“Your temperament is what you write with, but it is also how you deal with the world.”Seamus Heaney
I am so excited to chat with you today! Why am I so excited you might ask? Well my dear, it is because today we will discuss one of my favorite topics of all time, the four human temperaments. This is one of my favorite subjects because gaining understanding on this subject has truly changed my life for the better. I can hardly wait to share it with others in hopes that it will do the same for them!
Several years ago my mother was getting her Doctorate of Theology. During that time one of the intensive courses she had to take was on the four human temperaments. She would come home from class and teach me about the things she was learning. It wasn’t long after that I started looking into it myself and over time I became hooked on learning about temperaments. I started studying and what I found was astonishing. The more I researched the more I seemed to learn about myself, what my identity is and how to communicate better with those around me. Now, I am committed to helping everyone that I can, learn about temperaments to achieve better results in their lives as well.
The four human temperaments are Popular Sanguine, Powerful Choleric, Perfect Melancholy and Peaceful Phlegmatic. So what are human temperaments? Temperament in short, is our genetic makeup that dictates how we interact with others and our environment. Temperament distinguishes how we perceive ourselves and it determines how we handle the stress and pressure of daily life. This will be the first of a series of posts on this topic. We will go into an in depth look at each temperament over the next several weeks. So be sure to catch all the new content So without further ado, let’s chat about human temperaments.
I’m going to kick this convo off by discussing the Popular Sanguine first. If you can’t tell already by the name of my site, I myself am a Sanguine. Although, it is not my only temperament, it is my primary one. They call us popular because we are the fun lovers of all the temperaments. That’s not to say that other temperaments aren’t fun, it just means that we are the people who are the most outgoing and bubbly. Popular Sanguine’s are full of life and energy. In fact we are the most energetic and we live the most fast paced lives of all the temperaments. We are the folks who tend to make friends easily, talk the most and the loudest. We draw people in with our charismatic, joyful dispositions. Therefore, we are referred to as the “life of the party” people, or in other words, popular. Sanguines are colorful and light hearted. They tend to smile a lot and love to interact with others. In fact Sanguines actually need social time and constant activity to thrive. They are are re-energized and rejuvenated by activity. Too much down time is depressing for them. There is so much more detail that we will discuss along the way, but those are just a few characteristics to help you pinpoint which type of people I am talking about. Later in this discussion we will go over each of the temperaments various strengths and weaknesses. Soon you will start to notice your own characteristics in these different areas of each of the temperament traits.
Next is the Powerful Choleric. It just so happens that I am almost as much Choleric as I am Sanguine. I just happen to have a few more Sanguine characteristics than Choleric, but they are almost neck to neck in that regard. Meaning that I have a large number of both strengths and weaknesses from both temperaments. So that makes Powerful Choleric my secondary temperament. Now the Choleric’s can be easy to spot as well. They are the super confident people. These people are all about their business! They are extreme go getters, never back down, and never quit! They enjoy competition, love a good challenge and are very committed to succeeding above all costs. They are excellent leaders, and can handle almost any task that comes their way. These are the folks you call when you can’t figure out how to get something done, call a Choleric and they will handle it! Do not step in the way of a Choleric and their goals or they will plow right over you like a steamroller and never look back. Cholerics are fighters, survivors, overcomers and overachievers. They have an incredible amount of tenacity and are able to accomplish anything that they go after. They are truly a force to be reckoned with! Make no mistake about it, Powerful Cholerics live up to their name in every sense of the word.
Next on this list is the Perfect Melancholy. The Melancholy is the loner in the group. This is the person who tends to be quiet and stays to themselves. While the first two temperaments are usually considered to be extroverted, the Melancholy and Phlegmatic are introverted. Where the Sanguine is the “life of the party” the Melancholy is sometimes considered to be the “debbie downer” in the room. These people are deep thinkers. They are analytical people who use reason and logic in most things that they do. It is just the way they are wired, to process information in very calculated ways. They make excellent professors, engineers, mathematicians, computer programmers, etc. They do not like to be surrounded by people and will usually opt out of going to large social gatherings if they are not required to attend. Melancholy’s do everything with a mindset of perfection and cannot stand for things to be out of order. This behavior varies based on the person’s other temperaments, but generally speaking, Melancholy’s prefer perfection in all they set out to achieve. They aren’t the type of people who shy away from a challenge but they do approach it differently than say a Choleric would. Whereas a Choleric is driven by their desire to win, a Melancholy is motivated by the expansion of their mind. Each temperament benefits differently from successfully overcoming the challenge that they face. The Melancholy simply wants to accomplish their goals because they lead to the next step in a well thought out plan.
Lastly, but most definitely not least is the Peaceful Phlegmatic. This is the coolest, calmest and most collected temperament out of the bunch, hence the name peaceful. And that is exactly what these people are, peaceful. Out of all of the temperaments these are the people that find it easiest to have pleasant a disposition most of the time and they get along well with others. They are not extreme in any manner. They do not get bored easily, do not feel the need to over analyze, to compete for anything or the need to grab the spotlight. They are simply content with life and it shows. These people adapt well to all environments. They can take on the traits of any other temperament as needed, but when they are alone they just like to relax and take their time. You will find Phlegmatics just chillin somewhere, watching their favorite shows, reading something interesting or playing a game to pass the time. They are diligent workers and apply themselves well to any task they need to accomplish but after they expend their energy to do their job, they must take a rest to rejuvenate themselves. They lose energy fast and must relax to function at their best.
There is so much more to discuss about temperaments. But for now I’m going to just list a few of the strengths and weaknesses of each temperament down below, so that you can become a bit more familiar with them. In our next chat we will take a look at the personality profile so that you can clearly see how to discover your own temperaments. Until our next chat.