Wisdom Wednesdays: What is Your Temperament?

Are you Phlegmatic, Choleric, Melancholic, or Sanguine?

When you look out at the world you’ll notice there are interesting parallels between many concepts particularly the abstract. An example of this is the Greek Four Temperaments which can mirror our four seasons of each year (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter) as well as the four elements (Earth, air, fire, and water). It is believed that Hippocrates helped develop this healing treatment and sometimes a resurgence of interest is kindled again in studying this philosophy of life. These Four Temperaments break down as follows below.


Phlegmatics may actually go about their tasks or life situations with difficulty. They are most often patient, orderly, measured, and without expression of inordinately strong emotions. This temperament will work to keep the peace and be slow moving as well as loyal and committed. Hidden beneath their exterior is an iron will which can make for them to become good firefighters, police officers, and military strategists as their ability to remain cool under pressure is often excellent. The Phlegmatic is introverted like the Melancholic which means leadership roles may not come easily to them as they prefer to be followers.

Strengths can be seen as one who is calm, reliable, diplomatic, content, accepting, and rational. The weaknesses lie in being shy, passive, indecisive, permissive, unambitious, and apathetic. The humor associated with Phlegmatic is phlegm with a cold and wet constitution. Foods to avoid include dairy products, refined sugars, refined starches/flours, wheat or glutinous foods, and ice cold drinks. Some of the possible health concerns when there is imbalance would include:

  • Sinus congestion
  • Water retention
  • Lymphatic congestion
  • Improper venous circulation
  • Sluggish digestion
  • Adrenal gland hypo-function
  • Obesity
  • More frequent respiratory infections such as cold/flu


Choleric is one who is decisive with reactions which will be quick and long lasting. It is these who are the quintessential leader displaying for us competitiveness, confidence, and direction in life as they know what they want and how to get it. These are the ones who will be goal oriented seeing the big picture yet may not understand that they need people to assist them with accomplishing or achieving their aims. This traps them in forever doing things themselves as they also suffer from the ingrained belief that only they can do it the best. The Choleric will struggle with pride more than others. Relationships can be difficult due to their tendency towards insensitivity with a lack of vulnerability.

Strengths can be seen as one who is ambitious, a planner, efficient, a leader, confident, and a motivator. The weaknesses lie in being demanding, intolerant, too busy body, impatient, tense, and inflexible. The humor associated with Choleric is yellow bile with a hot and dry constitution. Foods to avoid include high sodium, high fat/cholesterol, fried, highly fermented (vinegar for example), aged cheeses, and excessive spicy foods or red meats. Some of the possible health concerns when there is imbalance would include:

  • Hives
  • Inflammatory disease
  • High cholesterol/blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Middle GI tract dysfunction (ulcers for example)
  • Higher incidence of viral/bacterial infection


The Melancholic is not easily stimulated, but once anything excites them they will become a go-getter. They are prone to solitude and self reflection yet may appear negative or skeptical finding it hard to see life on the bright side. It’s vital they learn to not become paralyzed in the face of a difficult task; the Melancholic tends to procrastinate mulling pessimistically over everything that could go wrong. They excel at attention to detail and make the greatest of mystics. A virtuous melancholic will be long suffering, able to withstand their personal crosses with incredible fortitude, and seldom complain.

Strengths can be seen as one who is thoughtful, considerate, organized, detail oriented, creative, and self reliant. The weaknesses lie in being moody, discontent, obsessive compulsive, perfectionist, pessimist, and having tunnel vision. The humor associated with Melancholic is black bile with a cold and dry constitution. Foods to avoid include excessive beans/lentils, soy, nuts, acerbic foods, nightshade vegetables, and high fats. Some of the possible health concerns when there is imbalance would include:

  • Anemia
  • Reduced appetite
  • Digestive disorders
  • Diabetes/Hypoglycemia
  • Vertigo/dizziness
  • Depression
  • Arthritis/rheumatic conditions


The Sanguine person is one who is quick and experiences life as short lived. Easily aroused yet quick to forget they enjoy experiences and the company of others while being a favorite at parties for their warm and vivacious personalities. The Sanguine has many friends on the surface level and can be interested in multiple things, but may not have the attention span to truly master them. Their greatest strength lies in being affable and willing to go along with others. The Sanguine will have to work hard to master themselves yet can be a great contributor to any project or team.

Strengths can be seen as one who is sociable, outgoing, optimistic, forgives, confident, and fun loving. The weaknesses lie in being impulsive, often late, selfish, exaggerated, forgetful, and shameless. The humor associated with Sanguine is blood with a warm and moist constitution. Foods to avoid include excess meat consumption, rich fats, and excess in sweets. Some of the possible health concerns when there is imbalance would include:

  • Congestive liver/pancreas failure
  • Sluggish metabolism
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Gout
  • Urinary complications
  • Respiratory infection
  • Skin disorders

It is important to recognize these are not your character nor does it distinguish your maturity level. Likewise this is not a trait or type as both would be considered categories into which any human could fit or not fit. The Four Temperaments represent a group of tendencies which produce a specific manner or way of being in the world. We could even say this signifies the way many relate to themselves or others. When we describe ourselves or another as shy or outgoing these are traits which we use to define a behavior we exhibit.

I happen to be a Phlegmatic Melancholic which aptly means I am consistent in all I do. I value routines and will often be accommodating of others and passive displaying patience, control, deliberateness, and an amiable easy going nature in most situations unless I’m stressed or suffering from bouts of anxiety. I carry with me a steady and persevering demeanor which translates well with starting new projects and seeing them through to completion. However, I am highly independent which makes teamwork environments more difficult on me as I’m very solitary in nature. Every approach I take in life is done by asking questions, critically thinking, and setting my own pace. I prefer work of a technical nature and involvement often with a limited number of people during projects I undertake. The Phlegmatic Melancholic is called the helper.

Please comment below and let me know what your Temperament (take a free test at the underlined hyperlink) is! Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.

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I am a licensed aesthetician (#1446048 Expires October 2023) who has worked previously in medical malpractice and personal injury legal administration, life/health insurance for State Farm, and various retail roles including personal shopper. My passion at this time lies in the field of esoteric studies. I am also a Master Level Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki certified healer.

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