Type D Personality (A Comprehensive Guide)

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In this article, we will discuss the Type D personality.

There are different types of personality and Belgian Psychologists identify and categories the individuals on the basis of the traits in the late 1990s. 

The personality types have different characteristics and personality D type usually known as distressed personality features and the main features these individuals exist are;

1.      Consistent worry and feeling worry in small things

2.      The feeling of sadness and loneliness

3.      Feelings of Tetchiness

4.      They always consider the Pessimistic outlook of any condition

5.      They involve negative self-talk

6.      They avoid social situations

7.      They always fear about the rejection and due to fear cannot perform appropriately

8.      They appeared depressed

9.      They felt hopeless in every situation.

They continue to feel more anxious and prefer to remain alone so for this they avoid social gatherings.

Although we all felt these types of experiences, these individuals experience more frequently these emotions from other personality traits.

Comparing the Personality Types

There are different types of personality, in which we can compare the personality type D with others.

Type A:  these individuals are hard-driving, and prefer to let go of things. They are perfect and remain in every situation under great stress.

Type B: These individuals are low stressors and easy going. They adjust according to the situation.  

Type C: These individuals are highly conscientious and perfectionist. They want everything just to be done and they suffer both types of emotions, positive and negative.

Type D:  These individuals remain in stress most of the time. They often are worried, hopeless, and low self –esteem.

How to Know If you’re Type D

Proper psychological assessments have been developed to identify the personality D traits and how it affects the physical health of an individual as well.

The name of the scale is the Type D scale -14 (DS14). This assessment tool also helps the intensity of negativity and inhibition of the personality type D individuals.

As they have a high intensity of these two emotions which overlap the other positive emotions.

Social imbibition refers to the individual refraining from social interaction and avoids social gathering due to the fear of rejection from others.

They have lack confidence so they prefer to avoid social situations.

Negative affectivity refers to those individuals who remain most of the time in negative emotions such as sadness, worry, and irritability.

They also had tantrums in different situations. The important thing is that these individuals feel depressed emotions but not always look depressed or anxious.

The family and other friends know that they are struggling but they can’t help.

Emotional Challenges

The individuals who are close to the personality type D individuals are able to understand their emotions and their vulnerability.

They do not share their emotions with others due to fear of judging and even not prefer to share it with their dear ones.

They always tried to effort to hide their emotions and diligently became successful in hiding their emotions.

When they are in high stress and emotional burden, they are unable to hide their emotions and their fears of rejection as well. This thing is very challenging and they put a lot of effort into their emotions.

Often their emotions fire back to them, such as without any emotional distress when they try to handle or hide their negativity and inhibition, their feelings of rejection become overlapping and that time they suffer a lot.

Physical Health

Due to the consistent efforts of being working on the emotions, they often suffer in physical health which leads to severe complications such as coronary artery disease (CAD), compromised immune function, and chronic inflammation.

Different researches showed that these individuals with personality type D often visit the hospital for the consultation of different doctors and even general doctors can identify their stress levels and guide them to take care otherwise their physical problems increase day by day.

Their problems continue and they suffer every time in every situation such as high blood pressure, an increase in heartbeat, and an increase in sugar level.

It is also suggested through different research that 27 percent of people with type D personality problems died within the ten years after diagnosing these symptoms in these individuals.


The individual with type D personality due to sadness and lack of social interaction often suffers from relationships.

Due to the limited interaction of relationships and social gatherings, they find problems in the development of close relationships.

They cannot build the relationship not only close relations but also they have the problem to initiate the relation such as they also face problems with co-workers and connections in friendships and developing in any intimate relations.

Because of any reason and effort, if they can build any relation, they face difficulty in continuing to grow and maintain this relation.

Their negative emotions continue to become a hurdle in relationships.

They can be perceived as pessimistic personalities and unapproachable friends and family members.

School and Career

As we discussed earlier that the individuals with the type D personality due to lack of social interaction suffers in every phase of life.

They can face the same difficulty when they are in school as they need to interact in a group and they shy to respond in the class and groups which maintains their negative effect on their personality from the very early of their life.

The individuals with the personality D type inclines:

  • Feel more stressed in their workplace
  • Experience more job burnout
  • They feel less happiness in any task which they accomplished
  • Often remains absent from the tasks

These individuals often find themselves doing negative self-talk and assume that others might think about them.

They feel difficulty in setting goals and personal achievements. They cannot set the targets of their own personal development.

The unpleasant emotions overlap in their functioning. They are either in school or in any business scenario, the tasks and projects became the cause of anxiety for them. If you have a business and want to promote it, CrystalKnows is an online platform that integrates personality insights into all organisational processes.

They are unable to handle their emotions and feel burned out easily even minor comments affect their personality.

Steps to Take If You Are Type D

There are some self –help skills which help individuals with type D personality to fight their negative emotions.

These are:

  • Positive Self-Talk:  the positive self-talk helps them to cope with the negativity. They need to identify and challenge the old patterns which enhance the negative self-talk. Through this, they can realize they are judging themselves without any solid reason. Taking time to discover and incorporate honesty can help them and role as a game-changer for type D individuals. 
  • Emotional Regulation:

Dealing with different emotions such as sadness, hopelessness, and worry feelings in little things is a great challenge for the type D personality individuals.

They need to recognize their emotions and then deal with them according to their need at that time.

They need to focus on themselves when they are in negative emotions and react according to the recognition of level.

For example, they might consider, “When I feel irritable, what is it that I’m needing?”

  • Interpersonal Skills: Inhibition is a symbol of type D personality types, they can learn how to interact with others and this can increase their socialization skills. They can do small tasks to practice this in large gatherings and groups.  They can learn to engage in household activities. Take comments as a grooming factor for their personality.
  • Exercise: Joining regular exercise into our everyday routines can be helpful on a variety of levels. For those with type D personality traits, it can allow them to better regulate their emotions and find healthy coping behaviors.  Through exercise, they can release their stress hormones and cope with stressors in a better way.
  • Goal-Setting: There are main challenges of the type D personality traits which are involved in the emotions of hopefulness and optimism. If they can learn these things they can identify their goals and be able to even reach their set goals. They need to prioritize things that allow individuals to pursue a better future. The first main thing which they learn when they are learning positivity is how to streamline their things and prioritize their future.
  • Mindfulness: meditation, prayers, and engaging in the religious aspects helped them to mediate themselves which purifies negative emotions from them. Through this, they can benefit from a lot of physical consequences and emotional distress.

How to Help a Type D

If you know about anyone who is with you but has the traits the same as personality type D individuals you can help them to seek out their distressing events or scenarios.

You can identify your surroundings and realize that they have positive traits in them and they need to just recognize and acknowledge them.

The most important step you can take is to spread out to the person.

You don’t have to know exactly what to say, it is just important that you make the effort to reach out and connect.


Individuals with type D personality traits can feel lonely and distress most of the time in their daily life so you can help them while connecting them in different scenarios.

You just need to realize that they need support even when you are in your surroundings.

Although type D personality individuals feel difficult to share their emotions and don’t know how to let go of bad experiences, your support can help to let go of the distress of things and events.

You can appreciate them for their good things and their achievements. It can help to increase their sense of accomplishment.

Reach Out

You can engage them and increase their social activities by inviting them to your home and it helps them by engaging in different activities such as inviting them to do the gym and a good meal as well. 

Anything that allows them the opportunity to move and connect with others can be of great benefit for the type D individual.

Show Interest and Support

You can offer them emotional support and space whenever they feel irritable and have negative emotions.

Fear and judgment lead them not to show interest and they do not need your support but you need to understand the reason for their resistance.

Engage their family and friends with them and also provide knowledge about them.

Your interest in their emotions helped them to realize that they are not isolated and not have bad emotions as well.

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FAQ about type D Personality 

1.      What is a Type D personality?

The individuals who have the personality trait of high “D” are distressing and avoid outgoing and task-oriented.

The word “D” refers to negative emotions such as distress.

This concept is also introduced in the field of medical psychology. 

There are some examples of their emotions: worry, irritability, gloom, reticence, and a lack of self-assurance).

2.      How do you communicate with a Type D personality?

1.      They are self-critical

2.      Always remain in negative emotions

3.      They always remain in distress

4.      Cannot acknowledge their achievements.

3.      How can you help the type D personality?

We can help them to engage them in positive emotions such as positive self-talk and meditation.



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