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Understanding Your Temperament

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0

Understanding why you do the things you do

Each individual is unique when it comes to their personality, habits, likes and dislikes. Some of us are introverted, while others are extroverted.  No two people are alike, even within families.  Our childhood, education, and life experiences will shape who we are, but the primary influence is our temperament.  Temperaments come from a combination of traits we inherit from our parents.  There is no way to avoid the genes we have inherited.  If you are introverted, you will always be introverted. Temperament will also determine the type of people we get along with, our eating and driving styles, and the type of profession we end up in.  Thus, it is important to become familiar with your temperament in order to learn your strengths and weakensses, and use the information to overcome your weaknesses to live the best life you can.. 

Below is a summary of each of the four temperaments: sanguine, melancholy, phlegmatic and choleric.  As you read, diagnose yourself to see which temperament best describes you and the people in your life.


Sanguine Temperament

 The sanguine temperament is outgoing, warm and friendly.  They have a fun loving spirit that is optimistic and contagious.  You'll love being around this type of  person because they  have a lot of friends, and are able to connect well with others.  In addition, the sanguine is responsive, talkative, enthusiastic and compassionate.  They love people and are very sincere. However, not all of their traits are positive.  They can be undisciplined and unproductive, having trouble maintaining and keeping focus.  They are also prone to exaggerate, be emotionally unstable and egocentric.

Sanguines will likely be employed as salesmen, actors, entertainers, hospital workers, and preachers, to name a few.

Melancholy Temperament

The melancholy person  is a very analytical, gifted, self sacrificing perfectionist that is introverted and very sensitive.  They usually have high IQs, are creative and imaginative.  Their emotions drive them, so they may be moody and unable to make friends as quickly as a sanguine.  However, once they become a friend, they will be a loyal, dependable and faithful friend.  These are the types of people others depend upon to complete tasks.

On the flip side, they can be self-centered, moody, unsociable, critical and negative.

The best vocations for the melancholy are as composers, artists, inventors, musicians, philosphers, scientists, craftsmen, humanitarians and educators to name a few.

Phlegmatic Temperament

Easy going and not easily angered is the main characteristic of a person with the phlegmatic temperament.  They are  dependable, objective, organized, practical, patient and humorous.  Like the sanguine, they make friends easily and appreciate the beauty in life and the fine arts.  

In contrast, they can be fearful, indecisive, unmotivated and selfish, buy once they are motivated, they will take action.

You will find the phlegmatic employed as elementary school teachers because of the patience required, engineers, military personnel, librarians, counselors, supervisors and craftsmen.


Choleric Temperament

The choleric is another extroverted type.  They possess abilities to be practical, strong willed and self-sufficient.  In addition, they are active and involved in a lot of activities, and because of this, they can handle pressure well.  People with this temperament make great leaders and visionaries.  But beware; the choleric can be cold, unforgiving, unsympathetic, angry and cruel.

Hopefully, you can identify with one of the four temperaments just described.  All four have strengths and weaknesess that shape who you are as a person.  If you aren't happy with your temperament, don't try to change it, or desire one temperament over the other, you are who you are.  Each temperament makes its own contributions to life.  Once you recognize your temperament trait, navigate through life aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and make changes that will help you live a more purposeful and satisfied life.



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