Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tempering Temperament

So lately I've had a few conversations about introversion vs extroversion. I, personally, am pretty much an ENFJ on Myers Briggs, but I have noticed over the past 2 years since I've been teaching, my need for introversion has sky rocketed.

So I am coming to terms with this introverted side of me and suddenly so much makes sense! The above picture really says it all...after talking to 100+ people on the regs each day now in school, on the weekends I am FINE with talking to about 2 at most. Enter, my introvert.

For my birthday, my friend gave me a book she had been talking about in our prayer group and it is also helping me understand my introverted temperament:
It is based on the idea of the Four Temperaments which I actually know of because of an online dating site (ick...) but I have found that I am a pretty split down the middle "Choleric-Melancholic." This book is helping me unpack what that means and I wish I would've unpacked it some of it like 15 years ago! Could've saved me some headache in my teens and twenties for sure!

The idea behind these 4 temperaments and really ANY of those "personality" tests is to help us better understand ourselves and one another. I am aware and weary of people taking these tests and labels way too much to heart. I am also grateful for my experiences in college and actually living in community where I learned that "not everyone thinks like I do" the hard way...

But seriously...would've saved me some energy to have had this book a little sooner!

I don't want to be incredibly self-indulgent and just go on about my temperament, but if you are reading this blog, you are probably someone who cares about me and probably already knows some of this stuff anyways :)

And with that being said...back to me :)

Apparently, the Choleric is extroverted, a natural leader, and is principle focused. Both the Choleric and Sanguine are the extroverted temperaments, but the Sanguine tends to be more driven by relationships than the Choleric.

The Melancholic and Phlegmatic are the more introverted types, with the phlegmatic being the more relationship focused and the melancholic very idealistic, analytical, and again, principle focused.

I've always known  I was a pretty split introvert/extrovert, but like I said these past 2 years of teaching have solidified how split I really am. Now understanding that I base more decisions on principles and ideals than people or relationships is also helpful.

I think I may have gotten the two most interesting pairings of temperaments (and probably the 2 most difficult to deal with!) but I'm sure I'm not alone, and it is the "Temperament God Gave Me", after all! :)

I just thought I'd share this book with you all in case it might be able to help any of you get a little solace for yourselves. Just when I thought I had all the self-discovery I needed in my 20s, God continues to show me there is more to learn- and that's good! That's what I want to hear!

Also, fun fact- these 4 temperaments are named after bodily fluids:

"Choleric- yellow bile from the liver.
Sanguine: blood from the heart.
Melancholic: black bile from the kidneys.
Phlegmatic: phlegm from the lungs." ( page 8, The Temperament God Gave You- Art & Laraine Bennett)

And I guess I'm all bile? Awesome.


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