Temperament, in simple terms, is the inborn ( not genetic, i.e., brown hair, blue eyes, etc.) part of man that determines how he reacts to people, places and things. In short, it is how people interact with their environment and the world around them. Temperament pinpoints our perception of ourselves and the people who love us. It is also the determining factor in how well we handle the stresses and pressures of life.
The Building Blocks
The first building block for understanding human behavior is God-created.
This is called our temperament. When we are conceived our unique temperament is placed within us by the order of God.
The second building block for understanding human behavior is that we are man/environment-affected. This is called our character. At birth, we begin interacting with our environment and our environment interacts with us. The environment is everything we see, hear, smell, feel and learn. These perceptions are forever locked in our brain, and they slightly mold and altar our temperament thereby forming character. (temperament x environment = character.)
The third building block for understanding human behavior is that we are self-selected. This is called our personality and is expressed in the way we perceive how we must behave to survive in the world in which we live.
What is Temperament Therapy?
The theory of temperament teaches that our temperament is placed within us
by God while in our mother's womb, and that this temperament will remain with us throughout our lives. We are spiritual beings created by God with a precise order and balance of body, soul and spirit. The spirit encompasses our temperament, and our heart is the binding, blending and balancing agent within our temperament. This overlaps our soul and spirit and provides God's order within each of us.
Patricia Jones, M.A. ( Online Counseling )
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Temperament Online Counseling
If you would like advice or counseling from Patricia Jones, M.A. concerning your temperament traits or those of a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact her via email or telephone counseling per instructions below:
The understanding of temperament gives us a "special knowledge" of the inner workings of each individual. It helps to identify the pressures or feelings they are dealing with and where they are coming from:
b. the world in which he/she lives.
c. his/her weaknesses or desires.
Temperament is a determining factor in:
a. finding a career that is most comfortable for us.
b. finding hobbies that will bring us the most satisfaction and enjoyment.
c. how we make decisions and take on responsibilities.
d. how dependent or independent we are.
e. our spiritual development.
( Happiness in marriage is greatly dependent on how well each spouse understands their partner's temperament and how willing they are to meet their partner's temperament needs.)
The way a man perceives himself, his world and God will determine how he will behave. These perceptions are founded in the temperament. Therefore, on the basis of this premises, the temperament is the determining factor of what we are, but our environment and our relationship with God determine what we will become.
There is no right or wrong Temperament.
All temperaments come from God but each has strengths and weaknesses. The key is to find out what temperament you were born with, and keep it in balance by meeting your temperament needs. When you do this, many conflicts that you may be having with your spouse, your children, or others can be resolved.
And it is important that you find out the temperament of those that you interact with. When you do, you can compromise and meet each other half way.
Many of your problems or the problems of others that you are interacting with or know are probably being caused by trying to meet a temperament need in an ungodly way. Unmet needs become weaknesses.
When you find out what your temperament is and you understand your temperament, you will have the correct knowledge to find balance in your life and in the lives of your significant others. You are given the ability to find balance between body, soul and spirit, which allows you to become the best that you can be, and thereby find peace in your circumstances.
The Three traits and five Temperament Types:
It is exciting to learn what your temperament is so that you can understand who you are and who God created you to be. You will learn about yourself in three different areas:
* INCLUSION TRAITS:This tells you how you function in, and respond to your environment.
* CONTROL TRAITS:This tells you how you think and how you make decisions. it also tells you how much you allow others to control you, or how much you try to control others.
* AFFECTION TRAITS:This tells you how you express and want love, affection and approval from the significant people in your life.
Looking in these three areas allows you to find out what your temperament is, and whether or not you are a pure temperament or are a blend of the five temperament types. You may be Melancholy/Phlegmatic in the Inclusion area, but Supine in Control, and Sanguine in Affection. There are any number of blendings and temperament combinations that you could be.
The Five Temperament Types are as follows:
* THE MELANCHOLY ..... who tends to be an introvert in socialization, who looks at their home as a "sanctuary" away from the world, who is task oriented, very creative, a perfectionist, and plagued with low self-esteem. Melancholy's need "alone quiet time every day, to think, dream, and regenerate." They also give the world it's beauty, it's great art and music, and literature. They tend to think deep and feel things intensely.
Motto: " You have the problem, not me." ( Famous melancholy's are Ernest Hemingway, Van Gogh, Beethoven )
* THE SANGUINE ..... who tends to be the extrovert, who needs to be the center of attention, always looking for opportunities to socialize, has tons of friends, talks talks talks, tells complete strangers their entire life story, gives in to peer pressure, has a temper that explodes and five minutes later cannot remember why they exploded. Relationship oriented. Motto: " I'm ready to go."
* THE CHOLERIC..... who tends to be the extrovert. Always needing to be in control of the situation, to get or accomplish whatever they want, able to envision great projects and having the power to complete whatever they set out to do. Motto: " Win at any cost." ( if used correctly, choleric's become presidents, and CEO's of companies, if used wrongly, they can become abusive and cruel.)
* THE PHLEGMATIC... who tends to be extremely slow-paced, stubborn, going through life doing as little as possible because it takes too much energy to really use their talents. They can handle themselves well in almost all situations, well-rounded individuals and "can roll with the punches." Motto: " Peace at all costs."
* THE SUPINE .... who tends to be the servant, wanting to run themselves ragged to please the people around them. They must have recognition for services rendered. Cannot make decisions independently and always ask for second opinions from those around them. They say "yes" when they mean "no" and then feel used and angry about it later. Must feel loved, appreciated, and approved, working side-by-side with a help-mate. Motto: " I will do anything in the world for you, as long as you treat me right." (These people take after Mother Teresa)
Interestingly enough, many women who are victims of domestic violence test out to have the "Supine" temperament and the men who are batterers tend to be "Choleric." This does not mean that all people who are choleric are abusive but they are capable of it.
Whatever your temperament is, it is affected by the environment that you grew up in, and the environment that you are in today. So not every Choleric, Supine, etc, is like every other Choleric, Supine, etc. We are all individuals, even with our temperaments.
But, understanding one's temperament explains many things. For instance, you can have three children in the same abusive, dysfunctional family, where they all received the same abusive treatment from the parents. But because we all have different temperaments, each of those three children will react differently to the same treatment. One child will grow up and be completely opposite of what they endured as a child and will make wonderful parents in spite of the role models that they had for parents.
An oak is an oak tree, and an apple is an apple tree. We do not criticize the oak because it is not an apple, or the apple because it is not an oak. We only see the beauty of the two different creations of God and accept their individual places in the scheme of creation. So it should be with people.
We must not criticize them for what they are and try to make them into something different. We must love them the way that they are, and lead them, through God's Word, to find the unique place God has created for them. We must know our strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of those we love, and only then can you find balance in your relationships.