, often avoiding confrontation and preferring to keep the peace at all costs. This can sometimes result in them being taken advantage of or not standing up for themselves when necessary.

Lack of Ambition

Sometimes, Type B personalities may lack ambition or the drive to achieve their goals. This can limit their potential for success and personal growth, particularly compared to the highly goal-oriented type A individuals.

Related: Cluster B Personality Disorders: Everything you Need to Know 

Why is it vital to understand the Type B personality type while making employment decisions?

Whether you're in the interview stage or want to laterally promote someone inside your organization, knowing they have a Type B personality will be beneficial. Understanding a candidate's fitness for a post and evaluating how they would interact with others in the organization is quite valuable.

Type B Personality in the Workplace

According to Thomas.co, understanding the impact of Type B personality traits on workplace behavior can be valuable for both employees and employers. Type B individuals often excel in collaborative environments and have strong interpersonal skills that can contribute to a positive workplace atmosphere.

Type B individuals have the confidence to work steadily without rush, finishes work on time, and obtain good results but in a different manner. A study by Jill Babcock suggests that plenty of type B people are in high-achieving positions and challenging career paths. For example, one study involving medical students uncovered that 90% of undergraduate medical students leaned toward having type B personalities, compared to only 10% being mostly type A. An equal number of males and females were Type B; however, the chances of someone being Type A increased if they made it through to the 4th year of medical school, highlighting how Type As tend to be persistent.

However, their tendency to procrastinate and be perceived as lazy can be problematic in certain situations. Employers should be aware of these traits and provide support and guidance where necessary to ensure that Type B employees reach their full potential.

How to bring out the best in applicants and workers with Type B personalities

Understanding that your prospective or current workers have a Type B personality is a terrific place to start. What you do to best manage these characteristics, on the other hand, will be critical to your success.

Of course, this personality type has both positive and bad features, so how you manage them is critical.

People who like to please others: Understanding that Type B personalities are people pleasers will provide you with insight into their strengths and flaws. They may or may not be the finest team leaders, but they are good at bringing people together to see things from diverse angles.

How Type B Personalities Affect Professional Behaviour

Naturally, possessing any of the four personality types will influence workplace behavior. Understanding the Type A personality allows you to see how the influence can be favorable or bad based on particular triggers and the type of work each individual undertakes. George (1992) believes that personality describes how an individual feels, thinks, behaves and evaluates job facets.

Do you have a staff that responds well to long-standing relationships? Do you have team members who function better in groups? Type B personalities are perfect in these situations since they thrive on engagement. It must, however, be moderated because too much engagement from Type B personalities can be rather distracting - they prefer to take over social positions and can be a bit obnoxious.

It is important to note that Type B personality is not considered a disorder. It is simply a term for personality traits connected with being more calm, laid-back, and less competitive. However, certain personality disorders might exhibit qualities comparable to Type B personality traits. Here are a few personality disorders that may be related:

Substance use disorders: Personality Type B

A 1998 study by Ball et al. looked at differences in Type A and Type B personalities based on substance use. Their results showed that Type B personalities had more severe issues with substance use disorders than Type A personalities. Another discovery in their research was that more Type B personalities had been diagnosed with a personality disorder than users with Type A personalities. Type B personalities were rated higher than type A personalities on symptoms of all DSM-IV personality disorders, except schizoid personality disorder.

The research conducted in the experiment was tested on 370 outpatients and inpatients who used alcohol, cocaine, and opiates. The personality types and distinctions were replicated. Additionally, Type A and Type B exhibited different results within the personality dimensions. Type A personality portrayed higher agreeableness, conscientiousness, cooperativeness, and self-directedness. In contrast, Type B personality showed higher levels of neuroticism, novelty seeking, and harm avoidance. These dimensions can correlate highly with mental illness or substance use disorders. Furthermore, even after antisocial personality and psychiatric symptoms, these effects remained.

Personality B Disorders

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Individuals show a disregard for the rights of others, engage in impulsive and irresponsible behavior, and lack empathy or remorse.

Borderline Personality Disorder: Individuals experience emotional instability and difficulties with self-identity and relationships, often accompanied by impulsivity and a fear of abandonment.

Histrionic Personality Disorder: Individuals seek attention, display exaggerated emotions, and excessively need approval and admiration.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Individuals have an inflated sense of self-importance, crave admiration, and lack empathy for others.

In conclusion, Type B personality is characterized by flexibility, low-stress levels, a relaxed attitude, adaptability to change, an even-tempered nature, a laid-back attitude, a tendency to procrastinate, patience, and creativity. Understanding and managing these traits effectively can lead to success in various aspects of life, including health, relationships, and the workplace. Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of Type B individuals and providing the right support and environment can help them thrive and reach their full potential.​

Theollah Suela
This article was written by Theollah a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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