Daily Archives: September 17, 2015

Why DO You DO That?

Is your spouse the kind that can walk into the house after you’ve just cleaned from top to bottom and point out the one thing that is out of place?  Or do you have a child that you need a cattle prod to get him moving?  How about a moody, gloomy, suck the life out of the room sister; or a cheerleader that is always bouncing off the walls?

Well, I promise, these people you know, or are related to, are not that way just to drive you crazy!  This is simply the way they were hard-wired.  We were all born with a prominent temperament and often we have a secondary temperament thrown in there for confusion’s sake.

There are four temperaments:

THE CHOLERIC:  Detail oriented, an all business, go-getter, get it done kind of person.

THE SANGUINE:  Very excitable, life of the party, and at times can be a bit flighty headed.

THE MELANCHOLIC:  Also detail oriented, perfectionist to a fault.  Holds onto past transgressions against him, quick to point out the negative and how the rules are not being followed.

THE PHLEGMATIC:  Easy going, laid back, head in the clouds, but a very peaceful human being.

The way to determine which temperament you are is to understand your reactions to situations.

When being pulled over and receiving a ticket for speeding:

THE CHOLERIC will ask for  the facts and argue his way out of the ticket before the police officer even realizes he’s done it.

THE SANGUINE will compliment the officer and try to find a connection to his name.  When given the ticket, she is liable to thank him and gush a little that he gave her a prize!

THE MELANCHOLIC will ask for all the details of what speed was posted and exactly where the sign is posted.  They are then likely to ask the exact speed at which they were clocked, while taking notes.  They would then worry about it and talk about it for months.

THE PHLEGMATIC will take the ticket and not realize exactly why he received it.  He will then put it in the glove compartment and is likely to forget it all together until he gets a notice from the court.

How many people did you think about while reading these reactions?  We all know people that fall into these categories!

When there is a combination of temperaments, they are typically the variations of choleric/melancholic and the sanguine/phlegmatic. 

  • The choleric/melancholic is the entrepreneur that worries constantly because the melancholic in him is  fearful of stretching himself.  Unless he is a melancholic/choleric, then he is usually an engineer or mathematician.  He worries about everything, but he makes a good living.
  • The sanguine/phlegmatic is excited for the plans that she’s made but is secretly hoping they get cancelled so she can just stay home.  The phlegmatic/sanguine is great for last minute parties and is easy to entertain others in her home, but she would have likely forgotten to pick up the key ingredients for the dish she was going to serve.

The rare and one of the most powerful combination is the choleric/sanguine or the sanguine/choleric.   They are quick to volunteer and they don’t feel badly about delegating tasks to the melancholic.

The melancholic/phlegmatic or phlegmatic/melancholic will get any job done and it will be done with detail, but the melancholic will worry over the details and the phlegmatic will just desire to have the whole thing behind her so she can go home.

Do you see yourself or a loved one in any of these descriptions?  Once you’ve realized which temperament a person is, communication becomes an easier feat because you know how to tailor a conversation to have them react favorably to your objective.  Do you have a story about a particular temperament that you could share? 

Thank you for reading!  Please leave a comment; I would love to know what you think!