Maybe you have a Type A roommate, who prefers to keep their dishes a certain way; or you might be living with someone more Type B, who likes to take their time in the shower to the point that they only realize it's time to get out when the hot water turns cold. Or, maybe your roommate is Type C, and very specific about ensuring no past-expiration foods are in the refrigerator (to ensure no one gets sick); or they are Type D, and very specific about needing to watch their favorite TV show at a certain time each week.
Now, for the sharing space component: There are no hard and fast rules for living harmoniously with Type A, B, C, or D personality types. Rather, what's more important is to focus on communication styles, willingness to work through conflicts, and a commitment to self-improvement and harmony. Learning to accept your roommates instead of trying to change who they are allows for a better living space for all parties. "Reorient your efforts into finding compromise and ways to better understand and live together so you’re not constantly at war trying to conform the other," says licensed clinical psychologist Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD. That is, take the time to understand those who share your living space and allow them to be who they are. Below, Dr. Romanoff provides guidance for how to live your best life with each personality type.
Basics to know about Type A, B, C, and D personalities
Before getting tips for living with a Type A, B, C, and D personality type, learn a bit about their individual traits and characterizations:
- Type As are typically categorized as being competitive, driven, and critical. They're hard workers, highly focused on their goals, and are extremely organized.
- Type Bs are more easygoing, relaxed, and carefree. They're the creatives of this world, focusing on big picture ideas compared to their Type A counterparts.
- Type Cs are the thinkers; the logical, prepared folks who skew rational, fact-oriented, and perhaps are more risk-averse than any other personality type, but without the "get up and go" mentality a Type A might have.
- Type Ds are the worriers of the framework. They may skew most introverted of all the types and feel most comfortable sticking to a routine.
Now that we've established how each personality type is defined, it's time we understand what we can do to build a stronger living space with such different personalities.
A Psychologist's top tip for living with different personality types
Type A personalities
"Decide what is important to you, and pick and choose your battles," says Dr. Romanoff. Type As are highly organized and prefer clean environments. It's vital that you lean in to those traits and find a compromise if you ever find yourself living with one. "It's important to be solutions-focused instead of problem-focused," she says. You'll more likely thrive in a living space where you can accept type As for who they are, and often cooperate and negotiate to find that middle path.
Type B personalities
If you have a roommate who's often disorganized and tends to withdraw whenever you demand something from them, then you may have a type B personality in your life. In order to truly get them out of their laid-back mindset every once in a while, it's important to "be specific and make small, concrete goals instead of requests to make enormous changes," Dr. Romanoff says. It's much better to work on small steps than demanding one big task from these types.
Type C personalities
As the most logical-leaning of the bunch, type Cs may come off as emotionless and lacking in empathy. "It usually takes them awhile to open [up]," says Dr. Romanoff. Don't expect type Cs to immediately like you or want to cater to your every need. Instead, give them the space and respect their boundaries. They'll come to you eventually, and you'll feel much more comfortable after allowing them to do what they want to do. "Do not force them to do things before they are ready, and allow them to move at their own pace."
Type D personalities
If you think type Ds are closed off and too introverted to hang out with, then think again. These types fear being rejected and they do not like to put themselves in situations where they can get hurt. Sensitive and fragile, type Ds tend to deal with low self-esteem and might expect to get hurt by others. So, it's incredibly important to not feed into that cycle. Instead, "show them that you are a safe person they can confide in," says Dr. Romanoff. They'll be great roommates in the end and confidantes once they get out of that shell.
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