It is another new year and I bet you are mapping out new year resolutions silently hoping that it wouldn’t be like other years. Those years when you made up your mind to become less talkative but your mouth did not stop running or the year you swore to save 100k but Shoprite and Dominos made a mockery of your bank account afterward. Have you ever sat down to analyze why on some days, small things seem to tear at your nerves, and on other days you just stare at the whole situation calmly? There are several factors that make you behave the way you do, your environment, education, motivation, childhood experiences and the most prominent of all factors is your temperament.
Your temperament is your emotional center, what most people call ‘the heart’ It is your temperament that determines whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it determines whether your flair for art or science, including the kind of music that you enjoy. You cannot change your temperament, it sticks with you until the ground calls you home.
First I thought temperament was the abrupt display of uncontrollable anger. I thought that that should be why people use the word ‘temperamental’ but I was wrong. Actually, temperament is the combination of traits we inherit from our parents, it is the combination of your parents’ genes and chromosomes at conception. According to personality expert, Tim Lahaye, your temperament is determined nine months before you drew your first breath and if you’re still wondering why you are different from others, there you have your answer.
Nothing has a more powerful influence over your behavior than your temperament. Sadly, most people have no idea of this power, so they either ignore it or fight against it, that’s why you hear things like ‘I don’t even like the way I am’ or ‘ I can’t seem to figure myself out’ This makes life more frustrating because they try to make something out of themselves that’s not in alignment with their strengths and weaknesses.
To properly understand the level of control that your temperament has over your reactions, attitude, and behavior, we will have to know the difference between temperament, character, and personality. Temperament is the combination of inborn traits that subconsciously affect your behavior. These traits are based on nationality, race and sex, genes, and other hereditary factors. Some psychologists say that we inherit more genes from our grandparents than our parents, this must be the reason some people look more like their grandparents than their parents.
Character is the real you, it is your temperament in addition to your childhood training, education, belief system, principles, and motivations. It is often referred to as the ‘soul’ of man, which is made up of the mind, emotions, and will. Tim LaHaye calls it the ‘civilized’ temperament. Personality is the outward expression of yourself, what you want people to see which may not be the same as your character depending on how genuine you are. Personality is the ‘face’ that we show others, what we want people to see on the outside.
Since temperament is inherited from your parents, it is the most significant and unpredictable fulcrum of your behavior. When you discover your real temperament you are able to manage your weaknesses and your strengths, this way you accept your weaknesses and use them to your advantage. You are able to know what skill you need to acquire, what type of friends you need, and even the kind of life partner that you want in the long run.
There are four major types of temperament;
There is no part of your life that your temperament doesn’t control for example;
- Eating Habits
According to research, the Sanguines eat everything on their plate, they are those kinds of people that would be in prison if talking were a crime, they talk so much that they barely even look at the menu until the waiter comes in. LaHaye calls the Cholerics- stereotyped eaters- they rarely change their routine eating timetable, they also eat in large chunks. The Melancholies are picky eaters, they never decide what they want to eat but when they order they enjoy every bite of it. Phlegmatics are very deliberate eaters and they are mostly the last ones to leave the table.
- Study Habits
Melancholies are book worms, they are overly curious about things, if they are taught to read well, they are ferocious readers. They have sharp retentive memories and can remember the tiniest details. They are said to be good spellers because they take mental pictures of every word that they see but their desks are never organized and it does nothing to their high concentration levels.
Phlegmatics are good students but expert procrastinators, most times their procrastination gets the best of them, thus making a mockery of their education. They prefer short assignments or projects to long-term projects. They work best when they’re under acute pressure, even when they act like they do not like the pressure at all. They have orderly minds capable of analysis and deductions, they are said to get their news more from television than from newspapers or magazines. They are intelligent with good memories if they are motivated to learn.
Research has proven that the Cholerics are clever but not brilliant, they may not be good spellers because they skim over things quickly. They like subjects like history, literature, geography, and psychology. They adapt to speed-reading and are very curious people. They love charts, diagrams, and graphs. They have a major problem with time management especially when they have so many projects to complete.
The Sangines are not usually good students except they have a high IQ. They can be good students if they have adequate motivation, they find it very difficult to be still and control themselves. They are easily distracted by the smallest things. According to LaHaye, the sanguines have incredible potential but most of the time, they waste it because they lack self-control.
- Communication Skills
The way you communicate also tells your temperament. Sanguines are spontaneous speakers, they are overly expressive and they use exaggeration freely. Cholerics are good speakers but they are more deliberate than the sanguines, that is, they think a little bit before talking, but the sanguines don’t think at all. The cholerics are the very sarcastic fellas, the type of sarcasm that makes your brain tinge whenever you think about it, they are very good at debates too.
The melancholies never start talking without mapping out what they have to say, they don’t interrupt others but once they start talking they never leave the subject until they are done with it. The phlegmatics are the quiet ones who never speak until they are directly involved in the conversation, they avoid debates and respond to questions with wit and good humor.
Sanguines are known as those who barely care about the price of the item, once the item is beautiful enough, they grab it and move on. They’re most attracted to beautiful adverts and colorful packaging, they’re the people whose shopping bags are always full to the brim.
Cholerics do not like shopping. They only go when they need something and when they get what they want they do not take a second look at other items before heading out. They overbuy but not as much as the Sanguines.
The Melancholies plan whatever they want to buy from their house, they are the ones that touch all the tomatoes in the market a hundred times before finally picking the one that they want. They never make up their mind, they know every section in the supermarket and know all the items that have discounted prices.
Phlegmatics, especially the women, enjoy shopping. They are the ones that spend hours in the market making sure they get all the ‘ jale jale’ prices for each item. They are almost as indecisive as the melancholies and they go to the market more than all the other temperaments because they never finish buying everything at once.
Yh, as shocking as it sounds your temperament has a say in your handwriting. Sanguines are the ones with the beautiful handwriting, they are very expressive and flamboyant and they write that way.
Cholerics have poor handwriting, they are the ones that write as if something is running after their fingers, they are always in a hurry, that way nothing they write is legible.
The Phlegmatics have small but neat handwriting while the melancholies have very unpredictable handwriting, today they write beautifully, tomorrow they write like chickens. They are very complex people and they write that way.
Temperaments are more complicated than the instances given mostly because there are two temperaments at work in an average individual, first is the primary which is more pronounced than the secondary. In this series, I’ll be treating each temperament one after the other, including the twelve major combinations of the primary and the secondary temperament. This way you are able to identify your temperament before the end of this series, let me know what you primary temperament you think you belong to in the comment section.
Don’t forget that every individual needs this message so do well to send it out so they can follow you on the path of discovery. Happy New Year from all of us at The Nostalgic Pen.
See you again in the next chapter! Have a wonderful day!