The pseudo-psychological theory: Here’s what the four temperaments say about you.

We all have different ways of looking at the world and reacting to what happens to us. It is often said that there are four different temperaments, or personality types, that people tend to fall into. These are sanguinemelancholiccholeric, and phlegmatic. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s useful to understand all four temperaments to know which one you most identify with.

Related media: The Four Temperaments Explained

What Your Temperament Says

Temperament theory has its roots in the ancient world. It was originally developed by the Greek physician Hippocrates who believed that there were four different types of temperament, each corresponding to a different bodily fluid: bloodblack bileyellow bile, and phlegm. These temperaments were later associated with the four elements: airearthfire, and water.

This concept was later expounded by Galen of Pergamon and is now a phenomenon known as Galen’s Prophecy, which describes many of the ancient terms.

Today, we still use the term “temperament” to refer to someone’s general disposition or personality type. And while there are many different theories out there about what makes up a person’s temperament, most agree that there are four basic types: sanguinemelancholiccholeric, and phlegmatic.

Is It Air, Earth, Fire, Or Water?

So what does each of these temperaments mean? Sanguine people are typically outgoing and optimistic. Melancholic people tend to be more introspective and thoughtful. Choleric people are often quick-tempered and easily agitated. Phlegmatic people are usually calm and level-headed.

Of course, we all have aspects of all four temperaments within us. Each temperament is associated with a different set of characteristics and behaviors. But one usually predominates. Understanding your own temperament can help you better understand yourself — your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes — and how you interact with the world around you. It can also help choose a career or lifestyle that suits you best.

Sanguine (Air)

They possess traits of extrovertism and are associated with positive emotions, sociability, and high energy levels. People with this temperament have a great sense of humor and are often outgoing, bubbly, assertive, and optimistic.

Image: Disney / Pixar | Inside Out

They enjoy being around others and tend to be very charming. They are so chatty and concerned about being amusing that they often forget to read the room. They are melodramatic, poor listeners, quite headlong on most occasions, and chronic attention seekers.

Melancholic (Earth)

They are typically considered introverted, extreme daydreamers, emotionally intense, and very self-reliant breed of humans who find it difficult to open up to anyone because of their nature.

Image: Disney / Pixar | Inside Out

Since they prefer to spend time alone or in small groups of close friends or family members, they are very creative, detail-oriented, and goal-oriented as compared to other temperaments. It’s a plus for you if you have a melancholic as a team member.

Trust them to do all the critical thinking, the analytics, and the background to give an amazing outcome. They are almost always perfect but quite shy until they get familiar with you. In friendships and relationships, they are the best you can ever have. They make mind-blowing compromises for people they like, sometimes for strangers, too.

Choleric (Fire)

They are stiff-necked, hostile, emotionally unavailable, complacent, cut-throat, and egocentric lone wolves with an insane sense of self-worth. They are ambitious, confident, great motivators, very determined, goal-oriented, and smart but are often swayed by their unnecessary competitiveness.

Image: Disney / Pixar | Inside Out

Compared to sanguines and melancholics, they would rather not have friends at all since they are too blunt, quick-tempered, and self-centered enough to make compromises.

Phlegmatic (Water)

These set of people are passive, unambitious, very indecisive, unmotivated, and have a dry sense of humor. They are not the kind to easily accept change, regardless they are calm, patient, and easy to get along with. They are unmeasurably and unnecessarily loyal, too comfortable with mediocrity, and blame themselves a lot when things go wrong.

Image: Disney / Pixar | Inside Out

They are considerate, sympathetic, and ready to take responsibility and make amends for mistakes even if they are not at fault. Just like melancholics, they make mind-blowing compromises for people.

However, some people are a blend of two temperaments with one being dominant.

Let us know your temperament or which blend you have.

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Written by: Dorothy Efua Dadzie, Wed, Jan 17, 2023.


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