Why you act the way you do (1)

Good morning. A few years back, after I finished my OND, I was home alone for almost a year. During this time, if I wasn’t watching movies or playing games or working, I was usually self-reflecting, you know closing my eyes meditating (on previous years, books, God etc), observing nature, having a sense of myself. I enjoyed it mostly. I loved/love being alone. I “almost” never get bored when I’m alone.

Then one day I was chatting on WhatsApp and a friend said “…Guy, I can’t stay alone by myself, I have to go out and be around people.” I was like “wow”. I just couldn’t wrap my head around someone always wanting to be around people and not wanting to be by himself, at least sometimes. That same month, I decided to go get another self-help book as usual, at the bookstore, the bookstore keeper recommended Tim Lahaye’s book “why you act the way you do” I liked the title and bought it immediately. I was eager to delve into this book and unravel the mysteries behind human behaviours.

In this book, I found out why people act the way they do. I found out there are primarily 4 kinds of people in the world. The sanguines, The choleric, The melancholics and The Phlegmatics. These are called temperaments. Since we have two parents and four grandparents, We’re all a blend of at least two temperaments; one is predominant (primary) and the other is secondary. For example, if you’re predominantly phlegmatic and have a sprinkle of sanguine, then you’re a “phlegSan”. if you’re predominantly choleric and have a sprinkle of melancholy, then you’re a “ChlorMel”. These are called temperament blends.

Today’s blog is basically a summary of a portion of this book.

What is temperament?

Temperament is an unseen force underlying human actions. It’s a combination of inborn traits that subconsciously affects our behaviours and actions. They are hereditary.

A brief history of the four temperaments

Most human theories aren’t perfect, the theory of the four basic temperaments isn’t perfect either. It’s the oldest on record going back 3 thousand years in proverbs 30 Vs 11 – 14 where King Solomon saw 4 kinds of people. These kinds of people were named by a Greek philosopher and scientist Hippocrates about 500 years later. Galen, another Greek scientist came up with strengths and weaknesses.

There are other personality and temperament theories out there eg zodiac signs, Sigmund Freud personality theory. Personally, I prefer the four temperaments theory. I feel it’s much more accurate.

Let’s meet the four basic temperaments

Before we proceed, let it be known that no one temperament is greater than the other and this analysis shouldn’t be used to analyze your friends and bully them. The purpose of this study is for self-analysis and to understand the strengths and shortcomings of others so we know how to relate with them better. In some instances, to help anticipate behaviours and try to avoid unnecessary conflicts. Without further ado, let’s meet;

1. Sanguine; They are usually the life of the party. They are warm, lively, fun-loving, friendly, outgoing extroverts. He loves being around people. When he comes into a room of people, he has the tendency to lift up the spirits of everyone by his exuberant flow of conversation. He is a thrilling storyteller. He is funny, very positive, talkative, restless, likes to play. He never lacks stories and never lacks friends. They are always fun to be with.

They let feelings and emotions dominate their decisions and actions as they don’t think things through. He is forgetful. He often speaks without thinking. He is unstable and disorganized.

2. Cholerics; They are usually leaders. They are active, practical, strong-willed extroverts. He often succeeds where others fail. They’re always up and doing. They are decisive and optimistic. To him “life is activity”. He is goal-oriented, he always has visions. He is confident, adventurous, daring, bold, competitive, outspoken and productive.

He interrupts others while they speak, he is unsympathetic. He is Frank and insensitive. He is domineering and bossy and doesn’t hesitate to use people to accomplish his desires.

3. Melancholy; They are perfectionists and are the richest of all temperaments. They are analytical, gifted (music, arts, athletics etc), self-sacrificing, sensitive introverts. No one enjoys fine arts better than them. He rarely makes friends yet is a faithful friend and can stick with a friend for life. A detailed planner Sometimes, when excited could talk more than usual. He likes to be behind the scenes and is dependable, creative, organized.

They are easily depressed, They have occasional mood swings. He is hard to please, critical, a loner, unforgiving, Self-centred and pessimistic.

4. Phlegmatic; They are calm, cool, slow, easygoing and most of the times are introverts. He rarely gets angry and is sympathetic, rarely conveys his true feelings. Though he is not outgoing and extrovertish, he has friends usually because of his hospitable nature and his naturally dry sense of humour. He loves routine (regular daily habits) and doesn’t like variety. He enjoys being by himself. He is lovable, a good listener, pleasant, organized, teases others (sarcasm), consistent. Shockingly they have leadership tendencies and can be good leaders. They don’t naturally take leadership up except it’s being thrust on them. They’re “reluctant leaders”.

He avoids much involvement as possible in anything. They tend to be spectators in life, they love to be behind the scenes even if they get involved. They could stick with one job for their entire career (20 years, 30 years etc). He is usually content and satisfied with his life. He is aimless and stubborn, a worrier, slow and lazy, hesitant and doesn’t take risks.

So which am I?

Like I said earlier, we have two parents and four grandparents, We’re all a blend of at least two temperaments; one is predominant (primary) and the other is secondary. For example, if you’re predominantly phlegmatic and have a sprinkle of sanguine, then you’re a “phlegSan”. So evaluate yourself.

If you think you still need more info before you can evaluate yourself you can Check out Tim Lahaye’s books on temperaments; why you act the way you do, spirit controlled temperament etc. Also, you can check out this site to find out your predominant and secondary temperament.


Which one is Jeff’s?😎

WellπŸ˜‰, while reading Tim Lahaye’s books, I discovered I am predominantly phlegmatic. So I carefully studied and re-studied their strengths and weaknesses. My secondary temperament is choleric (I’ve usually hated disliked my choleric friends for their choleric behaviours. Irony!😁). So I’m a PhlegChol. But, on taking the test from openpsychometrics.org (the link above), I found out that I am a PhlegSan. Now I don’t know which to believe.

What matters, I believe, is that I’m Phlegmatic and I have to take note of my strengths and work really hard on my weaknesses. So should you.πŸ˜‰

Later, probably in the next post, I’ll talk more on the temperament blends, strengths, weaknesses, habits etc

To be continued…

Till next time folks please like, share and make a comment before leaving.

Au revoir ✌🏽

Source; Why You act the way you do – Tim Lahaye

Spirit-controlled temperament – Tim Lahaye

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