The Four Temperament Types

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A few weeks back, I wrote about how to deal with individuals who have a poor attitude after being asked by a cadet who is in JROTC. As I promised, here are the four temperament types for you to help deal with situations in your unit.

Why learn about other people’s temperaments? To help you deal with them when they are coming across in a negative manner and, most importantly, so you can identify your own type and work on not giving in to your temperament’s weaknesses.

My information comes mostly from a book called, Spirit-Controlled Temperament, by Tim LaHaye. I have an original copy from 1966 and it is still a great book.

The Four Temperaments

  1. Sanguine
  2. Choleric
  3. Melancholic
  4. Phlegmatic


Hippocrates identified the four types based on the four different types of body fluids. In order:

  1. Blood
  2. Choler/”Yellow Bile”
  3. Melancholy/”Black Bile”
  4. Phlegm

We know today that the different fluids have nothing to do with temperament, but we still use good ol’ Hippocrates’ ID system. Now, here are their strengths:

The Sanguine

  1. Enjoying
  2. Optimistic
  3. Friendly
  4. Compassionate

The Choleric

  1. Strong Will Power
  2. Practical
  3. Leader
  4. Optimistic

The Melancholy

  1. Sensitive
  2. Analytical
  3. Faithful Friend
  4. Self-Sacrificing

The Phlegmatic

  1. Witty
  2. Dependable
  3. Practical
  4. Efficient

And their Weaknesses

The Sanguine

  1. Restless
  2. Weak-Willed
  3. Egotistical
  4. Emotionally Unstable

The Choleric

  1. Hot-Tempered
  2. Cruel
  3. Impetuous
  4. Self-Sufficient

The Melancholy

  1. Self-Centered
  2. Pessimistic
  3. Mood
  4. Revengeful

The Phlegmatic

  1. Slow and Lazy
  2. Tease
  3. Stubborn
  4. Indecisive

The two basic problems of the four are:


  • The Sanguine
  • The Choleric


  • The Melancholic
  • The Phlegmatic

Some Expressions of Anger:

  • Bitterness
  • Malice
  • Resentment
  • Envy
  • Intolerance
  • Hatred
  • Revenge
  • Criticism
  • Sarcasm
  • Unforgiveness
  • Jealousy

Some Expressions of Fear:

  • Anxiety
  • Doubt
  • Indecision
  • Depression
  • Haughtiness
  • Loneliness
  • Over Aggression
  • Worry
  • Suspicion

Now that we’ve identified the weaknesses, what can you do about it?

Realize that, even though you were born the way you are, the reason there are problems is only because of selfishness. Yep, it really made me angry too when I read that. You are a mix of two dominant temperaments. I’m a mix of Choleric and Melancholy and have my own daily challenges as you have your own. Concentrate on how you react to others= overcoming your weaknesses and not trying to change someone else- which is a useless effort.

The author, Tim LeHaye, has been a Christian pastor for decades and has written other books similar to this subject. He tells his reader about how to be cured of all of one’s weaknesses. And it works. Read the book, you’ll be glad you did.

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