Written April 5, 2012.
A friend’s church mate asked me what personality I was, and at first I didn’t get exactly what she was referring to. “I’m choleric kasi,” she said. And my friend said he was a sanguine. Huh? Nakakain ba yun? So out of curiosity, I googled it and took an online test too.
But the two gave me a more comprehensive temperament assessment, and after completing it on the bus ride home last night (to the amusement of the guys beside me, who kept on peering at my papers while I was tallying my scores), it turned out I am phlegmatic-sanguine. (The online quiz gave me sanguine-melancholic).
Just a briefer of the four temperaments. It’s a theory that take its roots from the ancient medical concept of humorism (“four humors” in Greco-Roman medicine). The premise is that our personalities are affected by four bodily fluids (or “humors,” which are blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm. Wikipedia describes the temperaments as: sanguine (pleasure-seeking and sociable), choleric (ambitious and leader-like), melancholic (introverted and thoughtful), and phlegmatic (relaxed and quiet). Hippocrates, the Greek physician, used this theory in his own works as well.
Most people are a mix of two or more temperaments, but one usually dominates over the others. I looked up phleg-san and found this (from catholicmatch.com, emphasis mine):
The Phlegmatic / Sanguine (Phleg-San) If you are a phlegmatic-sanguine, your phlegmatic side will dominate. This will result in a greater tendency to introversion (though still less than a melancholics or pure phlegmatics). You are congenial and cooperative and get along well with most everyone. Because of your emphasis on harmony in relationships, you are peace-loving, conservative, well-balanced, easy-going, with a dry wit and a talent for bringing people together.
As an employee, you are compliant, dutiful, orderly, and subdued (and probably were as a child too). Others may not realize that you have a sanguine side — at first. It may take a little longer for you to make close friends (because you do not reveal your feelings or thoughts as readily as the more extroverted sanguine-phlegmatic), but once you do, your sanguine nature can assert itself. It will also show up when, for example, you have been so dutiful and compliant about work or school that finally you need to relax and unwind and now the sanguine, fun-loving side comes out. Or, when you are hanging out with your closest friends.
You are very thoughtful of others, with a knack for empathically putting yourself in other peoples shoes, and value peace and harmony at all times. You also have a great sense of humor and an easy-going manner that makes you a valued friend. You are discouraged by criticism or negativity and need acceptance, support and cooperation in your personal life. You can be deeply wounded by sarcasm, harsh criticism, and anger when it is directed at you. You will not, however, directly fight back but prefer to turn the other cheek or redouble your efforts to please.
Phlegmatic-sanguines tend to prefer movies, concerts, or other forms of relaxation that are a bit more spectator-oriented. When they attend parties, they tend to prefer smaller groups, rather than the large social gatherings a pure sanguine enjoys. Like sanguine-phlegmatics, they are very attentive to relationships, to harmony among people. They have deep feelings, hate negative criticism, and become discouraged by negativity in those around them. They are strongly tempted to repress their own wishes in order to preserve peace in a relationship. A stressful situation (especially one that is interpersonally demanding) may cause the peaceful phlegmatic-sanguine to withdraw into solitary television watching, playing computer games, eating or sleeping, instead of directly expressing their negative feelings.
A danger for the phlegmatic-sanguine is to be satisfied with achieving less than what he is capable of — whether because he tends not to plan for the future or because the more challenging goals seem to be too much trouble. A phlegmatic-sanguine will be strongly tempted to quit if he doesn’t think the end product is worth the effort or if he fears he won’t succeed. Perhaps the most besetting difficulties for this temperament mixture are the natural inclination to peace and quiet (tempting one to laziness), a preference to live within the moment (superficiality), and a tendency to make decisions based first on the desire to please someone else or to restore harmony.
In a relationship, the phlegmatic-sanguine is true-blue. He is likely to be a great listener, is willing to put others first, and has excellent mediator skills. You are a supportive friend and a cooperative employee; however, this can cause you to say yes to demands of friends or colleagues, without first analyzing whether this choice is actually the best choice to make. At times, wanting to either please your good friends or avoid conflict either at home or at work, you may go with the flow when in fact a strong stance is necessary. Or, you may avoid a more demanding task or career move in order to maintain harmony and stability. If you find yourself stuck in a rut or avoiding making the extra effort required to make an important change, take time out to analyze your goals for the future, realign your priorities to reflect your values and, if necessary, seek spiritual direction to ensure that your values are aligned with God’s will for you.
Find out what’s yours. Try this link or you can find other online.