In his Live Right 4 Your Type, Dr. Peter D'Adamo expounds briefly upon the few standout social/emotional qualities he has noticed, among patients and those around him, while emphasizing that these are not hard and fast rules.
As a B, I find it noteworthy - and remarkably true - that the other three bloodtypes manifest interpersonal reactivity when stressed, where B might experience only fatigue, for instance, or, at "worst", some fleeting internal discouragement or disgust.
We Bs represent only about 10% of the world population. According to Dr. D'Adamo, we are remarkably [emphasis mine] able to relax ourselves and reduce our own stress. When maladapting, we simply "become extremely tired, depressed and lacking in motivation". We are "unconventional thinkers...easygoing...able to take upsets in stride, keep [our] priorities in perspective, and understand [our] limitations, [be] less driven", and we "make sure to find time to relax". Unique to our blood type's description among the four, there's nothing here about social acting-out, venting against others, obsessing about how to deal with others, feeling defensive or anxious, desperation to please or to appear right.
What Dr. D'Adamo doesn't deduce, or express, however, is that Bs, therefore, are utterly surrounded by those who manifest complex and incomprehensibly emotionally-driven behaviors in their relations with others and with us -- people who blow up, melt down, act out, "play games" -- and these explosions, dramas and maneuvers can baffle us because our behavior is not similarly subject to unfathomed depths and motives, not similarly oriented toward manipulation of the other person's reaction. (Note that the Japanese Bloodtype Personality theorists link B to careers in Psychiatry - a career that would be dangerous, perhaps, for non-Bs to pursue!)
Even during my days of close work with postpartum women, the B client's most intense emotionality was generally a relatively quiet/retreating non-anxious and non-agitated depression, with a markedly evanescent and easily-dissipated course, when treated with adequate education on the part of a patient, calm teacher. O and A women were far more likely to experience complex transferences with the counselor, for instance.
You other types: Be jealous, perhaps, of the easygoing B. And understand that we often truly have no idea what you are churning or ruminating about (if you expect us to) by identifying with it or with you. We do not identify with that state, but we (a tiny subset of society) are expected to accept that those around us can be subject to numerous hot-buttons, pet-peeves, expectations and demands that drive symbolic, convoluted reactions.
Many's the friend who has told me my insights are uncanny. One MD friend had unsuccessfully consulted 3 psychiatrists in 3 different cities, for a life-wracking problem she explained to me over a snack one day, which, in less than a quarter hour I, in her word, "nailed". Do all Bs have this honed a skill? Only if we're observant in the relevant sphere. But I think we, to some extent, do all tend to see the world and its, ahem, realities, from something of a distance.
Perhaps we frustrate you with our equanimity. Would it help to view our
"[discomfort] with rigid rules" (per Dr. D'Adamo) as a trait of a mysteriously alien Type amongst you, as if the Addams Family or the Solomon Family (from TV's Third Rock from the Sun) inhabited your world?
We're here, and we can actually help. Tap us and find out. Don't hate us. And if you decide to see a shrink, maybe you should choose a B!
It has been estimated that the US distribution of blood types is in the neighborhood of 44% O, 42% A, 10% B, and 4% AB. The combination most often paired in couples in my files/ experience is: O with A. I won't speculate as to why that is, but I have found that a brief explanation of the differences in health profile, diet, fitness needs and temperament, go a long way toward piquing O and A interest in Dr. D'Adamo's work. As I did last night, I tell folks:
You're O / Honey is A:
Honey expects you to cut back on your red meat and eat more rice and pasta than you'd care to. Honey might even be a vegetarian and thinks Dean Ornish's or macrobiotic dietary guidelines are Best for Everyone. But A's cooking and choices don't work for you; you feel sluggish after one of A's meals, as if you need higher octane fuel.
Honey's stress threshold might be lower than yours. S/he doesn't seem as hardy a specimen, as if there's something more delicate or high-strung about him or her that requires your protection and sensitivity. Your idea of a fun day together includes far more aerobic exertion than A would like. S/he enjoys golf or yoga - these bore the heck out of you. When you try tennis as your happy compromise, you may find yourself trying to work up a serious sweat while A focuses on perfecting strokes and self-competing, perhaps stressfully. If you two decide on a bike ride, you say, "Cool - Let's ride across the bridge, brunch in Sausalito, and come back," while A would be more comfortable with a leisurely ride around the neighborhood.
Sometimes you feel you're carrying all the weight of the household/family/relationship, but you admit your A is responsible, though not necessarily obviously passionate or energetic.
You're A and your Honey is O:
Honey drives you hard - can even seem a nag or taskmaster, but wears it well, and you're often grateful for the challenges and inspiration. O can give you the "kick in the pants" you need, spurring you to greater career engagement and satisfaction -- or can wear you out trying to reach ever higher, even beyond your capacity.
Honey has a temper. It can shatter your peace, and you just might take to occasionally tuning it out. S/he might appreciate your even keel, but you must consciously explore ways to deal with O intensity.
Honey is more naturally, constitutionally competitive out there in the world; it's more important to O self-esteem to make a splash, and s/he loves knowing the ropes and the right names. You're more comfortable in a somewhat more circumscribed domain, wherein you're happy to keep to your schedule/ routine and work out the fine points. You may be more mental where O is physical. You may fancy chess or puzzles or crafts where O has little patience for these.
Sometimes you may wish your O would relax, act more like a yogi or Buddhist. But if you read Dr. Atkins instead of Dr. Ornish, you'll see what works better for Honey than for you. It's not that s/he really despises Veganism or tofu-eaters; it's just that O can't relate to a way of eating that makes him/her feel unwell. Don't take it personally or ply your O with literature and references versus Meat, or with soyfoods. Rather, read Eat Right 4 Your Type ...and Vive la Différence.
Once O and A understand the intrinsic constitutional differences, this is a complementary pairing that runs the gamut of personality, interest and style, modeling a variety of approaches for any children born to it. And, Good News for the O/A couple: Any biological children will be O or A -- no additional types to consider in the household.
O/A relationship guidelines can be applied to parent-child and sibling-sibling relationships, too.
"Sheesh - you're just like your father!" might find some explanatory foundation in blood type.
Some version of the above Diversity Explanation has interested many I've told in the bloodtype work. It brings a practical, real-life solution directly to points of curiosity and even vexation in the actual day-to-day lives of many couples, and individuals. Where the D'Adamo work is thus brought down to earth for someone, s/he is not likely to easily scorn it where it is derided, but might instead say, "There may be something to it."
Try it out.
Here's another old manuscript from the Blog Journals, 2008.
Because it's the world majority blood type, we all know plenty of O's. Let's have a look at their physiologically/anthropologically-driven temperament.
There are two major ways to describe blood type personality: One is its natural expression without respect to society. The other is in terms of its relation to society. There is the O temperament, for instance but then this is tempered by the very fact that O prevails in great numbers; so, with O, you've got "This is how I am", but you also have to deal with O's "And everybody should be as I am", an attitude based less on O temperament than on O's EXPERIENCE that most folks are indeed like himself. We'll see that, in this regard, A tests the waters, to see how many share his own orientation, while B and AB begin with the premise that no one is like themselves: These latter individuals expect to be misunderstood, to be self-contained and stand alone. So, understand that O expects others to see things his/her way, as a "given", and then you're ready to understand other aspects of O personality.
Next step: Anthropology. O began as a hunter and gatherer. O pits himself against nature, bringing all of his resources to bear on making a killing, accomplishing his goal. He tracks his quarry, bringing others on board to assist him. His survival is bound up in projects that have beginnings, middles and ends. He feasts on the proceeds and then goes out to stalk the next Meal, bring down the next foe.
So O likes projects and brings great energy to these, taking for granted that everyone is on board, unless they're prey too. O figures "You're either part of the team or we eat you." This assumption of antagonism on the part of those who don't dance to his tune can be quite stunning to others.
O makes a good leader and a problematic follower. How can mixed society cope with a majority that is leadership-geared ? Answer: O's need spheres of leadership, not necessarily in careers, per se.
And then there's the physical: O's are physically energetic. It's good for them to work out, in relatively short bursts. Just as hunters alternate between slow quiet stalking and climactic pouncing, O's workouts should be short but daily. I think that's akin to their natural anthro-driven rhythm.
Hunting is the ultimate focussed activity; if you're focussed and alert, you eat; if your mind wanders, you starve. So you see a pattern with O: He single-mindedly goes after what he wants till he gets it. After the feast, he's onto something else, with equal intensity. This is why O's do so well with project management. They make one thing happen. Then another. They don't necessarily "work well with others", though. Just as hunters use beaters or a pack of hounds, O's might view their teams as subordinates. A whole team of O's each with his own sphere of authority, is therefore a winner. Otherwise O's can come across as opportunist users. This is an aspect of focussedness that is a social problem for O: Others are used when serving O's ego or career goals or projects, and may be made to feel stepped-on otherwise. O's can even interrupt or fall asleep during others' self-expression. They quite simply are uninterested in others' input unless they can use or usurp it to their own ends. The world is their and only their oyster. They have to train themselves to be more genuinely interested. But if they can at least fake it, that, too, might be an advance for some!
All of this is not to say O's are unlikeable. On the contrary, the world contains its share of adorable O's. Blood type doesn't swallow up or override what makes each individual unique, and that's why I'm treating only of the constitutional medical and anthropologic factors.
Medically speaking, O is flammable. O's suffer from inflammatory diseases. Adding fire to the O rhythm, you find someone who tends to anger and outbursts as opposed to, say, withdrawal or worry. O's act quickly and impulsively, too; thus many an O finds himself backpedalling, apologizing, embarrassed by his hyperreactivity to innocent differentness perceived as threat. Someone's contrary point of view is seen as a lit match and the O is thrilled to burst into flame: Igniting is an addictive high for many an O, an impulse impossible to stifle, a momentary opportunity to express his magnificent furnace. O's can love their own anger. When the social/interpersonal/familial messes to be mopped up in its aftermath are permanent, however, O's might actually consider changing their approach. Dr. D'Adamo is to my mind correct in counseling the rechannelling of O-fire into physical sports/training, rather than, say, some sort of psychotherapy. When O's have had a good sweaty workout in the morning, they're less likely to seek prey to intimidate or attack.
Have a look around at the O's in your circle. And if you're O, it can be fascinating and instructive to understand yourself in these terms. I have to say that the O-Anger connection is among the top 5 teachings that I've noticed have impressed listeners when I speak on bloodtype diet/disease/temperament profiles. Many O's can relate to it, admit to having been distressed by it, and are gratified to find, in Dr. D'Adamo, someone who explains it to them.
Yay! A "new" blog, not a Reprise from the mistakenly deleted Archives I've been restoring of late. Actually this blog is drawn from the Journals of three years ago. Thought it would help with gift-giving this Christmas, though it was intended for housewarmings.
* * * * * * *
What's your blood type? What's your décor taste? Years ago on dadamo forum I asked B's to describe their taste, and there seemed to be a consensus where it came to color. Bs tend to like vivid colors and "interesting" "fascinating" "eclectic" exotic elements that can be quirky, offbeat, and have stories to go with 'em. A's might find the sight/atmosphere intriguing but can't wait to get home to their relatively clutter-free, neutral-toned havens and gardens. I've met a number of O's who are obsessive-compuslive about germs/dust-mites and absolutely flawless window/mirror/refrigerator, oven-door surfaces. Some have air filters going strong, others come home from work and shine their bathtubs as pre-dinner relaxation. Ever notice this, you guys? O's are often collectors of THEMED items, such as Plains Indians moccasins to surfboards to taxidermy to shoes and jewelry and hats.
We B's can tolerate mess as we age, if we need to. It's part of the price we pay for broad-ranging interests and lives. I think there's an element of nomadism in this: We pitched our tents for purposes: Shade, shelter, storage, functional areas: Cooking, hosting/entertaining/coffee, sleep. It wasn't important that everything be hung just-so or to impress anyone. It was where you could discern some souvenirs, perceive where this clan had been, what business/craft they were in (rug? tents?) and how proud they were of their own distinctive handicrafts. You look around the B space and take it all in. It tells a story. And it's ready to be packed up quickly and transported elsewhere!
If you're shopping for blood type-appropriate housewarming gifts, here are some suggestions for O, A and B (sorry AB: Not enough experience yet) - and age is a factor:
O: Find out what s/he COLLECTS or what his/her sport is. You almost shouldn't bother with anything else. O's also like cutting-edge gizmos, especially if they're impressive: O's are often the ones with the "home-theaters". Don't give plants, unless O "collects" them, such as exotic orchids. Give things with weight/gravitas, something that says s/he's "successful". Either they drive very expensive cars or fantasize doing so - that kind of successful. Hook up automated services in their home. Send them a year's techie/geek services. Important classical art and sculpture, if in your budget. Jazz CDs otherwise. Important ceramics and antiques. Paintings. Stuff related to their pets, if it's really, really cool. "Organizing" and Junk Management services. Genealogy stuff: Maybe one of those DNA testing kits.
A: Here's where plants/trees are a great idea. If the A has a yard/garden, some cool gardening tools/technology would be well-received. If your A is plant-serious, even high maintenance plants such as ferns might be a hit. Jazz and oldies (if over 40). Best hits. Maybe Motown. A's don't go for frou-frou: Think traditional Japan. Many A's have workshops, where they do artisinal stuff, crafts. Find out if this one does, too, and cater to that. Elegant crafts items themed to A's hobby would be a hit, but functional is best. A's like books in their field of interest, or magazine subscriptions. A's tend to like the Japanese aesthetic as opposed to the Central Asian. Japanese style kitchenware, including Cha (tea) accoutrements. A Go (game) board or, for those with land, archery set might be appreciated. Some go for the meditation pillow/stool; DVDs/CDs to accompany yoga. Bathing-facilitating objects/aids could be a hit if your recipient is one of the bath nuts. Some A's distinctly are not, but all natural (no synthetics!) aromatherapeutic bath/shower products might be appreciated, as would bath brushes, shower-heads, that sort of stuff. If your A is into vitamins, anything that might help him/her manage their administration is another winner. (Age, life-phase could be a key here.) A gift certificate at North American Pharmacal or its monthly delivery of bloodtype-specific nutritional supplements would be fantastic. If your A has a pet, a pet-oriented gift might be just the (awwww) ticket. Find out if there's a superb spa in the new neighborhood. A gift certificate for a massage or facial is often A-heaven. As A's are often vegetarian, a subscription to an organic farmers' delivery service is a great gift and one I've seen arriving in many an A household. A green-tea-of-the-month subscription is another educational tool/horizon-broadener.
B: Again, find out what they collect, and cater to that. As a B myself I'll tell you that bookcases have been RARELY, if ever, refused. Coffee table books on a B's pet subject, and art themed to it (but art is ALWAYS CHANCY. Keep it small!) can work. Gift certificates to bookstores are never unwelcome. B's are quite sensitive to smell. If there's an aromatherapeutic hobby here, its paraphernalia (including diffusors, burners and fans) are a great idea. If the B has space, you can't go wrong with oriental throw-rugs, Bactrian camel saddles, salvaged architectural elements from the Maghreb or Punjab, and fine paisley textiles, for instance. Items that are colorful/unusual and that come with an exotic tale are the way to go: A beautiful vase is twice as beautiful if it was haggled-over in a Damascus souk or slightly chipped "when it fell off the elephant". B's go for flowering plants or ones with variegated foliage, but: A subscription to a plant doctor/horticultural care service is a good idea for when B's flights of fancy render him/her distracted from that chore. But think "Addams Family", says this B. CDs of harpsichord music, organ music, "World Music" (Turkish oud, Celtic fiddle, Japanese koto). A Tibetan friend once gave me a priestly unction bottle; I actually gave it as a gift to someone else, but we B's give as good as we get. A good reading light is another fine gift. A beautiful lamp often finds a happy B home. Find out your aging B's reading glasses' power, and buy a few pairs of varied styles for every reading station in the house. Library ladders and step-stools are essential in many B homes. Housekeeping service gift certificates: Wow. Find a bonded housekeeper and send him/her to a B after the move: What a big help!
'Tis more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
Here in the United States, the incidence of ABO blood groups is estimated at approximately 44% O; 42% A; 10% B: and 4% AB. Whether one finds oneself in a majority type - O or A - or in a minority one - B or AB - goes a long way, I find, toward determining personality factors. In other words, bloodtype personalities are "the way they are" not only because of intrinsic factors, but also by virtue of their being embedded in large/extended or in small/isolated clans of typemates.
Both O's and A's harbor expectations that the world sees things the way they do; they're accustomed to a certain understood-ness amid society. Very simply put, O's want to win at the world's game, and A's want to be accepted within and facilitators of community. Both know that B's and AB's are "different", "quirky" in some way; O and A can't imagine being that out of step with the broader world.
B's and AB's, for their part, are accustomed to their differentness. But I have a theory that distinguishes the inner comfort and self-acceptance of the B from the apprehension and inner turmoil of the AB.
I posit that B, operating independently, skirting the larger, customary byways, is contented in that state and role, wearing it well, but that AB has trouble with such desires because of the A allele. AB's would like to be as straightforward in their unusualness as B's are, but they have this A-voice gnawing at them - A, the one who wants to fit in, to get along, to create community, to enjoy security. AB sees that B isn't as compromising or as equivocating, and envies B. AB wishes s/he could ditch the A self-expectation, the inner A's criticalness of inner B, in order to shine like the B, riding the wind -- OR -- that s/he could "outgrow" his/her B-differentness altogether and be included in the larger A-compliant world. You might find AB's alternating in their behavior toward B's: projecting orneriness against free, autonomous B acquaintances and family at times, and expressing a yearning to take off and run with the horses, too, at others.
Speaking of horses, anthropologic bloodtype archetypes portray this subtle variation too: B the utter nomad, AB the gypsy. The nomad is out there in the wilderness - deserts, steppes, mountains- watching stars shoot, clouds morph, dunes shift - while the gypsy is the oddball closer to civilization: The family washing clothes in the stream by its caravan at the city's edge, the accordionist with the dancing bear on the midtown corner, the fortune teller at the gate.
These archetypes also show how B and AB can find their level and contentment: B in not caring to justify himself to society, confident that the latter will use/absorb/ignore/reject what it chooses to of B's offerings and wares, and AB being pleased to amuse, or find a unique role within, the majority's society while proudly upholding his very staunch policy of caginess/aloofness. Playing by his own rules, as it were, within the larger system. Keeping a foot outside the box.
Both AB's and B's are passionate critters. AB's for their majority-wannabe A allele, however, are more conflicted, I think. If you're an AB or you love one, try these insights on for size. If you're, like myself, a B, your drifting isn't aimless: It may simply conform to patterns that transcend the era and the culture and the family you inhabit. Be true to it.