What Is a High-Strung Personality?

A high-strung (or “Type-A”) personality is one marked by the traits of perfectionism, competitiveness and urgency. Individuals with high-strung personalities may be praised for their ambitious or goal-centered nature, or else criticized for their lack of patience and elevated stress levels.

Central to the high-strung personality are its high standards. Although these can lead to excessive self-criticism, which can be damaging, having high standards can also ensure greater personal development, since high standards typically translate into big ambitions.

High-strung people may also have issues with stress. While high levels of stress can be motivating, they can easily become overwhelming and ultimately detrimental to productivity, especially when they manifest in an anxiety or sleeping disorder.

The perfectionism and driven nature of the high-strung personality make people of this type highly organized, which is rarely a negative trait. “Type-A” personalities will often have efficient and structured processes for tackling tasks, ensuring success in their education and careers.

People of this type are also courageous, taking risks that others would not. This is another factor that can lead to success in academic pursuits or salaried careers. Risk-taking makes high-strung people particularly well-suited to entrepreneurial endeavors.