I want to end my week-long expose’ of Temperament Therapy by listing and giving a short description of each of the five temperament areas. I will then wrap this up with a short personal testimony of how understanding and meeting my temperament in a godly way has impacted my physical health.
THE FIVE TEMPERAMENTS
The Sanguine temperament type is characterized by the individual’s need to be around people. They are extroverted by nature. They tend to be bright, cheerful people who are like sunshine. Sanguine will get depressed NOT being with people. Sanguine Compulsive children are often misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD because of their compulsions to BE with people and their compulsions to crave and receive attention, and their lack of concentrations when they are not socializing. They also are known for telling whoppers in order to be socially accepted. At all costs, they must be the center of attention, whether that is with positive or negative behaviors. They have mood swings like a pendulum. When you see an evangelist on television, they most likely are Sanguine.
Sanguine also have explosive tempers. They must be taught how to allow God to meet their needs through positive behaviors, and taught that this is how God made them, but they need to be taught to ask God to enable them to deal with their anxieties when doing tasks not socializing with others.
The Choleric temperament type is characterized by a need to dominate/control situations, self and others. Not all dominating or controlling individuals are Choleric however; this depends greatly on learned behaviors and birth order as well. Choleric have the capacity to undertake far more stressful situations which would make most temperaments cringe. Choleric are very selective individuals. They will rebel when they feel they are being controlled whether it is through positive or negative behaviors. They will take on these behaviors to regain control of a situation. They have the capability to be charming, and can seem like “people” people. They are capable of keeping business, business. They are usually social when they have an agenda, or need to accomplish a goal. This temperament type has leadership capabilities. They can handle large amounts of stress, and they are usually on point when it comes to making quick decisions. However, they are susceptible to burn out which can immensely affect them for days, months, and even years. Choleric also may have cruel abusive tempers. They need to learn how to rely on God with their control and needs for acceptance.
The Melancholy individual is characterized by a need to be alone, independent, realistic, artistic and creative. The Melancholy individual also tends to be analytical. They receive their social pleasures by being with family. They are not comfortable in highly social situations such as clubs and gatherings where they are not with family members or close relationships. It is stressful for them to be around large amounts of people, and or strangers, and may result in unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol abuse to cope with their social anxieties. They will also rebel if they feel controlled, yet they do not want to control others. They require honesty, and loyalty, and are often revengeful. This temperament must be taught how to ask God to help them in their weaknesses, and enable them to forgive others for not meeting their high standards of perfection.
The Phlegmatic individual is characterized by their slow pace, lack of energy, and non-commitment to life. It is difficult to make this temperament angry. They are seen often as lazy and un-driven individuals, however they are slow to anger, and it is difficult to ruffle their feathers. They are not motivated by reward or punishment. They are laid back. This temperament also curbs other temperaments, and can be an added blend for other temperaments in calming some of the obsessive controlling behaviors and needs for gratification through others. These individuals see much injustice in life, yet do not possess the desire to push forth their use of energy to participate in overcoming the injustices they witness. This temperament must be taught how to allow God to enter their lives, and enable them to bear fruit rather than waiting for life to bring it to them.
The Supine temperament type is characterized by a tendency toward indirect behaviors and inability to initiate. They are the bowing temperament. They are of a gentle in nature, and of a loving spirit. These individuals characteristically are also people pleasers. They may outwardly express no need for affection however masks their genuine intensities of needing immense amounts of affection and attention. This desire for non-communicated affection for others leads to immense internal stress for the individual. They want someone else to read their mind, and to push forth energy in meeting their needs for affection, love, and approval, but they do not share their needs. They instead express the opposite of their needs for affection and relationships.
This temperament will often be mentally abused by stronger dominating temperaments, until one day they explode into a fit of rage over harbored resentment, and lack of approval and recognition for their accomplishments, and actions they accomplished for other people.
Kids with this temperament are also seen by many parents and therapists to “not want” a relationship with their absent parent, because they will refuse to share their innermost desires, they will express the opposite of their inner temperament needs, and will attempt to hide their stress over a lost relationship in which they very MUCH need love and affection for. This elevates their low self-esteem and creates communication problems for them, and allows them to harbor their feelings and withdraw their affections until they are approached. These individuals must be given a lot of love, approval, and taught HOW to say no, and HOW to communicate their needs to others who they have deep relationships with.
MY TESTIMONY: In the area of Inclusion, I am Melancholy. Not just Melancholy but I am what is called Melancholy COMPULSIVE. When you add the word compulsive to one of these temperament what you come up with is every trait used to describe the temperament but you use the added modifying phrase, “…on Redbull.” It ramps up the temperament a good bit. So when you read above under Melancholy traits, “It is stressful for them to be around large amounts of people, and or strangers, and may result in unhealthy behaviors…” Multiply that word stressful by the power of 10! “Well Billy, you are a pastor, you have to be around crowds of people,” you might ask. Exactly!
One of the suggestions given in my report was to take time after having been in a crowd to be alone for a while to allow yourself to regenerate. I do this just about every Sunday now. I come home and take about 20 minutes (maybe longer depending on if a nap happens or not) to relax in an isolated place. My family understands my need for this and so they encourage me to do it. Not to belabor the point, I have noticed a drop in my blood pressure as a result of just this small life alteration. I have a temperament report for my wife (who has her own testimony) and each of my children and their spouses.
I know I sound like a paid sales person but in reality I am a satisfied customer. I cannot tell you how many couple who have told me that it was helpful to know that God had created their spouse with these needs. They thought the spouse was just being a jerk! In reality it was just a need that was not being met or being met in an ungodly way.
Once again, if you are interested in having this valuable information for yourself, your family, your workplace or church committee (I have this information on most of our deacons), please contact me by phone or email. I will walk you through the process. Click here for contact information.