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The Four Temperments

I find personalities a fascinating subject because we’re all so different and yet we’re also alike in many ways that we just don’t see. It’s also really important to know and understand your own personality because one of the reasons we get depressed or hard on ourselves is because we don’t understand ourselves. We need to know the personality God gave us, our strengths and weaknesses, and how God may be able to use them. It’s also good to recognize the personality types of the people closest to us, especially our spouse and children, so we can better understand them instead of trying to change them or just get frustrated when we can’t relate.

That being said, let’s look at some personality types! Now, there are a lot of personality tests and quizzes out there, but my favorite is the four temperaments. You can take a quiz here to find out yours, and then read about it in greater detail below! Remember, most people are usually a mixture of at least two personality types, which can can them a bit of each personality’s strengths and weaknesses. That’s why we’re all different yet similar.

Phlegmatic

One of my top two personality types is phlegmatic. So, how would you describe someone who is phlegmatic? Does any of this sound like you or someone you know?

Strengths

They are relaxed, peaceful, and quiet. They are great listeners and excellent spouses and best friends because they love one-on-one time spent together. They are peace-keepers and mediators, ready to work out any problems. They enjoy helping others and are easy going. They love routines and don’t need constant excitement. They usually put all their effort into their family and make great spouses and parents. They like calm, simple, and quiet lives. They can be passive and submissive.

Weaknesses

They are usually introverts and tend toward shyness. They don’t do well in groups and tend to stay home as often as possible. They hate confrontation and will usually bottle up their emotions rather than fight or argue. They can be very passive and submissive, which is good and bad. Many of them will be passive to the point of indecisiveness and laziness. They don’t like hard work and prefer their lives to be easy and predictable. They normally don’t like change or spontaneity and have a hard time adjusting to new things. They don’t do well with insecurity or uncertainty.

Phlegmatics are usually great when working from home, but usually like easy or predictable jobs. They are good stay-at-home parents, educators, librarians, and counselors.

Melancholy

My second top personality type is melancholy. Let’s look at their strengths and weaknesses. Do these descriptions bring someone to mind?

Strengths

They love tradition and relationships, especially family and close friends. They are typically sociable and love to talk to family, friends, and even meet new people within their community. They love order and organization so will normally have clean homes and workplaces. They are analytical and detail-oriented which makes them great managers. They are also deep thinkers and very emotional. They are usually highly moral and tend to be religious. They can be very cautious and will usually look at every possible result before making a decision. They are rule-followers and planners. You will usually find them making schedules. Many are introverts.

Weaknesses

They don’t like adventure or trying new things. They rarely leave their native country or travel very far from home. They sometimes try to control the people around them because they think they know what’s best for them. They can be too cautious and don’t like taking risks. They can get aggressive when their thought-basis or beliefs are challenged. They have high standards for themselves and the people around them that they expect to be taken seriously. They can be slow to open up to others, cautious and suspicious in terms of relationships and will usually question the motives of others before truly trusting them.

Most Melancholies make great artists, musicians, philosophers, inventors, theologians, mechanics, engineers and medical personnel. They normally like to work from home or in an office, but always someplace the requires thinking and analyzing situations.

Choleric

I have known many cholerics in my time and, like all personalities, they have great and not-so-great things about them. Does any of the below description sound like you?

Strengths

They are very goal-oriented and like to get things done. They are usually very analytical and logical in their thinking. They are practical and straight-forward, usually great at solving problems, running companies, and becoming successful. They love deep and meaningful conversations. They like to be around people with similar goals. They are independent and decisive. They love to get results and are quick-thinking and sometimes strong-willed. Most are extroverts.

Weaknesses

They aren’t good with emotions, either expressing them or handling them in others. In fact, some of them see emotions as a weakness. They can be too honest and blunt and this can turn people off from them, especially a spouse or children. They hate small talk and don’t socialize easily. They have a hard time being around people who don’t share their goals, and sometimes don’t share their driven personality. They don’t always make good husbands/wives or parents because they can be harsh and critical. They expect a lot from their loved ones and don’t always let up until that loved one is living the way they think they should. They can be easily annoyed.

Cholerics make the best leaders, politicians, CEOs, motivational speakers, developers, architects, and high-ranking officials. They rarely work from home unless they are entrepreneurs.

Sanguine

I don’t know many sanguines, I think because they are rarely attracted to my phlegmatic personality, but does this sound familiar to you?

Strengths

They are usually excitable, adventurous and fun-loving. They love to take risks and need to be constantly entertained or entertaining. They are usually creative and do very well as artists and entertainers. They are very social and have a huge circle of friends. They are usually very active and enthusiastic about almost everything in their lives. Nearly all are extroverts and are great at getting others to change. They are playful, easily-amused, and optimistic. They are great at making friends, talking, and are normally very affectionate.

Weaknesses

They aren’t usually reliable and don’t like to stay in one place for too long. They get bored easily. They may struggle with addictions and have a hard time committing to relationships. They might have a lot of friends but rarely have intimate relationships because they don’t stick around long enough to go through the hard times that bring people closer together. They are normally impulsive, don’t like solitude, and may tend toward lying because they love to tell stories.

Sanguines are great entertainers, artists, salespeople, preachers and even hospital workers.

If you’d like to read more about these personalities, check out these three sites!

Psychologia

Wikipedia

Four Temperaments

Let me know in the comments below what your personality types are and how they affect your life!

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