Some people are more prone to worry than others. Two cardiologists, Dr Meyer Friedman and Dr Ray Rosenman, after conducting research into the effects of stress upon the heart, divided people into two groups: Type A and Type B. Type A people were more prone to worry than Type B and were three times more likely to have a stroke or a heart attack than those in Type B category, even if they were doing the same sort of work and living in similar conditions. Rob Parsons, Director of Care For The Family, has identified some of the characteristics of Type A personalities – see if any of these ring true with you:

  • We are very competitive. We compete over everything and find to our embarrassment that when playing board games with small children we are desperately trying to win.
  • We cannot resist a telephone ringing. The worst thing in life that can happen to us is to get to the telephone just as it stops ringing. If that happens we begin to ring people, asking: ‘Was that you trying to get me a moment ago?’
  • We swap lanes in traffic jams – even though we know that there is an eternal law that the lane we have just joined will now move more slowly than the lane we have just left.
  • When driving down motorways we are constantly working out complicated mathematical sums: ‘Stoke-on-Trent is ninety miles. If I drive at ninety miles per hour it will take me an hour. If I drive at one hundred and eighty miles an hour it will take me half an hour. If I drive at seventy miles an hour… no, that’s too difficult.’
  • We hate stopping for petrol. Why do we hate it so much? It’s because when we pull in the service station we look out over the road and see all the cars and lorries we had overtaken going past.

Source: Quoted by Nicky Gumbel in The Jesus Lifestyle, 2010, London: Alpha International, p.177