understanding your personality temperament.

Whenever I meet other Christian leaders for the first time, I always like to ask if they know their character temperaments because it gives me a opportunity to instantly square them up. While it’s not always good to do this, it does give me a certain head start in knowing how to engage them. I believe that a leader should be versatile and conversational skills are always a helpful for a leader.

There are four personality temperaments – Sanguine (I), Choleric (D), Melancholic (C), Phlegmatic (S). Some may be more familiar with D-I-S-C. I’ll describe each personality very briefly, according to my understanding:

Sanguine – Extroverted and people-oriented, this ball of energy is popular with people and is often inspiring and persuasive. However, he is usually an insecure person, struggles with being alone and is a scatterbrain.

Choleric – This task-oriented, natural-born leader operates with authority and is a high-achiever who is often outspoken and domineering. However, he also bossy, insensitive to other people’s feelings and struggles with submission.

Melancholic – A perfectionist to a T, this idealistic artist passionately pursues details and is often a peace-maker and a people-pleaser. However, his fragility is exhibited in being overly emotional, indecisive and hard to please.

Phlegmatic – No one brings stability, consistency and loyalty to the table as he easily as he does, as his steadfastness breeds people’s trust. However, his inability to overcome inertia often births laziness and results in him watching life sail him by.

I first took the personality test when I was 16 and I discovered that I was a Choleric-Sanguine (my score was something like S8 C14 M3 P0). Three years later I took the test again and discovered that I was Sanguine-Choleric (score of S16 C8 M6 P-3). Today, seven years later, I think I’m still predominantly a Sanguine. I guess my secondary trait would always be a Choleric but as I often mention, I think I’m a secret Melancholic, especially when I work and plan. I’ve intentionally efforted (what an irony!) to pick up Phlegmatic traits, but it still remains an elusive element. I’m thankful though, that 27 years later, with the Spirit’s help, I’ve learnt to be a lot more Spirit-controlled than uncontrollably Sanguine.

While understanding your personality temperaments allows you to perhaps relate a little better with others as well as to gain a better mastery of yourself, I’ve learnt to aspire to be like Jesus, who incidentally is the most balanced individual, I think. He wasn’t 25% SCMP, no, that would make Him inept and limited. I’d like to think that Jesus was 100% SCMP, making Him 400%. We see in His Sanguine in how He loved and fed people, as well as to heal and talk to them; His Choleric was demonstrated in how He was focussed on His mission and that caused Him to move from place to place to do ministry; Jesus demonstrated His Melancholic through His detailed and organised preaching of the comprehensive Sermon on the Mount; and His Phlegmatic was experienced in how meek and gentle He was with people, to offer peace to them.

I’ve read and repeated this cute analogy many times, and its self-mockery never fails to make people laugh:

Whenever there’s a problem;
The Choleric tries to solve the problem;
The Melancholic dwells in the problem;
The Phlegmatic doesn’t realise there’s a problem;
And the Sanguine IS the problem!

Our approach to life is always going to be different and with it comes a kaleidoscope of obstacles and challenges. Regardless of our personality temperaments, we’ll have our own sets of strengths and weaknesses to bear. I believe that confidence is an acute awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses. And while we could do well to work on our weaknesses and operate in our strengths, I think that problems are one of the sure things in life, but – and here’s what the Holy Spirit just inspired me to pen down – “Whenever there’s a problem, Jesus is the ONLY solution!” Remember that!

And if you are keen to discover where you are Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholic or Phlegmatic, you can click here to take the personality temperament test. Be sure to leave a comment to let me know what temperament you are!

About Joey Asher Tan

Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing; I am absolutely nothing without Christ.

Posted on March 29, 2010, in A Walk To Remember, Attempted Provocation, Simple Pleasures, Theocentric Orientation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Matthew Tan,
    Your personality is Sanguine (45%) Choleric (43%)

    Hahaa, its nice to be tested again!

  2. Sanguine (57%) and Phleg (20%)

    They used to be equal! Like 35% each kinda thing. This personality thing really does change over time. Cool stuff :)

  3. Your personality is Phlegmatic (45%) Melancholy(28%)

    wow, i didn’t expect to go from Mel Phleg to Phleg Mel. i guess with God, the depressed side of Mels for me are rare and only leaves the thinking side of it.

    and look at this, it surprised me.
    Sanguine (20%) yea its only 8% behind Mel hahaha.

  4. haha thanks for sharing. i wonder why the others didn’t share their results! they’re probably “phleging” away, somewhere. hahahaha! :P

  5. weeee…Sanguine 43%, Phlegmatic 25%…first time doing it…xD

  6. Mel (43%) Phleg (38%), very mel very phleg.

    I am a 13% sanguine. LOL.

    exactly opposite of you. HAHA.

  7. Noouuu… Cholerics are not domineering, it’s just dominant. Pastor CX say before!
    Domineering has a negative connotation!

  8. my phelg is the least now, maybe that is why i am posting here heh.

    im a SAN MEL! (sounds like ‘saint mel’)

    lol and bryson and ester say i CNT be mel. ‘teh’ X ahahah wrong!

  9. esther* heh

  10. so far… seems like most people in R-AGE are either sanguines or phlegmatics. or both. haha.

  11. As expected – Phleg-Mel (in fact, close to Huiyi’s! *High five*)

    Phleg (45%)
    Mel (38%)
    Chol (10%)
    Sang (8%)

    and yes, YOU GUESSED RIGHT..I dind’t post this up the moment I did it, all because I am a PHLEGMATIC! haha..

  12. HAHAHA. oh how i love phlegs.
    i wouldn’t have formed a cell full of them if i didn’t love them. (:

  13. Phleg-Sang for the win!

    Phleg (45%)
    Sang (40%)
    Mel (15%)
    Chol (0%) – hahaa!

  14. so, i went to take it myself too… and my results are:

    Melancholy 8%
    Phlegmatic 5%
    Sanguine 50%
    Choleric 38%

    i’ve actually taken one small step to be a little more balanced.
    hahaha. sang used to be 60+% and phleg used to be 1%.
    i also think that my mel is secretly quite high, especially when i work, but the chol is fiercer.

    i aspire to be more complete as i age! wanna be like jesus… 400%!
    oh Spirit help me. hahahaha. (:

  15. San 73% Phleg 13%, Mel 13%
    Your personality definitely does change slightly with age, experience and the work of the Spirit in one’s life. Don’t know where the Mel came in, used to be almost pure San Phleg. Maybe I’ve grown up a little and started taking life a little more seriously!!

  16. Woah.. I become Sang-Cho..o.o

    What happened to me.. O.O?

  17. Hi,

    Do people still comment on this? The last comment was so long ago!

    Well, I came out PhlegMel. 42% Phlegmatic, 38% Melancholic. I sometmes don’t really like the very quiet part……..

    I was wondering what kind of person does the Phlegmel get along well with? Which personality type would make a good partner for them?

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review. « joey asher | misunderstoodsunshinekid

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