Well, are you? The main exterior signs of Type-A behavior are aggravation, irritation, anger and impatience. They’re overt but still often hidden from the Type A. Generally, Type A’s are great at spotting. Type-A behavior in others but awful at detecting it in themselves.
So if you’re a Type A, how can you accurately assess your own behavior? Be honest with yourself, says Meyer Friedman, M.D., Menlo Park, California, first studied Type-A behavior (he coined the phrase) and offered evidence hinting that it may hurt your heart enough to kill you.
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself (and the people who know you).
Do you have a compulsion to win at all costs, even in trivial contests with children?
Do you clench your fist during ordinary conversation?
Do you have easily aroused irritability or anger, even in minor matters?
Do you sigh frequently?
Do you have trouble sitting and doing nothing?
Do you detest waiting in lines?
Do you eat, walk or talk fast?
Do you often angrily defend your unshakable opinions?
Do you grind your teeth?
Do you nod your head while speaking (rather than while listening, as many people do?
“Few Type A’s exhibit all the Type-A signs,”Dr. Friedman says. “But most Type A’s have several. We have found that exhibiting even one of them (mild Type A) increases your risk of having a heart attack before age 65.”
If you fail the test, Dr. Friedman suggests you start to slow down, stop occasionally to smell the roses, learn to relax. Your life may depend on it.