Personality Plus, written by Florence Littauer, is the first book I’ve read in years about personality development and ‘psychology’-related. I often hear the words "sanguine", "choleric", "melancholic" and "phlegmatic" but I honestly have no idea about those. I even thought that those are communicable diseases!
Littauer discussed the four temperaments with much detail and rich illustrations that I can easily relate to. I felt elated because her descriptions were with so much accuracy while exposing my weaknesses as if we're just pals. Yep, you read it right. Temperaments are what we call those four terms that I have mentioned earlier. And all of us belong to one of those. Allow me to share my insights based on how I understood the book.
They are the outspoken type, the life of the party. They are typically talkative and whenever you are with them, rarely there are dull moments. They usually get tapped as hosts in school and office programs, the one who shares the most stories, and they are often animated when they speak! They speak about their recent travels and OOTDs. They have a lot of projects in mind! They want to be the presidents in class or leaders in group projects and because of their natural charm, they often win! Not because they are good, but because they are admirable and energetic.
Their downside: they are sometimes overacting. They exaggerate their stories only to amuse their listeners. It hurts them when people no longer listen to them or they fail to get the attention of the crowd. Do you know someone who falls in this category? I bet you do.
They are the opposites of sanguine. They are often reserved and don't want to be in the limelight. They are shy and don't want to get noticed as much as possible. They seem to abhor attention. However, they are often artistic and detail-oriented. They are good at analysis and their critical thinking is outstanding. They write good novels and creates astounding paintings and soulful music. If you know someone who is very detailed and presents a lot of out-of-the-box suggestions, most probably that person is melancholic.
Their downside, however, is that they easily get depressed. They don't want to be embarrassed and ridiculed. They don't want their plans to fail and get blamed for it. They are typical pessimists – seeing the world with dark lenses. Emotional, so to speak.
Cholerics are leader types. They have strong personalities. They want things to be done and no one should get in their way. They are most likely to climb the corporate ladder because they are so determined to be on top. Do you know someone willing to do whatever it takes just to reach for his or her dreams? That person has a choleric personality. (Don't worry, not to be confused with cholera though). If you want results, you can depend on someone who is choleric.
Unfortunately, in their passionate approach to life to accomplish something, they fail to realize that they accumulate enemies along the way. The choleric want to control, and they want it now. They are seen to be bossy at demanding. But as long as they rise in rank, they don't care.
They are the people who are passive, the opposite of choleric. They are peaceful and they are the kind of people you would love to hang out with. If you have problems in life, they could be your perfect companion. They will not complain because and will prove to be very much patient with your never-ending stories. They are the typical best friends in movies. Their relaxed personalities still stand even when everyone else around is panicking. Not because they do not care, but because they do not want to get tired, which counts are their downside.
Phlegmatics are passive and indecisive, and people think that they are unconcerned. When asked, their typical reply would be, "whatever's your choice, that's it!" They do not want to overstep boundaries. Their indecisiveness often leads to laziness.
Would you like to know what your temperament is? Take this simple test online.
As for me, I am phlegmatic. It's amazing how these personality types or temperaments can shed light on how we can effectively relate with others. After reading the book, I realized that sometimes the problem is not in our differences, but our limited understanding of our differences. To be honest, I don't like people who are too proud, or "choleric" as this article is concerned. Since I am phlegmatic, I feel uncomfortable when someone with a strong personality bosses me around as if I’m to no good. But looking past these differences, I realized that it’s just the way they are wired. If I extend my patience and my understanding to these kinds of people, maybe we can go along well. And true enough, knowledge of these temperaments will be beneficial in the areas of relationships. I now see them through the four-fold lens of temperaments and I learn how to approach them, make them feel secured and loved.
We all have differences. But we can always find something to share. We can always learn from each other. Our differences are intended not to build a wall between us, but to make interactions more lively and engaging. I can’t imagine how my life would be if all the people around are phlegmatic like me - life would be very boring! We all need each other. We complement each other.
How about you, what is your temperament?
Read my other blogs:
Thank you for reading!
Where I write: