Friday, December 31, 2004

Personality Traits

Personality traits in people are primarily made up of four types of temperaments: sanguine, choleric, melancholy, and phlegmatic. Generally most people fall into one or two main types of temperament, however, there are exceptions where a person may possess hybrid personalities.

Understanding personality traits helps a person understand his or her character, and the character of others. Character concerns our true selves, while "personality is the outward expression of ourselves which may or may not be the same as our character" (LaHaye 1983:6) depending on how genuine we portray ourselves to others. Personality often is just a pleasing facade for an unpleasant or weak character. By learning about our temperaments, we can adjust and change for the better and it is to this end that this article is being written to help readers understand themselves in making changes and planning a course of action for the right career.

Sanguine is what we usually termed as a person with an outgoing personality who likes to mix with everybody. Sanguine often speaks before thinking and is hearty by nature. Extrovert, spontaneous, and often naïve, sanguine tends not to see the big picture of things but lives for the current. Sanguine is good at telling stories and is blessed with the gift of the gap. Weaknesses of sanguine include restlessness, weak-willed, egotistic, and emotional instability. Sanguine make good salespersons, actors, and public speakers.

Choleric is one who commands or likes to command. Often with hot temperament, choleric is strong-willed, self-sufficient, decisive, opinionated, and makes decisions for oneself and for others. Choleric thrives on activities and is not frightened by adversities. Quick to recognize opportunities and diagnosing solutions to problems, choleric possesses a well-organized mind which make them good managers and supervisors, although they may not be the best persons to understand how their staff work to achieve their goals. Weaknesses of choleric include insensitivity to subordinates, domineering, bossy, manipulative, and failure to see areas of potential pitfalls.

Melancholy is analytical, self-sacrificing, gifted, perfectionist, with sensitive emotional nature. Melancholy is prone to be introvert and often gives in to a variety of moods. Mood swings can either lift the melancholy to heights or at times to gloom and depression. When in good mood, the melancholy can become more extrovert in behavior, but when in gloom withdraws oneself and become antagonistic. Melancholy person is a very faithful friend, but does not make friends easily. Melancholy person is dependable and expects very high standards on self and sometimes of others. Experiences of disappointments however tend to make the melancholy reluctant to see people at face value. Melancholy person possesses analytical mind, evaluates, plans and sees far into the future in understanding possible problems and pitfalls that may be encountered. Weaknesses of melancholy include self-centeredness, pessimism, moodiness and revengeful nature. Life vocation chosen by the melancholy tends to involve great personal sacrifice which makes good support staff and the types.

Phlegmatic is described by Hippocrates as one that possesses "calm, cool, slow, easy-going, well-balanced temperament" (cited in LaHaye 1983:21). Circumstances cannot ruffle the phlegmatic who can withhold a high boiling point, seldom exploding in anger or laughter. Emotions of phlegmatic are kept in control. Kind hearted and sympathetic, the phlegmatic seldom conveys his true feelings. Phlegmatic tends to be a spectator in life and tries not to get too involved with the activities of others. When put in a position for action, phlegmatic proves to be capable and efficient person. Weaknesses of phlegmatic include slowness, laziness, stubbornness, indecision, and teasing. Phlegmatic makes good diplomat, accountant, teacher, leader, scientist, or other meticulous-type of work. Now that you understand the four temperaments of the different personality traits, evaluate yourself and discuss at this blog what you think is your type of personality. Plan out actions that can help minimize weaknesses.

LaHaye, Tim (1983), Spirit-Controlled Temperament, Asian Edition. Hong Kong: Tien Dao Publishing House.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

okay, tim lahaye is a christian writer. he writes the left behind books. you're saying he was a psycholgist way back when?

ah well, certainly journalism goes hand in hand with psycholgoy. my sis took a lot of classes for that in school. reading people, knowing who's lying and whatnot.