Types of temperament

Methods of personal self-development

Human behavior is determined by upbringing, social experience, temperament. The latter determines the character traits and plays a predominant role in the life of the individual. Actions, emotions and even fateful decisions depend on it. Types of temperament: sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic. Each has not only positive but also negative traits. Understanding the latter allows you to avoid many problems if you follow the recommendations given by experienced psychologists.

What is temperament?

It is a biological foundation, that is, not acquired, but innate, which forms character. It determines the behavior, social psyche and adaptation of the individual. The founder of the doctrine of temperament types is considered to be Hippocrates.

Ancient Greek philosopher, doctor and healer adhered to the theory of dividing people into four types of substance:

  • blood – sanguine;
  • yellow bile – choleric;
  • phlegm (phlegm/mucus) – phlegmatic;
  • black bile – melancholic.

In his writings, he described only substances, and the classification on the types of temperament has already defined the Roman naturalist Claudius Galen. He traveled a lot, studying medicine, philosophy, observing people.


Characterized by a strong-willed nature, lack of balance, excessive mobility, lack of restraint. Choleric has the following qualities:

  • excellent and eloquent orators, convincingly proving their point in any dispute;
  • forget grievances quickly and cannot stay angry at their abusers for long;
  • Are able to withstand difficulties, especially in critical situations;
  • tend to be domineering and quickly change moods;
  • Are intemperate in their utterances, which often results in rudeness;
  • Jealous and exhibit a sense of ownership towards their other half.

As a child, choleric children are capricious and like to use their emotions to get what they want, from toys to going to an amusement park. Becoming a teenager, exhibit hyperactivity, are often fond of sports and music, but rather quickly they get bored with these activities.

The main disadvantages of people with a type of temperament choleric is:

  • Excessive haste in actions;
  • lack of patience;
  • impulsiveness;
  • Excessive directness and harshness;
  • episodic aggressiveness.

These disadvantages often lead to an aggravation of situations, conflicts and quarrels almost out of nowhere. To avoid this, psychologists advise to use the rule of ten seconds, that is, every time to count to yourself 1, 2, 3 … 10, and then speak or act.


Drowsy, pessimistic, susceptible to depression and bouts of despair, can not rejoice, sees life in a negative tone, is subject to bouts of pity, and so on. People with a type of temperament melancholic:

  • constantly suppress emotions, keep all feelings inside, often suffering from prolonged depressions;
  • react slowly to external stimuli, do not remember new information;
  • have low self-esteem and a lot of complexes;
  • need constant breaks and rest when doing monotonous work;
  • are not sociable and have difficulties in finding a second half and close friends;
  • seeking to be taken care of, subconsciously gravitate to cholerics and sanguines.

They have difficulty building a personal life, because too cowardly and indecisive, and want a strong man as a partner.

There is a similar temperament and pluses. Such people are very kind, share with others the last of what they have. Subconsciously always seek to help those in need.

The main disadvantages:

  • constant insecurity;
  • unstable emotional background;
  • difficulty in perceiving the world around them;
  • a tendency to depressive states;
  • pessimistic moods;
  • excessive vulnerability.

Psychologists advise to try not to isolate oneself, to travel a lot and make more acquaintances, do sports or creative work, surround yourself with family and friends. The comfort zone will help to overcome low self-esteem.


Vivacious and faulty optimists, unable to sit in one place. Are constantly on the move. Such people:

  • active in absolutely all spheres of life, but without trying to dictate their own as choleric;
  • Excessive excitability with a low inhibition threshold, leading to a somewhat illusory view of the world;
  • Ability to lead a crowd and find compromise in absolutely any difficult situation;
  • hyperactivity, manifested in the desire to make life interesting by traveling and discovering new things.

Among people with a type of temperament sanguine many musicians, actors and artists. Monotonous and monotonous work leads them into a depressed state.

They can seem a little scattered, because they easily remember any curiosities, but they forget about the birthdays of even the dearest and other important things. The reason is that they can only focus on what is of interest, and this is usually something new.

Emotions sanguine sincere, so he never hides his sympathy from people he likes. He always has a lot of friends, which he is ready to help, but to build a strong family, he often prevents excessive thirst for communication.

The disadvantages of this temperament are:

  • fickleness, when the started thing, if it turns out to be boring, is not brought to an end;
  • overestimation of oneself and one’s own abilities;
  • mood swings.

To become more reliable in routine matters, which play an important role in everyone’s life, psychologists recommend sanguine people to work on willpower, as well as pay attention not only to bright and admirable things, but also to the little things.


Balanced people who think through absolutely every step. Have an analytical mind and always a sober assessment of the situation, rarely succumbing to emotions and showing his temper even in difficult situations.


  • rarely lose their temper and hardly ever show any joy or activity;
  • Take a long time to get to know people before making contact;
  • do not tolerate changes of scenery and prefer the comfort of home to active entertainment;
  • are painstaking and assiduous, can memorize a huge amount of information;
  • are withdrawn, secretive, poor at making contact, but do everything to win the favor of the one they like.

Since by nature they do not get along well with people, they treasure friends and usually such relationships last a lifetime. Get married late and carefully looking for his soul mate.

The main disadvantages of the type of temperament phlegmatic are:

  • poor receptivity and lack of initiative even in the presence of strong external stimuli;
  • stinginess on emotions, slow inclusion in work, poor contact with people around;
  • difficulty in adapting to changes in the environment.

In terms of psychology, this is the most balanced of all substances individual, but in order for things to work out in life, such people need to fight lethargy and laziness.

How to determine the type of temperament?

The kind of nervous system inherent in nature determines character traits, but not personality. The latter depends on the upbringing, life situations and the environment. Having a calm and sensible parents, choleric may not grow up absolutely prone to scandals.

Bright and typical representatives of a particular temperament is not very much. A person is often dominated by a single dominant, and the rest to a greater or lesser extent. There may be all four, or only one additional.

This often leads to a dead end, but do not forget that the response of the nervous system in any case, give away the interlocutor:

  • Inability to get out of yourself indicates that you are a phlegmatic;
  • Excessive emotionality and an attempt to dominate are always inherent only in cholerics;
  • Lack of faith in a good outcome gives phlegmatic, even when he tries to express the phrase “hope for the best;
  • optimism and a joyful view of the world are qualities of the sanguine.

If you want to make friends or have a serious relationship, but the contact does not work, analyze the behavior of the person and determine what type of temperament suits him best. Once you determine this, you can not change anything in him, but will better understand what line of behavior to choose, what to expect, and what will never work.

Temperament type tests

Self-analysis is characteristic of rare individuals. Reading the definition, a person most often compares only positive traits with himself. Typical melancholics are an exception. Their low self-esteem in most cases is so small that they can unmistakably define themselves even by description.

Passing the test
Passing the test

The rest should be tested. The following are recognized as the best:

  • Rusalov questionnaire;
  • Belov’s method;
  • Eisenk’s test;
  • Smishek questionnaire.

They include many questions that must be answered without unnecessary reflection. Only one dominant type is identified in this way, but it is enough to work on yourself and correct the deficiencies that exist.

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