I graduated way back in 1996 with a Masters Degree in psychology. One of my favorite classes during my graduate studies was the one where we studied the different types of personalities. It was a blast!
My classes gave me access to a variety of personality assessment tools and I was given the assignment of administering them to others. If you were my friend back then, you got asked to undergo a few hours of testing. Sorry, gang!
I found it so fascinating that each test could reveal certain aspect of a person’s personality and that when you put them all together, you got a pretty good picture of the person. Now, I know that a person is more than a bunch of results from assessment tools, but, it was interesting to see how people are wired.
A big part of finding your SHAPE is discovering the personality that God hard wired in you. I will use the four traditional temperament styles to look at personally: sanguine, choleric, melancholy, and phlegmatic. Each personality has certain characteristics it is known for and once you discover which one you lean toward, you will experience a greater level of success in your efforts for God.
I will use Florence Littauer’s book, Personality Plus to define each of these temperaments.
1. Sanguine – The typical Popular Sanguines are emotional and demonstrative, they make work into fun, and they all love to be with people. Popular Sanguines see excitement in each experience and repeat the flavor of each occasion in colorful descriptions. Popular Sanguines are outgoing and optimistic.
2. Choleric – Powerful Choleric is the dynamic person who dreams the impossible dream and aims to reach the unreachable star…Powerful Choleric is achieving. He is the easiest temperament to understand and get along with, as long as you live by his golden rule: ‘Do it my way NOW!’
3. Melancholy – Even as a baby the Perfect Melancholy appears to be thinking deeply. He is quiet, undemanding and likes to be alone. He follows schedules right from the beginning and will respond best to a parent who is well organized. Noise and confusion will bother him, and he will not adapt well to being dragged around to different places and having his routine upset.
4. Phlegmatic – God did create Peaceful Phlegmatics as special people to be buffers for the emotions of the other three, to provide stability and balance. Peaceful Phlegmatic tones down the wild schemes of the Popular Sanguine. Peaceful Phlegmatic refuses to get too impressed with the brilliant decisions of Powerful Choleric. Peaceful Phlegmatic doesn’t take too seriously the intricate plans of Perfect Melancholy.
I know these are quick summaries of each personality type, but they will give an idea of how each personality differs. The importance of knowing your dominate personality type is that it will help you understand how you relate to others and how you respond to opportunities.
If you need help learning which personality type you lean towards, please contact me via email and I can assist you with discovering your personality type.