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Do you know your temperament?

Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric, and Melancholic Personality Types

Elena Dobrei, 10E



What is it? There is a plenitude of personality theories, but The Four Temperaments is one of the oldest systems in the world and from it, many more appeared. It consists of the following types: Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Melancholic. Each represents their own characteristics which I’ll present later on.



Other theories that resonate with it While The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was based on Jung’s theory of 4 functions (how we’re energized, how we gather information, how we make decisions and how we approach life) & 8 types, they are almost identical to the 4 basic personalities belonging to the temperaments. Another one would be Dr. Helen Fischer’s personality types- The Explorer, The Negotiator, The Director & The Builder resonating with the temperaments not only through the number of personalities, but also through the traits. How did it begin? The concept of this typology originated from Graeco-Arabic medicine, named humourism, which was a type of traditional medicine commonly used in the ancient world. It refers to the fluids that are found within one's body, meaning that individuals have varying levels of them in their bodies. The predominance of one type of fluid defines one’s psychological and temperamental characteristics. For example, the predominance of blood humor corresponds to a Sanguine personality type. The four temperaments and their predominant humors are as follows: Sanguine: blood Phlegmatic: phlegm Choleric: yellow bile Melancholic: black bile Most people have mixed temperaments; therefore, judging solely by appearance may be difficult in telling someone’s temperament. 1. Sanguine Type They are extroverted, chatty and optimistic, carefree. They love adventure and have high risk tolerance. Characterized by a magnetic personality, they make friends easily. They love people and compliments.

Emotions: emotional, curious, happy, is touchy with the listener, lives in the present, honest, always a kid, expressive, colour memory, has a sense of humour, life of the party, good on stage

Work/school life: volunteers, looks great on the surface, charms people, makes others join them, full of energy, conceives new activities

As a friend: likes spontaneous activities, puts others in a good mood, seems interesting, isn’t grudging, socializes easily, is envied by others

Negatives: talks too much, egocentric, forgetful friend, interrupts, immature, unorganized, responds on behalf of others, gets bored quickly

Advice: speak half of what you spoke before, skip to topic, stop exaggerating, learn to listen to what others have to say, pay attention to people’s names, organize your life Their natural abilities will also serve them well if they choose jobs related to:

  • marketing,

  • travel,

  • fashion,

  • cooking,

  • or sports.


2. Phlegmatic type They are introverted, observing and persistent. Generally, they are a people person. They seek interpersonal harmony and close relationships, which makes phlegmatic people loyal spouses and loving parents. They make it a point to preserve their relationships with old friends, distant family members, and neighbours.

Emotions: sober personality, calm, self-controlled, patient, well balanced, quiet and spiritual, compassionate, hides emotions

Work/school life: firm, works well under pressure, avoids conflicts, meditates on problems, has administrative abilities.

As a friend: people get along well with them, pleasant, good listener, has a sense of humour, has many friends, attentive, likes to observe

Negatives: seems undecided, opposes change, doesn’t get excited, seems lazy, stubborn.

Advice: try something new, learn to communicate your feelings, learn to say no, take responsibility for your life, and don’t leave for tomorrow what can be done today. They are very much into charity and helping others. Ideal careers for phlegmatic personality types should be related to

  • nursing;

  • teaching;

  • psychology or counselling;

  • child development;

  • or social services.


3. Choleric type They are extroverted, optimistic and they act fast. Choleric people are very savvy, analytical, and logical. Extremely practical and straightforward, they aren’t necessarily good companions or particularly friendly. They dislike small talk and enjoy deep and meaningful conversations. They would rather be alone than in the company of shallow, superficial people.

Emotions: born lean, dynamic and active, independent, confident, can coordinate anything, have an impulsive need for change

Work/school life: goal-oriented, sees the whole picture, good organizer, looks for practical solutions, takes action quickly, achieves goals

As a friend: doesn’t need many friends, will work for the group activity, usually right, excels in critical circumstances, will lead and organize

Negatives: addicted to work, has to be in control, doesn’t know how to relate to people

Advice: learn to relax, stop pressing others, accept the leadership of others, keep your advice for when it's asked for, learn to apologize, accept your flaws, and stop manipulating. Ideal jobs for Cholerics are related to the following industries:

  • management;

  • technology;

  • statistics;

  • engineering;

  • programming;

  • business.



4. Melancholic Type They are introverted, thoughtful and pessimistic. Emotions: deep and thoughtful, analytical, serious and goal-oriented, genius potential, philosopher and poet, art and music lover, appreciates beauty, idealist, sensitive to others.

Work/school life: strictly follow a program, high standards, awareness of detail, organized and ordered, neat, likes lists, diagrams, graphs, symbols, sees the problems, find creative solutions, needs to complete a project, preserving

As a friend: makes friends with caution, avoids drawing attention to themself, deep and interested in other people, looks for the ideal partner, moved to tears by compassion, steady and devoted

Negatives: naturally depressed, bad self-image, delays things, unrealistic demands on others

Advice: understand no one likes gloomy people, learn to drive away heavy clouds, look for positives, don’t just expect trouble, don’t get upset, don’t waste so much time planning, lower your standards, and accept that you need to understand your own temperament.



The temperaments “translated” to the 16 Myers Briggs Personality Types: Pure Temperaments: Sanguine –> ESFP Phlegmatic –> INFP Choleric –> ENTJ Melancholic –> ISTJ

Mixed Temperaments (Predominant-Secondary):


Sanguine-Phlegmatic –> ENFP

Sanguine-Choleric –> ENTP

Sanguine-Melancholic –> ESFJ

Phlegmatic-Sanguine –> ISFP

Phlegmatic-Choleric –> INTP

Phlegmatic-Melancholic –> ISFJ

Choleric-Sanguine –> ESTP

Choleric-Phlegmatic –> ENFJ

Choleric-Melancholic –> ESTJ

Melancholic-Sanguine –> ISTP

Melancholic-Phlegmatic –> INFJ

Melancholic-Choleric –> INTJ







How can I find my type?

Even if online tests aren’t the most accurate, they are the most accessible. You can take a couple of tests or read articles such as mine to find your own. Don’t forget most people are a mixture of these temperaments.

And in the end, this doesn’t defy who you are. We are much more complex than that.

Temperament = the traits we are born with

Character = educated temperament

Personality = the “face” we show to others


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