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Identifying Type C Personalities


Who, or what is Type C ??

People tend to be quite familiar with Type A and Type B personalities. But another Type which has emerged are the Type C's...which are similar to Type A's but stand out in some important ways.


While Type A's like to be in charge and in control of their environment, they have no problem delegating tasks to others...especially when it comes to the nitty gritty of things. Type A's like to be independent, and set their own schedules. They also have no problem 'setting other people straight' when they feel they are delineating from their duties or responsibilities.


Type C's also like to be in control, but they do so in more indirect ways, as they hate confrontation. They take a subtle pride in their abilities for self-control, seeing emotions as a liability towards achieving their goals and maintaining relationships.


Therefore, they will oftentimes mask their emotions, and attempt to solve their problems on their own rather than seek help from others. This will be somewhat ironic, as they tend to embody the reliable/helpful friend/family/worker to others, dropping their own plans to accommodate.


Type C's biggest concerns are related to how their actions may negatively impact others: they fear disappointing people, or being seen as selfish, careless, or offensive. These feelings and subsequent behaviors tend to come as a reaction to earlier experiences they had of rejection, misattunement, reprimand, or abandonment.


All efforts later in life become attempts at ensuring that 'that' DOESNT HAPPEN AGAIN. The tragedy, however, is that in the process of pleasing and accommodating others, while dismissing their own needs and emotions, they effectively abandon themselves.

Some common Type C Personality Traits are:

The “c” in type C can stand for:

  • consistent

  • controlled

  • calm (outwardly)

  • cooperative

  • creative

  • conflict-resistant                                                                                                                                                                               

These traits can show up more specifically in the following behaviors:

  • perfectionist tendencies

  • difficulty adjusting to unwanted change

  • an interest in small details

  • sensitivity toward the needs of others

  • outward passiveness

  • pessimism

  • a tendency to deny or avoid extreme emotions

  • an internal sense of helplessness or hopelessness                                                                                                            (cited from

What Type C Personalities are Great At:

Being there for Others:

  • ideal facilitators / helpers / peace-makers

  • like to embody that 'strong presence', or steadying force

  • very committed, with strong values towards loyalty                                                                                                                                                                              

Strong Work Ethic:

Excellent Planners:

  • willing to put the extra legwork in for research (determining pros + cons)

  • like to be 'On top of things' ; considering different scenarios and anticipating unwanted outcome

  • like to always be two steps ahead

  • willing to coordinate on plans; wanting other's feedback around decision-making                                             

What Type C Personalities Struggle With:

Maintaining Long-term Relationships

  • with regards to partners, as well as friendships

  • can be very guarded with their emotions: will have difficulties expressing positive, as well as negative feelings (ie. "You mean a lot to me", or "I don't appreciate you saying that". This 'walling' effect leads to distance in relationships

  • idea of commitment or confrontation triggers alot of anxiety 

  • can become overbearing in relationships; 'helicopter-relating' through constant check-ins to assess how the other person is doing; micromanaging tendencies show up in indirect ways                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        THIS CAN LEAD TO: felt sense of loneliness and isolation; confusion and indecisiveness; depression; strong                                               mixed feelings in current relationships                                                                                                                                                                                               

Delegating Tasks or Responsibilities 

  • hate the idea of imposing, or feeling like a burden on others

  • have issues with trusting that others will complete the tasks properly; are very particular to how things 'should be done' based on their high standards

  • take pride in their work-efforts; believe their will-power and perseverance can see them through

  • hate the idea of letting people down (especially those they care about or look up to); asking for help feels like a failure

      THIS CAN LEAD TO: burnout, panic attacks; chronic fatigue; chronic pain; recurring illnesses; felt sense of                                                           alienation among colleagues

Making Life-Decisions in General

  • their strong analytical minds, and damage-control mentality leads to constant self-doubt

  • hate anything that isn't clearly defined; anxiety around uncertainty; fears of disappointment and loss

  • caught in internal bind: wanting other people to tell them what to do, but also firmly desiring their own autonomy

  • are worried about how their actions may negatively impact others; also concerned about how other people's actions might get in the way of their own goals                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                THIS CAN LEAD TO: felt sense of 'stuckness' and dissatisfaction; job/relationship flipping; refusing to seek                                                    feedback or advice from others, or, getting argumentative upon receiving counsel; taking a                                           passive stance on decisions, where "life just happens to me"     

What Can Help Type C Personalities Going Forward:

Increasing Personal Awareness 

  • building capacity for more internal focus: promoting more felt-sense connection to the body; recognizing and identifying signs of stress/anxiety, feelings that arise around unmet needs

  • Goal: attending to, rather than dismissing yourself                                                                                                                                                                              

Further Developing Boundary Setting:

  • learning how to set healthy boundaries with others; recognizing and addressing the blocks that get in the way

  • recognizing personal limitations (energywise), and feeling more comfortable to delegate/ask for help

Assertiveness Training

  • feeling more secure in expressing needs, as well as upsets with others

  • feeling more confident in your own personal decision-making; open to feedback from others without the pressure to comply or rebel

  • feeling more freedom to pursue your goals                                                                                                                      

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