Have you ever wished you could be as outspoken, confident, and flexible as someone else?
You can’t just be like the person you admire, no matter how hard you try; you lack the qualities, which can be frustrating! Why do you behave the way you do rather than the way the other person behaves? Temperament, the answer isn’t so far-fetched!
What is Temperament?
“Your temperament is your basic nature, especially as it is shown in the way that you react to situations or to other people.”– Collins Dictionary
Temperament is a collection of traits (distinguishing Characteristics) that distinguishes a person; it controls how you think, interact, and work; these traits are inborn and vary from person to person. Even within a family, you may notice differences in behavior among the children, including twins.
According to Hippocrates’ Humorism concepts, there are four primary temperaments. Humorism is a fluid that is thought to be present in the human body. It is thought that different people have different amounts of fluids and that the most dominant type of fluid present in an individual defines the person’s temperament. These fluids are blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm, with blood representing the Sanguine Temperament, yellow bile representing the Choleric Temperament, phlegm representing the Phlegmatic Temperament, and black bile representing the Melancholic Temperament.
Although there have been more recent studies disputing these claims and more, some believe that a person can have more than one temperament type, while others believe that some other behaviors can be learned, the idea of the four temperaments remains the foundation of temperament research.
The Four primary Temperament types are;
1. Sanguine – They are the most versatile of all temperament types, being extroverts who are dynamic, talkative, playful, impulsive, sociable, versatile, competitive, and hyperactive. They can be found in any field and are usually the life of the party. With the Sanguine temperament type, there is never a dull moment.
They are forgetful and disorganized as a result of their hyperactive nature.
Sanguine can work in any field, but because of their impulsive and optimistic nature, they excel in politics, customer service, the music and entertainment industry, sports and business public relations, and marketing.
2. Choleric – This temperament type is not very common; they are extroverts but are not talkative; they are ambitious, optimistic, domineering, independent, controlling, inspiring, passionate, strong willed, energetic, aggressive, risk taker, impulsive, result driven, goal getters. They have creative minds, are excellent planners, and have strong leadership abilities. They are sometimes thought to be rude and self-centered. They are set in their ways and have a short temper. The security system, law, engineering, business, and statistics are the best career paths for the Choleric temperament.
3. Phlegmatic – This temperament trait is associated with the introverted personality trait. They are usually quiet people who don’t mind letting others tell them what to do or make decisions for them; they are loyal, kind, level-headed, observant, curious, gentle, productive, empathetic, and obedient. They cultivate devoted friends and family members. They make excellent team players. Office assistants, psychologists, caregivers, nurses, social service workers, teachers, and other professions that require a phlegmatic temperament will thrive.
4. Melancholic – This is yet another temperament type with an introverted personality trait. Melancholics are meticulous, analytical, thoughtful, independent, diligent, committed, tactful, intuitive, accurate, and creative, preferring to work alone or in small groups. They are also excellent problem solvers. They will excel in areas such as research, accounting, social work, and the arts and sciences.
On many occasions, a person will exhibit more than one temperament type. There is always a temperament type that manifests after an incident, whether it is a good or bad incident, especially if it is a life-changing incident. For example, a once quiet, shy, and dreamy melancholic lady who married, had children, and in the process of training the children, becomes a talkative; this does not make her less melancholic, but she has just discovered she has some Sanguine temperament as a secondary temperament.
Another example is the successful, easy-going, never-a-dull-moment, active Sanguine Temperament guy who suffers a large loss in his business and is forced to sit back and re-plan and analyze. The latter section demonstrates his secondary melancholy temperament.
I recall being shy and reserved in senior high school, and I realized I belonged to the Melancholic temperament type. One of my teachers noticed this as well and decided to nominate me for Assembly prefect. Every day, I was supposed to stand in front of the assembly and make a public announcement. I never thought I’d be able to do that, but because I was forced to, after a while, I was able to see this other side of myself that I never knew existed, the secondary Sanguine temperament.
A change of environment can also help bring out the secondary temperament you didn’t know you had.