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April 22, 2015

I’m often confused by my temperament.  Sometimes I feel pretty melancholy, and identify entirely with that disposition.  Other times I feel sanguine, extremely extroverted, and downright happy.  I can flip between the two pretty quickly, which plays into my confusion.  So, I started reading about the various combinations, seeking to see how they interact.  I ended up finding an article written by John D. Cocoris (Th.M., Psy.D) in 2009, in which he describes “The Performer” and “The Democrat.”

The Performer is more formal than the other Sanguines.  They are very concerned about making a favorable impression and being accepted by others.  They tend to be very image conscious and tend to actively seek recognition for their achievements…. To be highly motivated they need security, freedom of expression, relationships with people and the opportunity to be creative…. They may be reluctant to take action until they have confidence that they will not fail – if they cannot be sure, they often do not try.

The Diplomat is more friendly than the other Melancholy blends.  They have high personal ambitions.  This is a well-balanced systematic, precise thinker and worker who tend to follow procedures… They make decisions slowly because of collecting and analyzing information until they are sure of the best course of action.  To be highly motivated they need a structured environment with clear rules and procedures, time to organize, collect information, think and time to develop a plan and have some social interaction.

Another common aspect of the Melancholy/Sanguine combo is high self-criticism and a negative self-image.  Anyone who knows me well knows I struggle with both quite often.

The thing is, temperaments are not inherently good or bad; they’re completely neutral.  I’m not less-than for being melancholy.  Yet, that same melancholic temperament leads me to believe the opposite.  So, at my lower moments, I tend to get stuck in a pattern of self-loathing and negativity.

You know who else is widely considered to be a Melancholy?  Moses.  I mean, it makes sense, right?  Exodus 3 is filled with Moses’ excuses, most of which have to do with negative self-perception and false pretense about the core of who he is.

God can use anyone, even a Melancholy like me, to do great things for his Kingdom.  I find comfort in that, even when the melancholic side begins to overwhelm me.

What temperament do you most identify with?  How do you see that play out in your daily life?  How can God use that to achieve his purpose?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Beth permalink
    April 22, 2015 11:54 am

    I love how you referenced a biblical person in your blog. It really brings hope and light to what is ordinarily considered less than. I don’t think I’ll ever view it the same way again. Thank you, son.

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