15 August 2011


I have been reading Tim Lahaye's book The Spirit-Controlled Temperament for quite a while. It's the second time, actually. Ate Ria introduced the book to us, I guess 4-5 years ago during our small group meetings, and it has been quite useful up to this day, and I believe, for the rest of my life. I found it very helpful that I decided to share it with my victory group as well.

What is it about? The temperaments. We have been introduced to so many psychological tests and explanations of our characters, why we behave the way we do, suggestions to improve our personality, and ways to make us understand ourselves and other people better. And while all those were informative, i found the explanation of the temperaments simpler yet accurate.

The book explained what the differences with temperament, character, and personality are.
Temperament is the combination of inborn traits that subconsciously affects all our behavior. These trait, which are passed on by our genes, are based on hereditary factors and arranged at the time of conception. It is a person's temperament that makes that person outgoing and extrovertish or shy and introvertish.
Character is the real you. It is the result of your natural temperament  modified by childhood training, education, and basic attitudes, beliefs, principles, and motivations. It is indeed the net result of all the influences and religious commitment on your life. It is what you really are when there is no one else around.
Personality is the outward expression of oneself, which may or may not be the same as a person's character, depending on how genuine that person is. Often personality is a pleasing facade for an unpleasant or weak character.
We were handed out a checklist, from Florence Littauer's book, Personality Plus. And while it's a different book, it also discusses the temperaments and was written as inspired by Tim Lahaye. After we answered the checklist, Ate Ria made us read the result and what our temperaments are, our weaknesses and strengths, according to the book.

There are four temperament types: Sanguine. Choleric. Phlegmatic. Melancholy.

I am, as the title indicated, a Phlegmatic. It was surprising how accurate it was. It was like the author knew me. But I wasn't just a Phlegmatic. There are 12 temperament blends, a combination of the temperaments. We all are most likely a combination of two or more temperaments. The book described a 60/40 blend of two temperaments, that is why some people might find it not so accurate.

As I re-read the book and answered the checklist again (since I have to share the results to a new group of friends) I found out that my temperament blend was not what I thought it was. All the while, for the past few years, I thought I was a combination of the Phlegmatic and Sanguine. Sanguine is an extrovertish temperament. And somehow, I tried to live up to that result of the evaluation. There are strengths and weaknesses in both. I am shy and reserved, and knowing I have it in me to be bubbly and talkative (a sanguine trait), I was able to let it out. Only to realize after I took the exam for the second time, that I my secondary temperament is Melancholy. Introvertish. The mind is really strong.

So, here it is! I decided to choose Beverly Lahaye's presentation of my temperament in her book The Spirit-Controlled Woman. A woman's point of view of the temperament.
Strengths of emotions: Calm and dependable. Good-natured and easy to get along with. Cheerful and pleasant even if she doesn't have much to say. Kindhearted. Peace-loving
Emotional weaknesses: Lacks confidence in self. Pessimistic and fearful; worrier. Rarely laughs aloud (i don't understand why this is a weakness). Passive and indifferent. Compromising. Self-righteous.
Strengths in relationship to others: Pleasant to be with. Has many friends. Dry, witty sense of humor. Softening and conciliating effect upon others. Constant and faithful. Diplomatic and a peacemaker. Good listener. Faithful friend. Gives advice only when asked.
Weaknesses in relationships: Doesn't allow herself to get involved. Selfish and stingy. Studies people with indifference. Unenthusiastic. Stubborn. Teases others who annoy her. Not very cordial. Attitude of superiority.
Strengths in activities: Works well under pressure. Practical, easy way of working. Conservative. Neat and proficient. Plans her work before beginning. Stabilizing influence. Dependable worker.
Weaknesses in her action: Calm, serene, uninvolved spectator in life. Slow and lazy. Reluctant leader. Lack of motivation. Indecisive. Overprotects herself from involvement. Discourages others. Opposes change of any kind.

 There you go. Most, if not all, is quite accurate. Those who really know me can testify how the presentation fits their description of me. But I am a combination of Phlegmatic and Melancholy temperaments. The more I know of my weaknesses, the likelier the chance to turn things around and enhance my strengths instead. 
Yes, Garfield is Phlegmatic.

(photos not mine, unless indicated.)