June 26 2015

Introverts versus Extroverts – Stop Already! 02:50 pm

Here’s an excellent article explaining that being introverted or extroverted or an ambivert is only PART of the story of who we are.

Quit It With The Comparisons

June 24 2015

Hate Your Temperament Type? 01:44 pm

Each of us has, at some time, wished we had the traits of another person.  I wish I was as (cool/smart/beautiful/add your own) as so-and-so.  Why are we so dissatisified with the cards we were dealt?  I’m not sure I have the answer but it’s a good lead in to this question from a reader:

“I do hate my personality.  I’m a health care professional. I have always been the quiet, shy guy.  Good at my career but avoid going to far out of the box therefore give up a lot of career opportunities.  I wish I could be comfortably outgoing.  Is there any way at 47 years old that I could change that?  At my age I still don’t like my personality, it holds me back in more ways than one.”

My response:  It does no good to hate your personality any more than you can hate your eye color.  Your temperament is something you received from birth and heritage.  Personally I am extremely introverted but I’ve had to learn (some by being forced and some by making myself) to function well in an extroverted world.  And I fail at that as often as I succeed but the trick is to never quit trying.

Remember that your temperament is only one aspect of personality.  You CAN make behavioral changes that will offset natural shyness.  Join a small group, get some counseling, find an equally introverted friend and challenge each other to be more outgoing.

I know it’s a struggle but keep after it and let me know if I can help in any way.

June 22 2015

Are Melancholies Doomed? 06:38 pm

Readers can always leave me questions here in the comments or via email at warfieldh(at)gmail(dot)com.  Here’s an example:

“If I’m a MEL (that is, a Melancholy temperament type) I’m doomed!  I couldn’t see ONE positive trait and in this day and age it’s harder than ever to remain thick skinned.  A friend of mine down at the pub noticed this was my personality type and now I feel worthless.”

My reply:  One of the Melancholy’s weaknesses is being critical; especially SELF-critical.  You are neither ‘doomed’ nor ‘worthless’.  First off relax — there is not one temperament that is better or worse than another.  A Melancholy is strongest in being organized and analytical.  Melancolies make excellent doctors or engineers or any profession where a highly detailed and organized person is needed.  They are the tpes that can keep a group or job or project organized and on track.  It is true that the Melancholy, when they go too far, can be seen as crritical.  This is a trait that you’ll need to work on.  First, even if you feel that you are absolutely right in something you are thinking or going to say, take the time to consider how your comments may affect the other person or persons.  No matter how ‘right’ you feel, it most often does no good to open up verbally on the other person.

You need also to determine your secondary temperament because no one is totally Melancholy.  Are you also a Driver (Choleric)?  Or outgoing and verbal (Sanguine)?  Or is there a part of you that is “laid back” (Phlegmatic)?  It helps to know your secondary type because it affects your overall personality in many ways.

Finally, try to determine why you feel this way about yourself – it’s often more than just temperament but also other inputs from friends and family.  What self-talk runs through your head?

June 18 2015

Anger and Temperament 04:55 pm

I don’t get angry often but I think being Phlegmatic has  something to do with it.  But I get questions from other temperament types that deal more with anger:

“Thank you so much for your writing.  I have takent the temperament (personality) test from one of Florence  Littauer’s books, How to Get Along With Difficult People”, and came out a strong Melancholy followed closely by Choleric with almost no Sanguine or Phlegmatic  traits.  As a typical Melancholy might, I’ve always tried to understand who and why I am and how to get  along better with others, since I do NOT!  Your article was very enlightening and helpful.  Now if I can just aply what I’ve learned I might cope better.”

And I answered, “The Melancholy/Choleric combination is a very detailed person with a strong drive toaccomplish whatever is ahead of them.  Unfortunately, that blend also has the otential to combine the strongest negative traits – criticism and anger.  A Melancholy/Choleric MUST realize that they are not  always right (even when it seems SO clear to YOU that your are!) and that other’s ways of  doing things are okay (even when they seem careless or mis-directed to YOU).  You will  work better with other Cholerics who respect your level of detail.  You would do well  to cultivate a few Phlegmatic friends who will accept you as you are — and give them the space in your life to (gently) offer you their input on your ideas.

Questions?  Write me at halwarfield(at)outlook(dot)com.

June 15 2015

Introvert versus Extrovert – Q/A 02:49 pm

I’m using some of my coaching emails to continue explaining some of the differences between temperament types.  A wife writes:

“My husband is a PhlegMel (in other words, a strong Phlegmatic with a Melancholy secondary) and I am a SanChol (or a Sanguine with a Choleric Secondary).  How can I best relate to my husband without shutting him down or trampling on his feelings? Thanks for your input!”

I answered: As a Sanguine Choleric you are an outgoing, warm “driver”.  Driver in the sense that you want to move forward and push ahead towards your goals and ambitions.  Your sanguine primary gives you an “edge” in that the warm and outgoing part of your nature keeps you from seeming overbearing as you move towards the things you want.

As a Phlegmatic Melancholy your husband is more likely to be an “inner” person – laid back, easy going but not the outgoing person you are.  Phlegmatics can feel threathened by the more outgoing temperament types.

Her are some suggestions: first realize that you are NOT going to change his underlying type and he is NOT going to change yours.  As a Phlegmatic myself who is married to a Sanguine, I have to find time to “retreat and recharge” from her energetic and outgoing nature.  She has come to realize that the things she values in me (stability, ability to “take” her moods, etc) are not necessarily what she needs in interpersonal relationships.  To that end, she is more open to visit with friends, co-worders and family to meet her need for socialability.  

That doesn’t let me (or your husband) off the hook – to get more “out of him” he HAS to feel that your are a SAFE person to be around; safe in terms of allowing him to feel his own feelings and express them in his own way.  If you are impatient as a SanChol can easily be – he will feel it’s not okay to be himself.  I could go on but will leave it here for now.

June 9 2015

Changing Your Self-Image – Q&A 03:22 pm

From time to time I get questions on the blog – here is one:  “How long will it take to change one’s self-image and do you have any useful tips for it?”

Our self-image is our “inner picture” of ourselves.  In other words, who do YOU think the real YOU is?  That inner picture is formed by years of “self talk” describing you to yourself.  Do you hear inners thoughts of success or failure?  Strong or weak?  Also how you interpret what others think of you – parents, friends, co-workers.

It will take you as long to change your self-image as it takes to change this inner self talk and BELIEVE it.  Some ideas on how?  Do something challenging that you wouldn’t normally think of as “you”; anything that challenges you to see yourself differently.  Be brave enough to ask friends how they perceive you – is it different than how you perceive yourself?  If you have family and friends that negatively impact how your feel about yourself then put some emotional distance between them and yourself; associate with more positive individuals.  Remember the quote from Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.  What can you do to improve your average?

June 5 2015

Introverted Doesn’t Mean Uninteresting 02:25 pm

An article in The Atlantic Online discussed Caring for Your Introvert – evidently we need caring for!  This “wave” of study on introversion seems to support that we’re “normal” (whatever normal is!).  In your experience have you, as an introvert, felt mis-understood by extroverts?

The Expectations of Others 02:07 pm

Kind of a deep title but it has a lot to do with self-concept I often think about the forces that shape how we feel about ourselves.  Those influences can include the input of parents, friends, siblings, teachers, mentors – the list goes on an on.

But I realized that even when these people are not physically around their voices can echo in our heads.  When was the last time you were free of the innter dialog of others?  How much of our behavior is constrained by the expentations (spoken, unspoken, past, present, future, known and unknown) of others speaking in our heads?

I’m not sure where this is going but I guess I wanted to be more aware of how the expectations of others influence me.  How about you?  Are you your “authentic self” or “under the influence” of others?

June 2 2015

Temperament Tests 02:42 pm

I’ve often had to explain the difference between temperament and personality — at least from my point of view and experience.  Your temperament is that basic set of behaviors and attitudes you were born with.  These cannot be fundamentally changed – though behaviors can be changed.  This is the premise behind th Myers-Briggs and DiSC tests.  Indications can include whether you are extroverted or introverted, prone to anger or criticism or anxiey.

Personality is your temperament modified by life experience.  Your personality if the sum total of your experiences on top of your temperament.  There are many temperament tests available on line – check out this one which will give you the basics.

And, as always, if you have questions about your temperament or someone elses’, just add the question in the comments or email me at halwarfield(at)outlook(dot)com.

May 30 2015

What is an Introvert? 10:13 pm

When did you first realize you were introverted?  In her book, The Introvert Advantage, Marti Olsen Laney says it was like a revelation.  “There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m just introverted!”  This site is for that “25% of the Planet” who identify as introverted.  So are you SHY or INTROVERTED?  Are they interchangable?  I don’t think so – shyness may be a result of an introverted personality but an introvert is not necessarily shy.

Confused?  Okay, let’s see . . .  I have a introverted temperament – my Myers-Briggs is INFP and my “greek” style is Phlegmatic.  I was a HIGHLY shy child and it didn’t change that much until I reached my junior and senior years in high school.  It didn’t get a lot better even then but I did find I enjoyed theatre and in doing plays you have to become more outgoing.

Strangely I’ve spent most of my career in sales and that has required me to be more outgoing though I won’t ever become an extrovert; not in my genes!  Shyness seems to be more a reaction to the world around you — the circumstances of your growing up years.  If you had parents who worked hard to “socialize” you, then you may have grown up less shy.  If, like me, your parents left you pretty much to your own devices, then shyness may have been the result.  An Introvert is a person who is more internal than external; who finds satisfaction in being alone to recharge (notice I did not say “lonely”), and is most likely happy with a few close friendss.  So are you introverted?

And what about you Extroverts reading this?  What do you think and feel about introverts?  We’d like to know!

August 8 2016

Take a Free Temperament Test 09:44 pm

I am a certified Personality ID consultant – there is a free version of the paid test here:  https://pidteam.crown.org/try_us_out_free_report

If you’d like to ask questions about this test, email me at halwarfield(at)outlook(dot)com

I will respond via email – it is not intended as a comprehensive test but should give you more information as you read the articles on this blog.

December 30 2015

Quora Post – Melancholy Choleric 09:52 pm

August 8 2015

A Melancholy Child 08:51 pm

I get many letters from individuals asking about their temperaments.  This letter comes from a mother with a Melancholy child.  Remember that a Melancholy temperament is very organized but can be overly analytical and critical.  Here’s the letter:

“Good Day, I have looked at your website and found many interesting facts about the various personalities.  I have a 10 year old very COMPLEX boy.  He is most definitely a Melancholy child.  Please advise me as to how I can get the most out of him, for him to eventually WANT to do things for himself, e.g. school work, sports, etc.  It seems as if he goes through cycles of really not liking himself.  He accepts compliments very skeptically.  Thank you, Michelle.”

My answer:  Michelle, you didn’t indicate whether you know his secondary temperament type — Phlegmatic, Sanguine or Choleric.  His age tends to magnify the problem as he is about to enter adolescence which is a difficult time for the happiest of children.

A Melancholy is usually analytical and critical of others but not of themselves.  If he is not naturally outgoing (possibly a Phlegmatic secondary) he needs to have some sort of peer group where he receives positive attention, activity and feedback.  It probably seems like a cliche but activites such as Tae Kwon Do or other martial arts seem to excel in this type of activity.

If he’s musically inclined, get him a guitar and some lessons.  Again the point being to give him feelings of accomplishment and to focus his attention more outwardly.

Whatever you can come up with to give him a feeling of success and divert his attention from himself should have the effect of gradually raising his self-concept.  At the same time I would avoid competitive groups wehre he will have the tendency to be self-critical (sport teams for example).

Don’t expect this to be an overnight change — realize his temperament is inborn and that his personality is temperament plus his life experience and circumstances.  The only part you can influence directly are the latater two.

August 7 2015

All Four Temperaments in One? 03:36 pm

I get many emails with questions about temperament.  Here is one on temperament combinations.

“I ws told that I have all four (types) and was told this is unusual.  Am I blessed or cursed. Ewa.”

My response:  I have encountered many who have said that they had “all four temperament types” and this points up the differences between temperament and personality.  Let’s examine a person with a Phlegmatic (laid back, easy-going) temperament.  If this person is raised by Cholerics (hard driving, non-emotionally sensitive),the Phlegmatic will, by necessity, take on some Choleric behaviors simply by being around Cholerics.

Remember that temperament is in-born; personality is your life experience added to your temperament.  You are still most likely a blend of two main types, but circumstances in your life may have caused you to take on the behaviors of temperament types not naturally your own.

To better see your natural temperament, ask yourself two questions.  First, what are my natural weaknesses; the things I “just can’t seem to help”?  If laziness is your weakness, you are probably Phlegmatic.  If you are disorganized, you may be Sanguine.  If you have a tendency to analyze the behaviors of others you may be Melancholy.  If you tend not to care much about how your behavior affects others, you’re probably Choleric.

Secondly, ask yourself how you respond under stress and pressure.  A Phlegmatic will procrastinate, a Sanguine will have sharp emotional outbursts that will quickly go away, a Melancholy will begin to over-analyze everything and a Choleric will get quiet and angry.

August 4 2015

Temperament and Marriage 08:54 pm

I am not a marriage counselor nor do I play one on the Intarwebs but it seems that some readers think I can help.  Take the following email: “I read some of your info about temperament on your blog.  I am a Melancholy Phlegmatic.  I’ve discovered my temperament capabilities so am cooperating with them and it’s really getting me somewhere!  But I have this trouble; what blend of temperament will suite me as a spouse?  What blend of temperament matches mine?”

To which I reply: There’s never a guarantee in a relationship without the commitment to work on differences with understanding and acceptance.  It also doesn’t work to try and change the other person.  That being said, let’s look at both good and poor natural temperament combinations for your temperament blend.

As a Melancholy Phlegmatic you are a detailed and organized person offset a bit by the lack of drive of the Phlegmatic.  Your weaknesses – a tendency to be openly critical of others and yet a bit unfocused in yourself – would tend to eliminate a Choleric as a match; unless the Choleric drive was their secondary type.

You would be best suited to possibly a Phlegmatic Choleric (laid back but with a bit of drive and able to handle criticism) or a Sanguine Melancholy where the uplifting Sanguine (who is highly unfocused and can be disorganized) is offset by the organized Melancholy secondary type.

It has always been my contention that you need at least ONE of your temperament types to match either the primary or secondary for a degree of temperamental compatibility.  The opposite seems to be true; a Phlegmatic Choleric would have the most difficulty with a Sanguine Melancholy.  In your case you would be least like a Sanguine Choleric.

I want to emphasize however that temperamental compatibility can only go so far without the commitment to the relationship by both parties.  A good relationship is NOT 50/50; it’s 100/100.

July 31 2015

DiSC versus Myers-Briggs 03:27 pm

My personal experience is that these two inventories do not measure the same things exactly.  The following exchange is with a reader:  “Dear Hal, my name is Bryne.  I have taken both MBTI and the DiSC tests.  On the DiSC test I was a Melancholy Phlegmatic.  As for the MBTI I tested as INFP/INTP.  So how do I reconcile the results of these two tests?  Does INFP correlate well with Melancholy Phleg or does INTP correlate better?”

My response:  I’ve always been interested in trying to reconcile the Myers-Briggs and DiSC; in my observation they are NOT the same way of looking at temperament.  For example I have a friend who, like me, is an INFP — both of us rate stongly for this type.  However I am Phlegmatic Choleric (High S, High D) and he is a Phlegmatic Melancholy (High S, High C).  So while we both tend to be laid back, my friend is much more analytical and critical and I am much more results-oriented (“results-oriented” is a relative term in a Phlegmatic!)

Since you are also an INFP we should share some of the same approaches to life HOWEVER because you are Melancholy first and Phlegmatic second, your personality would seem to differ from my friend’s and mine in many ways.

I realize this isn’t a full answer but it does indicate to be that the two types of inventories measure different qualities.  Wish I had more; I guess I should put some more effort into this but I’m a Phlegmatic so . . . .

July 29 2015

Opposite Temperament Types in the Same Person 02:53 pm

This question relates to the “blend” of temperament types in each of us; specifically, what happens when they are two opposites?

“I noticed that you are a Phlegmatic Choleric and I was wondering if you’ve studied how the opposite temperament types can be in the same person.  Thanks, Taylor”

This question is one I’ve often thought about. I do believe that you can have a blend of two opposite temperament types as I live in one (Phlegmatic Choleric).  My wife has two opposite types (Sanguine Melancholy) and my daughter also (Choleric Phlegmatic).

From my experience understanding this has do with the dominance of each type; by that I mean that in most people one type is dominant and the other is less so.

For instance I have  good friend that is Choleric Phlegmatic (just my opposite).  How do we differ since we share the same two types in differing amounts?  I am almost always the most laid back person in the room (Phlegmatic) but when I get impatient (traffic, slow lines) my Choleric driver wants to come out.  In my friend, his Choleric primary causes him to be a straight-ahead driver who does it in a non-angry way; his Phlegmatic ‘tempers’ his Choleric.

The upshot is that individuals with opposite termperament types will struggle with those opposites; which is partly what makes each of us unique!

July 27 2015

Temperament Percentages 05:35 pm

I got an email a while back asking about a breakdown of temperaments by percentage.  Here’s the letter:

“Hello, I have known about the four temperaments since the late ’90s and have taken several personality tests.  I recently bought a book that says that only 3% of people have Choleric as their primary temperament, 11% Sanguine, 17% Melancholy and a whopping 69% Phlegmatic.  I am a Choleric Sanguine which would make me the most rreof the 16 combos.  Are these percentages accurate, in the ball park, or totally off?  Matthew”

I’ve never thought about that aspect of temperament; I’ve always focused on how each type interacts in life.  However, it doesn’t seem right to me.  Marti Laney in her book “The Introvert Advantage” says that extroverts make up 75% of all people and introverts only 25%.  Cholerics and Sanguines are typically extroverts so the percentages you mention don’t seem right to me.  Also, in my experience, there just isn’t that large a percentage of easy-going, laid-back people!

July 24 2015

Does Shy Equal Introversion? 03:24 pm

I get this question asked from time to time: Does being shy mean I’m introverted?  I’m an introverted Phlegmatic with a Myers-Briggs of INFP and I feel pretty qualified to answer that.

As a child I was VERY bashful.  I did not interact a lot with others, I didn’t have a lot of friends and my mother tells me I was a very compliant child.  I believe introversion formed the basis of this shyness which lasted well into college.

However I believe that even the most hardnosed introvert can overcome shyness.  As an adult I have made my living in sales and marketing; I dislike cold calling and I don’t “schmooze”.  After a large presentation or meeting I still have the introvert’s need to go hide somewhere to recharge.

But I CAN make presentations and I CAN call people when I have to and I CAN hold conversations with strangers.  So what happened?

I believe that a strong program of self-development over the years helped my self-confidence.  Reading self-help books, listening to speakers, implementing techniques that I learned — all these helped.  That and simply being thrown into situations that MADE me interact with others.

Studying temperament and personality has also helped me tremendously by helping me learn that my introversion was natural and not some sort of social disease!  I believe introverts are born but that shyness is a controllable, changeable behavior.  I’d like to hear other points of view as well — let me know if you disagree!

July 23 2015

Temperament, Personality and Behavior 02:47 pm

I’m a strong proponent of describing our leanings by means of our natural temperament BUT there can be a tendency to excuse behavior on the same basis.

Because you are hard-wired a certain way – easy-going Phlegmatic, detailed Melancholy, outgoing Sanguine, or hard-driving Choleric – is not an excuse for not evolving your behavior.

The dictionary defines EVOLVE as “to develop or achieve gradually” — and this I maintain should be happening no matter what your temperament.

Phlegmatics need to fight laziness — to evolve would mean to become generally more active over time through work and discipline.  Melancholies tend to over-analyze and criticize — to evolve would mean putting these tendencies to good use in helping others actively.  Sanguines can be disorganized and messy — to evolve would mean implementing systems of organization that they would follow regularly.  Cholerics have little patience with others and care little about their feelings — to evolve would mean taking others’ thoughts and feelings more into consideration.

As an introverted Phlegmatic I’ve tried to evolve; while being more outgoing still tires me I no longer totally dread it.  I encourage each of us to evolve by changing behaviors over time.

August 8 2016

Take a Free Temperament Test 09:44 pm

I am a certified Personality ID consultant – there is a free version of the paid test here:  https://pidteam.crown.org/try_us_out_free_report

If you’d like to ask questions about this test, email me at halwarfield(at)outlook(dot)com

I will respond via email – it is not intended as a comprehensive test but should give you more information as you read the articles on this blog.

December 30 2015

Quora Post – Melancholy Choleric 09:52 pm

August 8 2015

A Melancholy Child 08:51 pm

I get many letters from individuals asking about their temperaments.  This letter comes from a mother with a Melancholy child.  Remember that a Melancholy temperament is very organized but can be overly analytical and critical.  Here’s the letter:

“Good Day, I have looked at your website and found many interesting facts about the various personalities.  I have a 10 year old very COMPLEX boy.  He is most definitely a Melancholy child.  Please advise me as to how I can get the most out of him, for him to eventually WANT to do things for himself, e.g. school work, sports, etc.  It seems as if he goes through cycles of really not liking himself.  He accepts compliments very skeptically.  Thank you, Michelle.”

My answer:  Michelle, you didn’t indicate whether you know his secondary temperament type — Phlegmatic, Sanguine or Choleric.  His age tends to magnify the problem as he is about to enter adolescence which is a difficult time for the happiest of children.

A Melancholy is usually analytical and critical of others but not of themselves.  If he is not naturally outgoing (possibly a Phlegmatic secondary) he needs to have some sort of peer group where he receives positive attention, activity and feedback.  It probably seems like a cliche but activites such as Tae Kwon Do or other martial arts seem to excel in this type of activity.

If he’s musically inclined, get him a guitar and some lessons.  Again the point being to give him feelings of accomplishment and to focus his attention more outwardly.

Whatever you can come up with to give him a feeling of success and divert his attention from himself should have the effect of gradually raising his self-concept.  At the same time I would avoid competitive groups wehre he will have the tendency to be self-critical (sport teams for example).

Don’t expect this to be an overnight change — realize his temperament is inborn and that his personality is temperament plus his life experience and circumstances.  The only part you can influence directly are the latater two.

August 7 2015

All Four Temperaments in One? 03:36 pm

I get many emails with questions about temperament.  Here is one on temperament combinations.

“I ws told that I have all four (types) and was told this is unusual.  Am I blessed or cursed. Ewa.”

My response:  I have encountered many who have said that they had “all four temperament types” and this points up the differences between temperament and personality.  Let’s examine a person with a Phlegmatic (laid back, easy-going) temperament.  If this person is raised by Cholerics (hard driving, non-emotionally sensitive),the Phlegmatic will, by necessity, take on some Choleric behaviors simply by being around Cholerics.

Remember that temperament is in-born; personality is your life experience added to your temperament.  You are still most likely a blend of two main types, but circumstances in your life may have caused you to take on the behaviors of temperament types not naturally your own.

To better see your natural temperament, ask yourself two questions.  First, what are my natural weaknesses; the things I “just can’t seem to help”?  If laziness is your weakness, you are probably Phlegmatic.  If you are disorganized, you may be Sanguine.  If you have a tendency to analyze the behaviors of others you may be Melancholy.  If you tend not to care much about how your behavior affects others, you’re probably Choleric.

Secondly, ask yourself how you respond under stress and pressure.  A Phlegmatic will procrastinate, a Sanguine will have sharp emotional outbursts that will quickly go away, a Melancholy will begin to over-analyze everything and a Choleric will get quiet and angry.

August 4 2015

Temperament and Marriage 08:54 pm

I am not a marriage counselor nor do I play one on the Intarwebs but it seems that some readers think I can help.  Take the following email: “I read some of your info about temperament on your blog.  I am a Melancholy Phlegmatic.  I’ve discovered my temperament capabilities so am cooperating with them and it’s really getting me somewhere!  But I have this trouble; what blend of temperament will suite me as a spouse?  What blend of temperament matches mine?”

To which I reply: There’s never a guarantee in a relationship without the commitment to work on differences with understanding and acceptance.  It also doesn’t work to try and change the other person.  That being said, let’s look at both good and poor natural temperament combinations for your temperament blend.

As a Melancholy Phlegmatic you are a detailed and organized person offset a bit by the lack of drive of the Phlegmatic.  Your weaknesses – a tendency to be openly critical of others and yet a bit unfocused in yourself – would tend to eliminate a Choleric as a match; unless the Choleric drive was their secondary type.

You would be best suited to possibly a Phlegmatic Choleric (laid back but with a bit of drive and able to handle criticism) or a Sanguine Melancholy where the uplifting Sanguine (who is highly unfocused and can be disorganized) is offset by the organized Melancholy secondary type.

It has always been my contention that you need at least ONE of your temperament types to match either the primary or secondary for a degree of temperamental compatibility.  The opposite seems to be true; a Phlegmatic Choleric would have the most difficulty with a Sanguine Melancholy.  In your case you would be least like a Sanguine Choleric.

I want to emphasize however that temperamental compatibility can only go so far without the commitment to the relationship by both parties.  A good relationship is NOT 50/50; it’s 100/100.

July 31 2015

DiSC versus Myers-Briggs 03:27 pm

My personal experience is that these two inventories do not measure the same things exactly.  The following exchange is with a reader:  “Dear Hal, my name is Bryne.  I have taken both MBTI and the DiSC tests.  On the DiSC test I was a Melancholy Phlegmatic.  As for the MBTI I tested as INFP/INTP.  So how do I reconcile the results of these two tests?  Does INFP correlate well with Melancholy Phleg or does INTP correlate better?”

My response:  I’ve always been interested in trying to reconcile the Myers-Briggs and DiSC; in my observation they are NOT the same way of looking at temperament.  For example I have a friend who, like me, is an INFP — both of us rate stongly for this type.  However I am Phlegmatic Choleric (High S, High D) and he is a Phlegmatic Melancholy (High S, High C).  So while we both tend to be laid back, my friend is much more analytical and critical and I am much more results-oriented (“results-oriented” is a relative term in a Phlegmatic!)

Since you are also an INFP we should share some of the same approaches to life HOWEVER because you are Melancholy first and Phlegmatic second, your personality would seem to differ from my friend’s and mine in many ways.

I realize this isn’t a full answer but it does indicate to be that the two types of inventories measure different qualities.  Wish I had more; I guess I should put some more effort into this but I’m a Phlegmatic so . . . .

July 29 2015

Opposite Temperament Types in the Same Person 02:53 pm

This question relates to the “blend” of temperament types in each of us; specifically, what happens when they are two opposites?

“I noticed that you are a Phlegmatic Choleric and I was wondering if you’ve studied how the opposite temperament types can be in the same person.  Thanks, Taylor”

This question is one I’ve often thought about. I do believe that you can have a blend of two opposite temperament types as I live in one (Phlegmatic Choleric).  My wife has two opposite types (Sanguine Melancholy) and my daughter also (Choleric Phlegmatic).

From my experience understanding this has do with the dominance of each type; by that I mean that in most people one type is dominant and the other is less so.

For instance I have  good friend that is Choleric Phlegmatic (just my opposite).  How do we differ since we share the same two types in differing amounts?  I am almost always the most laid back person in the room (Phlegmatic) but when I get impatient (traffic, slow lines) my Choleric driver wants to come out.  In my friend, his Choleric primary causes him to be a straight-ahead driver who does it in a non-angry way; his Phlegmatic ‘tempers’ his Choleric.

The upshot is that individuals with opposite termperament types will struggle with those opposites; which is partly what makes each of us unique!

July 27 2015

Temperament Percentages 05:35 pm

I got an email a while back asking about a breakdown of temperaments by percentage.  Here’s the letter:

“Hello, I have known about the four temperaments since the late ’90s and have taken several personality tests.  I recently bought a book that says that only 3% of people have Choleric as their primary temperament, 11% Sanguine, 17% Melancholy and a whopping 69% Phlegmatic.  I am a Choleric Sanguine which would make me the most rreof the 16 combos.  Are these percentages accurate, in the ball park, or totally off?  Matthew”

I’ve never thought about that aspect of temperament; I’ve always focused on how each type interacts in life.  However, it doesn’t seem right to me.  Marti Laney in her book “The Introvert Advantage” says that extroverts make up 75% of all people and introverts only 25%.  Cholerics and Sanguines are typically extroverts so the percentages you mention don’t seem right to me.  Also, in my experience, there just isn’t that large a percentage of easy-going, laid-back people!

July 24 2015

Does Shy Equal Introversion? 03:24 pm

I get this question asked from time to time: Does being shy mean I’m introverted?  I’m an introverted Phlegmatic with a Myers-Briggs of INFP and I feel pretty qualified to answer that.

As a child I was VERY bashful.  I did not interact a lot with others, I didn’t have a lot of friends and my mother tells me I was a very compliant child.  I believe introversion formed the basis of this shyness which lasted well into college.

However I believe that even the most hardnosed introvert can overcome shyness.  As an adult I have made my living in sales and marketing; I dislike cold calling and I don’t “schmooze”.  After a large presentation or meeting I still have the introvert’s need to go hide somewhere to recharge.

But I CAN make presentations and I CAN call people when I have to and I CAN hold conversations with strangers.  So what happened?

I believe that a strong program of self-development over the years helped my self-confidence.  Reading self-help books, listening to speakers, implementing techniques that I learned — all these helped.  That and simply being thrown into situations that MADE me interact with others.

Studying temperament and personality has also helped me tremendously by helping me learn that my introversion was natural and not some sort of social disease!  I believe introverts are born but that shyness is a controllable, changeable behavior.  I’d like to hear other points of view as well — let me know if you disagree!

July 23 2015

Temperament, Personality and Behavior 02:47 pm

I’m a strong proponent of describing our leanings by means of our natural temperament BUT there can be a tendency to excuse behavior on the same basis.

Because you are hard-wired a certain way – easy-going Phlegmatic, detailed Melancholy, outgoing Sanguine, or hard-driving Choleric – is not an excuse for not evolving your behavior.

The dictionary defines EVOLVE as “to develop or achieve gradually” — and this I maintain should be happening no matter what your temperament.

Phlegmatics need to fight laziness — to evolve would mean to become generally more active over time through work and discipline.  Melancholies tend to over-analyze and criticize — to evolve would mean putting these tendencies to good use in helping others actively.  Sanguines can be disorganized and messy — to evolve would mean implementing systems of organization that they would follow regularly.  Cholerics have little patience with others and care little about their feelings — to evolve would mean taking others’ thoughts and feelings more into consideration.

As an introverted Phlegmatic I’ve tried to evolve; while being more outgoing still tires me I no longer totally dread it.  I encourage each of us to evolve by changing behaviors over time.