Have you ever heard of The Four Temperament Theory?
It’s a proto-psychological theory that suggests that there are four fundamental personality types. These temperaments are believed to affect behavior — and learning more about them can help you predict patterns, not only in others but in yourself as well.
Each of the four temperaments has been studied intensively, so we know all about their associated characteristics — including their strengths and weaknesses.
Knowing the ‘ins and outs’ of the four temperaments can give you a better level of self-awareness. It can also help you better understand those around you. So, let’s learn more about them!
01. The Sanguine
This type is often described as spontaneous, optimistic, and energetic. As you might imagine, those who fall into the sanguine archetype are extroverts. With high energy levels and an insatiable curiosity, people with this temperament tend to love adventures and seek out new experiences.
They can hold a conversation with almost anyone and bring their playful energy into their interactions. As natural entertainers, sanguine types love being the center of attention. They pride themselves on their individuality and enjoy displaying their differences.
Another notable trait of this type is their ability to express and receive love and affection. However, these individuals are easily devastated if not constantly reassured that they are loved and appreciated. That said, they believe in forgiving and forgetting, and expect other people to feel the same way.
A major downfall of the sanguine type is that they tend to be impulsive. Poor planning skills, disorganized thinking, and chaotic environments are the cost of living a life of spontaneity.
02. The Choleric
These people like to speak their minds with dominance and strength. Their source of power comes from their mental strength — which is evident through their knack for critical thinking and creative problem-solving. If you’ve ever met a choleric type, you would describe them as blunt, tough, or brave.
Other qualities of this type include immense focus and strong competitiveness. You might assume they have something to prove — and they usually do.
Choleric people excel in new environments and situations, so they actively seek them out. With rigid goals in mind, people with this temperament rarely stray away from their path to success. They know what they want and they keep going until they reach their goal — and nothing you say can change that.
Fear is an unfamiliar concept to the choleric — at least, that’s what they want you to think. They possess the highest self-esteem compared to the other temperaments, and confidence is their guiding light.
These types are assertive and demanding. Sometimes, they let their emotions get the best of them and they react with intimidating intensity. People with the choleric temperament are known to get what they want when they want it.
03. The Phlegmatic
This type is defined by their exceptional social skills. Those with this temperament have high emotional intelligence. They express their feelings and needs easily and effectively and are often described as empathetic and understanding.
Phlegmatic types naturally connect facts and feelings, and they have a good grasp of human thought and behavior. These qualities lead them to be well-liked by others. People who fall into this category also tend to be slow to anger.
Unlike the sanguine, the phlegmatic prefers a life free of surprises. They enjoy the serenity, peace, and quiet. As a result of their quiet nature, phlegmatic types tend to be great listeners. They are also great at following directions. You could describe them as hard workers, reliable, and trustworthy. They put in a lot of the grunt work to keep society on its feet.
Phlegmatic people are also generally supportive and avoid criticizing others. But the downside to this attitude is, that these individuals often struggle to share their thoughts when the outcome could result in conflict. Instead of making a mistake, they prefer to remain silent. And since they are kind at heart, they are often taken advantage of.
04. The Melancholic
Those with this temperament tend to be calm and poised — at least when they’re not feeling emotional. Melancholic types will laugh or cry as they see fit, and you can usually see their emotions as clear as day.
These individuals prioritize their family and relationships. They value respect, honesty, and loyalty — above all else. Although they show respect for everyone, they are fiercely loyal to their inner circle. And that circle tends to be small.
For melancholic types, quality surpasses quantity. They would rather have a few close friends than many acquaintances. People of this temperament also tend to put a lot of energy and effort into their relationships.
In fact, there is often little left for themselves — as they put others’ needs before their own. Some melancholic types find it difficult to open up to others. When they are hurt in the relationships that they value so much, they build up a wall of protection.
Melancholic types tend to fantasize about meeting their ideal partner — and they seek out people who fit that perfect image. However, their rigid idealism and perfectionism tend to hurt them more than help.
They hold others to exceptionally high (and often unrealistic) standards-setting themselves up for disappointment. In addition to these downfalls, melancholic types also tend to be overthinkers. And they like to read into subtle body language — often to the detriment of their relationships.
There you have it: the four human temperaments in a nutshell. Most people identify with qualities from each of the four categories, but there are usually one or two temperaments that dominate.