Personality Traits or Why Does He Irritate me?

Let’s face it – if you’re human you get irritated with others.  If you study introversion and extroversion and temperament you know that some of it comes from those personality differences. The Choleric is purposeful and direct — and strongly dislikes the “flightiness” of the outgoing Sanguine.  The Melancholy is detailed and analytical and tidy — and strongly dislikes the lack of organization by the Phlegmatic and Sanguine.  And all three are put off by what they perceive as the Choleric’s “pushiness”.

What temperament and personality traits irritate you?  And which of your traits would you imagine irritate others?

Which leads to today’s question from a reader:  “Good Day, Sir.  I am a typical Chinese student from Singapore.  I have just read your explanation on man’s personality.  Frankly speaking, I am mostly Choleric and a little Melancholy.  I have a friend who is a student leader like me and I find him extremely showy.  And I find it very hard to bear with him too since both of us are student leaders.  I don’t see why he is so dominant though I am his “in-charge”.  This really makes me insecure and angry!  If you do not mind, can you tell me a way to correct my perspective?”

And I reply – As a Choleric you are very goal-oriented BUT with a Melancholy secondary you are not particularly outgoing and social.  You are probably not a natural “people person” like your comrade.  Your Melancholy traits cause you to analyze behaviors you observe very carefully, however, the weaknesses of the Choleric/Melancholy are anger and criticism so it is somewhat natural that you find yourself reacting that way.

On the other hand, your friend is most likely Sanguine, that is, an outgoing and warm friendly type who is naturally extroverted.  This person can no more help being outgoing than you can help being dedicated and focused. Since neither of you can change your natural temperament, you must learn to accept (or at least tolerate) each other. You would do well to cultivate some friend with a Phlegmatic temperament.  A Phlegmatic is soft-spoken and easy going and will be a good listener.  Focus on getting things done and don’t let your friend’s natural temperament make you insecure.

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