Saturday, January 2, 2010


My grandson-Sanguine/Choleric

Yesterday, I did an article for my Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium.  In the article I touched on Temperaments.  Several comments were left to further explore this topic, so for the next few days, I decided to do that. Keep in mind, the understanding of temperaments isn't to judge and determine others but to understand yourself.  To know why YOU behave the way YOU do.  It's not to be used to judge people and tell them their weaknesses.  But for you to understand others and accept them.

One of my favorite pastimes is people watching.  I sit there and try to create scenarios for them, why do they behave that way, I wonder if they've just had a promotion or become engaged as to why they're excited, etc.  I also enjoy reading and researching, finding out information.  One of my talents is knowledge a lot of it is trivia very important and some not.  To me it doesn't matter, I just enjoy reading and researching. Gaining the knowledge.  So that's how I came to study temperaments back in the eighties.  The knowledge has served me  when it comes to myself and to others, particularly at work.  Sometimes if you understand why people behave the way they do, you might not like it, but you can understand and determine a course of action rather than, say at work, just firing them.

Tim LaHaye's book "Your Temperament: Discover Its Potential" is where I gleaned most of my information, then Florence Littauer's "Personality Plus".  I'm going to be using Tim LaHaye's book mostly for descriptions and what to do with the knowledge, and Florence Littauer's personality test to determine which temperaments you are, usually there is a combination of a primary and a secondary temperament. Another area of learning has just been observation of people, by watching, listening and interaction.

Tim LaHaye says people are a combination of four temperaments, Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy or Phlegmatic.  In his book, the Sanguine is described as a sparky individual who is a warm, buoyant, lively, and "enjoying" person. The Sanguine has an unusual capacity for enjoying himself/herself and usually passes on his/her fun-loving spirit.. Their feelings rather than reflective thoughts predominate to form their decisions. They are a fascinating storyteller and their warm, emotional nature almost helps you relive the experience as they tell it. You usually hear the Sanguine before you see him or her. They have the capacity to make the person they are talking with feel important, as though they were a very special friend, and they are as long as they're looking at you. Then they fix their eyes with equal intensity on the next person they meet.

The Apostle Peter in the Bible was much like the Sparky Sanguine.  Every time he appeared in the Gospels he was talking. The Sanguine has a tendency to be weak-willed, undisciplined and undependable. The only temperament more emotional is a Melancholy, but they're not anywhere near as expressive as a Sanguine.  They seldom plan ahead but usually take things as they come. They are notoriously disorganized and can never find their tools.  Their egotism usually makes them a sharp dresser, but if their friends or customers could see their rooms they would fear that someone had been killed in the explosion.  The Sanguine will never become a perfectionist, but by knowing their temperament, they can bring more planning and order into their lives.

The Choleric is hot, quick, active, practical, strong-willed, self-sufficient and very independent. They tend to be decisive and opinionated, finding it easy to make decisions both for himself and other people. Both the Sanguine and Choleric are extroverts. They are confident in their own abilities and very aggressive.  Once having embarked upon a project, they have the tenacious ability to keep doggedly driving in one direction.  Their temperament is given over almost exclusively to the practical aspects of life. It's either black or white, no grays.  Many of their decisions are reached by intuition more than by analytical reasoning.  They have strong leadership tendencies. Their forceful will tends to dominate a group, they are a good judge of people and are quick and bold in emergencies.  They not only will readily accept leadership when it is placed on them, but will often be the first to volunteer for it.  If they don['t become too arrogant or bossy, others respond well to his practical direction.

Their emotional nature is the least developed part of their temperament. They do no sympathize easily with others, nor do they naturally show or express compassion. They are often embarrassed or disgusted by the tears of others and is usually insensitive to their needs. They reflect little appreciation for music and the fine arts.  They are often considered an opportunist.

The Melancholy is an analytical, self-sacrificing, gifted, perfectionist type with a very sensitive emotional nature. By nature, they are prone to be an introvert; but since their feelings predominate, they are given to a variety of moods. Sometimes their emotions will lift them to heights of ecstasy that cause them to act more extroverted.  However, at other times they will be gloomy and depressed, and during these periods they will become withdrawn and can be quite antagonistic. Like the rest of us, they not only like others but have a strong desire to beloved by them but finds it difficult to express their true feelings.

They are very faithful friends, but unlike the Sanguine, they don't make friends easily.  They seldom push themselves forward to meet people, but rather lets them come to them.  They are perhaps the most dependable of all the temperaments, for their perfectionist and conscientious tendencies do not permit them to be a shirker or let others down when they are counting them. Disappointing experiences make them reluctant to take people at face value; thus they are prone to be suspicious when others seek him out or shower him with attention. Occasionally, in a mood of emotional ecstasy or inspiration, they may produce some great work of art or genius.  But these accomplishments are often followed by periods of great depression. Melancholies usually find their greatest meaning in life through personal sacrifice.  No temperament has so much natural potential and will accomplish great good if their natural tendency to gripe throughout the sacrificial process doesn't get them so depressed that they give up on it altogether.

Then there are the Phlegmatic who is calm, easygoing, never get-upset individual with such a high boiling point that he or she almost never becomes angry.  They are the easiest type of person to get along with and is by nature the most likable of all the temperaments. They are the one temperament type that is consistent every time you see him. Life for them is a happy, unexcited, pleasant experience in which they avoid as much involvement as possible. Beneath their cool, reticent, almost timid personality is a very capable combination of abilities.  They feel more emotion than appears on the surface and appreciates the fine arts and the beautiful things of life. Usually, they avoid violence.

The Phlegmatic does not lack for friends, because they enjoy people and have a natural, dry sense of humor.
They are the type of individual who can have a crowd of people "in stitches", yet never cracks a smile. Even though they tend to be spectators in life, if leadership is forced upon them,  they prove to be a very capable leader.  Their weaknesses tend to be unmotivated, procrastinators, indecisive and fearful.

You see the strengths and weaknesses of the temperaments.  Below are temperament forms to print off and check to see your combinations.  Tomorrow I'll post the form to tally up to see which temperaments you are.

  Me,  I'm a MelPhleg, my brother is a SanMel, my sister is SanPhleg, my Dad was a MelPhleg and my Mom is a ChloMel.

First Print off both forms, then place side by side so that Analytical and Adaptable are beside Adventurous.  There should be four words in each row.  From each row, place an x by the one word that most often applies to you. Example- Are you an animated person when you talk, or would you say you're an adventurous type, then again maybe you analyze everything (too much maybe), or can you adapt to any situation.  Check one of these words only, then move down to line 2 which has Persistent, Playful, Persuasive and Peaceful.  Continue through all forty lines.  Be sure each number is marked.


Jules - Big Girl Bombshell said...

Nice post. This is new to me. I have studied the Kiersey Temperaments. I remember how much it helped me in understanding my kids when they were teenagers.

I found you from SITS and it was just what I needed to read this morning. Thank you

Judy Harper said...

Jules-Thanks for stopping by. I'll have to check out the Kiersey Temperaments.

Miss Rowley said...

great post. I am so glad that you posted it. I'm learning something new here. :) have a great year. visiting from sits.

Agnes said...

Understanding people is so important.

Queenie Jeannie said...

I'm a little bit of everything, lol!

Happy New Year!

TheUndertaker said...

Hi Judy, I enjoyed reading this material. I am familiar with it, but everytime I re-read it, it strikes me how accurate it really is! I don't like the word melancholy to describe myself (it sounds so sad), but in this material it is me down to the very bones of my being! My husband is the most sanguine person I know, and he drives me nuts haha! Not surprising we have ended up living at two different places : )
Keep up the good work, have a great start to the New Year

MelRoXx said...

You are doing NaBloPoMo too? That make 2 of us! No... Mom is doing it too . Is Anu doing it too? Its rather fun isn't it?

Rummuser said...

Wow! You have taken me seriously. Thank you Judy.

This is very interesting stuff and I hope to see more as you say you will be posting.

I am now able to, shall we say, pigeonhole, many people for being what they are.

On reflection however, I found that we are usually a combination of all four characters, one predominating most times with the others chipping in as needed. I don't quite see one being entirely of only one type, just as in the beginning it is said that people are a combination of the four.

Judy Harper said...

Miss Rowley-Thanks for coming by.

Agnes-Yes, it's very important understanding people.

Queenie Jeannie-Happy New Year to you!

The Undertaker-Undertaker, I'm going to track that name for sure! Thanks for stopping by.

Mel-Yes, it is rather nice. I'm glad y'all are doing it as well. Sorry about your Granddad!

Ramana-Most people are made up of two, which I will share in today's post. I'm just about ready to publish it. Which two did you feel you were?

jenie said...

i also am one who observe people, and their responses to things (unnoticed haha)...i have always believed that knowing yourself makes you know others as well and so maybe trying to know others as well to know myself even more and to know how to deal with people though of differing kind.

missing your visits, friend! ;) BTW, belated Happy New Year!