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?