Tina Greenbaum

By Tina Greenbaum

Is Your Type A Behavior Hurting You?

Is Your Type A Behavior Hurting You? 150 150 Tina Greenbaum


It is not my place to judge. I know quite a few executives, and their Type A behavior patterns range from “high functioning” to “self-destructive.” But almost all of them have a character flaw that does more harm than good: They are harder on themselves than they are on anyone else–and harder than anyone else can be on them. Many of them believe it’s an asset to their performance, but the truth is that it just undermines their behavior and decision-making process.

Some Things Are Not Under Your Control

I wrote about the way our perceived sense of control determines our behavior. Most Type A’s believe there is nothing they cannot control. Here is the good news and bad news. You didn’t cause this pandemic and you can’t manage it, either. The wisest among us know what we CAN manage is our response to it.

When I talked about breathing exercises, I was suggesting tools you can use to get your thoughts, feelings, and behavior under control. To get in touch with your Body-Mind Connection. You have probably heard the saying, “It’s not what happens to you that matters. What matters is how you respond.”

Take Positive Action

I know a couple in Los Angeles who were impacted by the Northridge earthquake in 1994. They were without power for almost six days and the only water they had was the bottles they had stored for just such an emergency.

After the tremors and aftershocks ended, each of them reacted to the event in their own unique way. The attorney—a Type A personality—kept watching the horizon where she could see LAX. The minute she saw a plane taking off, she told her husband she was going to fly back East until things were under control.

Her husband, the screenwriter, chose a different behavior. After walking his wife to the airport and booking her flight, he went back to the apartment and dug out his old manual typewriter. He realized he had a week or more of blissful, uninterrupted space to work on his next movie.

Behavior: Control What You Can

While both of them were in the same room on the same day experiencing the same event, each of them took control of their life in their unique way.

That is what I recommend to all my clients: Control the things you can. By doing that, you will keep a sense of focus and calmness about you.


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