47. Temperaments: Know yourself, know your spouse P2

Posted on March 11th, 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.”

Moving forward with our discussion, we took a deeper look at these different personalities and talked about how people with these different personalities would react to tense situations, or arguments.

Cholerics:
Their main focus is “I.” They are the managers and CEO’s. They will start something and finish it. Get in their way and you’ll have a problem.  They are full of energy and sometimes restless. They are workaholics…studying, always doing something. Mature, responsible, leaders, but can be viewed as bullies. Their focus is on the future because they are goal oriented.
 
The extroverted Choleric, who is outspoken, fiery, and has no problem with confrontation, will have a quick reaction to an argument. They maybe turn it around on you in a defensive way. Their reaction leaves a long lasting impression and they may hold a grudge, and will be not be forgiving. They are a “burn me once and that’s it” kind of person. You only get one chance with them and they won’t get over it quickly.

Sanguines:
These types are always in their thoughts…always planning for things. They enjoy parties, and party-planning, likes to bring people together. They are daydreamers. They have a “what could be” attitude. They are naïve, social, easily distracted and shallow. Sanguies don’t get a lot of things done, jumping from one project to another. They are present focused.

Sanguines are also quick to  react to tension. They might give you some lip but will not hold a grudge. Two minutes later its “ok what do you want for dinner honey.” They don’t like or want tension. But they don’t hold back saying what they feel.

Phlegmatics:
Plegmatics are wise people. They have an “old soul,” reserved, don’t say much but when they say something it’s profound. They are not forthcoming. They are deep and have good long lasting relationships. However they can be viewed as lazy, stubborn, and are slow to start something. They are also present focused.

In an argument, these people have a slow response. They might email you two or three days later. They will say “you really hurt me but I forgive you and I love you.” It takes them a while to confront the situation because they like to think things over, they like to analyze a little bit.

Melancholics:
These are pragmatic, black and white, number oriented, scientific, proof oriented people. They like to challenge the status quo. They are the “wounded healer,” sympathetic, and don’t trust easily. They are stuck in the past.

People with this temperament will let you know that something bothered them like one year later.  The other person might not have even remember the argument anymore. They have a hard time confronting anything negative. They hold it in and in and in. They might never even complain about it. They have a lasting impression, it will always be in their heart, but won’t bring it out.

Example of how to interact with a temperament different than your own:
Hosai gave us an example that she dealt with in a couple she counseled:

When dealing with a choleric husband a wife might not want to bring up problems and issues because the husband might "blow up," and argue in a fiery manner. The wife might be apprehensive to bring an important but tense issue that needs addressing because she doesn’t want to deal with his quick and intense response.

Hosai says, "don’t label him as aggressive or angry, because its not fair. It's just his nature. Not abusive of course, we are just talking about how he communicates. It is wise to keep this characteristic of his nature in mind and adapt to it...afterall,  this is how Allah created him.”

So “go around his temperament,” she said. Find another way to deal with the situation. Instead of bringing up a conversation that might spark this kind of response…send an email instead. Or make a nice lunch and put a note in his briefcase…”  Let him process your request while he is alone. “Be smart and tactical...don’t be present for the reaction.”

Stay tuned for part 3 where I will wrap up our discussion.



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