46. Temperaments: Know yourself, know your spouse P1

Posted on March 7th, 2013

In a two part series, Wise Wives Orange County was lucky to have Sr. Hosai Mojaddidi lead us in a discussion about temperaments and their effect on our relationships. Her talk was titled “Personality Differences: Know yourself, know your spouse.”

She started by talking to us about the history of the idea of temperaments. It was created by Hippocrates in 450 BC. He determined that people’s behaviors were related to the presence of four humors, or liquids, in the body.

From Hippocrates onward, the humoral theory was adopted by Greek, Roman and Islamic physicians, and became the most commonly held view of the human body among European physicians until the advent of modern medical research in the nineteenth century. The famous Muslim scientist, Ibn Sina also further developed this theory.

The four humors are: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood and each corresponds to one of the traditional four temperaments: melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic and sanguine.

This theory was closely related to the theory of the four elements: earth, fire, water and air; earth predominantly present in the black bile, fire in the yellow bile, water in the phlegm, and all four elements present in the blood.

Hosai says that, “it is your reaction to stimulus and the duration of the impression that determine your temperament. Its not ones actions, it is your reactions…you look at how a person reacts to an emergency or when you receive pleasant news etc.”

Wikipedia explains these four temperaments as the follows:

Sanguine
The sanguine temperament is fundamentally impulsive and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are sociable and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean sensitive, compassionate and romantic. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. They generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They have no lack of confidence. Sanguine people are warm-hearted, pleasant, lively and optimistic.

Choleric
The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like. They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill that in others. They are task oriented people and are focused on getting a job done efficiently; their motto is usually "do it now." They can dominate people of other temperaments with their strong wills, especially phlegmatic types, and can become dictatorial or tyrannical. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. They like to be in charge of everything and are good at planning, as they often can immediately see a practical solution to a problem. However, they can quickly fall into deep depression or moodiness when failures or setbacks befall them.
 
Melancholic
The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and is given to thought. Melancholic people often are perceived as very (or overly) pondering and are both considerate and very cautious. They are organized and schedule oriented, often planning extensively. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry, art, and invention - and are sensitive to others. Because of this sensitivity and their thoughtfulness they can become preoccupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world and are susceptible to depression and moodiness. Often they are perfectionists. Their desire for perfection often results in a high degree of personal excellence but also causes them to be highly conscientious and difficult to relate to because others often cannot please them. They are self-reliant and independent, preferring to do things themselves in order to meet their standards. One negative part of being a melancholic is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of other issues. Their caution enables them to prevent problems that the more impulsive sanguine runs into, but can also cause them to procrastinate and remain in the planning stage of a project for very long periods. Melancholics prefer to avoid much attention and prefer to remain in the background; they do, however, desire recognition for their many works of creativity.

Phlegmatic
The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet, ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be content with themselves and are kind. Phlegmatics are consistent, they can be relied upon to be steady and faithful friends. They are accepting and affectionate, making friends easily. They tend to be good diplomats because their tendency not to judge and affable nature makes reconciling differing groups easy for them. Phlegmatics prefer to observe and to think on the world around them while not getting involved. They may try to inspire others to do the things which they themselves think about doing. They may be shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. Their fear of change (and of work) can make them susceptible to stagnation or laziness, or even stubbornness. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational, curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators. They can also be passive-aggressive.
 
There is a predominance in each of us that but you could be a blend of these four temperaments.

Take this test with your spouse to determine which one you are:
http://personality-testing.info/tests/4T.php

Stay tuned for part 2 while we delve deeper into these temperaments.


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3 Comments

Hasan - May 11th, 2014 at 1:48 PM
Why this temperament issues didn't balance with human behaviour mostly the bad habits?
Lisa - February 26th, 2015 at 9:55 AM
The sanguine seems to almost have no negative qualities and the other three abound in negatives. I'll tell you what negative qualities the sanguine tends to have: superficiality, moral flexibility, tactlessness, deceptiveness, insensitivity, constant talking, self-centered, careless and sloppy.
Hadiya - October 29th, 2015 at 1:17 PM
great job


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