As I talk to many different women, I notice that different women have different styles of living. These styles define us both during the working/parenting years and after we have retired and our children have left the nest.  Over the years we have heard a lot about some people having Type A personalities and others having Type B personalities.  Simply defined, people with Type A personalities are characterized by strong drives to achieve, goal orientation, active (even hyperactive) behavior and difficulty relaxing.

 The Type B personality is characterized as more relaxed, more process-oriented rather than goal-oriented, less high energy, and having a “laid back”,  easy-going approach to life.  Sometimes Type B individuals are viewed as less motivated and not achievement-oriented enough. Type A individuals are sometimes viewed as aggressive, obsessed with work, and not making enough time for their personal relationships with family and friends.

It is interesting to notice how women either maintain their dominant style or change their style as they become older.  Some women who have been go-getters in their younger years as parents, wives, volunteers and working women continue to be very active, simply shifting some of that energy to other activities.  Other Type A women experience a release from the drive to achieve and choose to slow down and relax as they get older.

Type B personality women may also have juggled many roles and responsibilities but did so in a different manner. The release from certain parenting or work responsibilities may allow them to be more themselves in retirement, slowing the pace of their activities and enjoying life one day at a time.  Alternatively, some Type B women may change in the direction of becoming more active or take on new goals, such as furthering their education or pursuing their artistic talents–things they didn’t have the time or energy to pursue in their younger years. There is no right or wrong to your personal style, but it is interesting and perhaps useful to think about what your style is and whether your style has changed over time.

Some questions to think about and discuss:

  • How would you characterize your personal style in your younger years?
  • Has it changed or remained the same as you have become older?
  • Are you currently able to live the personal style you want to live?
  • Do you have judgments about these different personal styles of living?
  • What is good about each style and what is problematic?
  • How do you see your approach to life-changing 2 or 5 or 10 years from now?