Understanding Temperaments: The Ultimate Life Hack

My life changed when I started learning about temperaments. I went from always wanting to be understood by others and feeling hurt when I wasn’t, to being the one eager to comprehend others, see things from their perspectives and find out how to relate with them in the most beautiful, memorable and profitable way.

There’s hardly any life hack more important than knowing how someone’s mind and heart works and stirring it in your favor.

No matter what field you’re in, having substantial discernment of how people think and are most likely to react will always give you an edge over others and life situations. Gaining this skill would help you relate well with your clients, students, colleagues, family members, friends, leaders, security agents, employees, bosses, strangers, children and most importantly, yourself.

It is profoundly difficult to show empathy towards others when you have little for yourself. This is why it is imperative that you know, understand and embrace the different facets of your temperament while leaving adequate room for improvement.

Know your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. You may not be able to fully minimize your imperfections but it is always a bonus that you are aware of them and as such, know how to handle them in a way that boosts your charisma and overall life experiences.

There are four major temperaments namely sanguine, choleric, melancholy and phlegmatic. Anyone can have a combination of these but it will be in varying proportions. Are you always easily depressed and sensitive to people’s words and emotions?

If so, you’re most likely largely melancholic. Understand this and work on recognizing when this happens, the situations that trigger it and how to remedy the issue when it occurs. I used to wonder why I would do the same thing over and over and still end up getting the same results! It was very frustrating until I found out why. As a largely melancholic person, I tend to be a perfectionist and as such, nothing was ever good enough.


When I realized this, I started making efforts to embrace my imperfections from time to time. Knowing myself also helped me to avoid practicing bad habits that I knew would be difficult for me to stop. You see, we melancholies tend to be very passionate in a quiet way which makes getting involved in dangerous activities all the more alarming for us. Understanding this helped me to avoid what I might not have been able to conquer. And it can help you too.

If the world were a hundred percent filled with phlegmatic people, world peace would not be a discussion at all. This temperament prefers to ignore insults, be by themselves and observe but never comment, especially when it’s unsolicited or would cause a fight.

They are often mistaken for pushovers but these lovely people are actually very strong…in an effective yet gentle way. But they can be difficult to get moving so please don’t err by forcing them to do something all the time. I’ve learnt that they tend to act faster when they know you’re not pushing them.

Moreover, even in the face of scary or unsettling situations, phlegmatic people can maintain the most admirable and sometimes annoyingly frustrating composure and aura of being unbothered. Calm? When the world is on fire? Please Sir, do not fret. This is just their nature which can be enormously useful in emergencies especially medical and hazardous ones. Don’t wait till it happens before you appreciate them. Start now.

Oh, my sanguine people. What would this world be without you! And your happy-go-lucky ways; your attention-loving gestures; your enigmatic display of love, anger, strength, intelligence and every emotion known and unknown; your beautiful and warm way of socializing and making everyone – especially the newbies – feel special and seen. Seen; the one thing sanguine people do not joke with. How do you think the term, ‘life of the party’ was coined! Certainly not from melancholies, lol and especially not from the members of the choleric society!

Despite all their lovable qualities, it is important for sanguineous people to learn how to focus when it matters most and take some aspects of life seriously e.g., while conducting a surgery, driving a vehicle or encouraging children raging with fragile emotions. They should also know that while comedic relief can be useful at times, reading the room and discerning when, where and how to apply it is essential to earning and enjoying the respect of others as well as inspiring them to feel good about life.

This piece would not be complete without the all-important choleric. These people have such a deep and rare sense of self-value and confidence…or perhaps, arrogance as some like to claim. However, I believe that not all choleric individuals are proud or stiff but the qualities that they exude can give people that impression.

Nevertheless, these traits which include punctuality, seriousness, reliability, rigidity and a sharp intolerance for laziness and foolishness are very relevant in the corporate world and any formal space. These people just have to figure out when and where to be more flexible, less intolerant and relax more. It can be stressful for a child to connect with a choleric parent who isn’t aware of the adjustments he or she needs to make when necessary.

Being strict and loving is an equilibrium the choleric human should strive to achieve. Work is important but not as much as building and preserving healthy relationships and resolving conflicting emotions.

You won’t always be able to select the temperaments you’ll come in contact with. So, it is wise to learn their ways and know how to handle interacting with each one. My friend and I got into the fun habit of discerning people’s temperament combination and it has helped us get along with each other and others immensely.

It could be stressful at first and even frustrating but please stay on it. Discover more in order to love better and enjoy the various nuances in people’s character. We all need each other so let’s keep working on being people-savvy. This is the ultimate life hack. The results you’ll get will surely surpass the efforts invested.

You see that person who always bullies you or your children? Discover what makes them tick and implement a strategy. How about that relative specializing in rude remarks in the university of annoyance? Don’t stress over them anymore. Figure out how they think and conquer them without breaking a sweat.

It is sweet to be understood but it is even more delicious to be able to discern people, love them better and reap all the rewards you never even thought possible. As you start this new phase in your lifestyle, I’m positive that you’ll end up enjoying bonding with humans more than ever. I can already imagine your brain and heart high-fiving each other while you sip some wine and savor your best life.


Gary is a lifestyle writer with a passion for healthy living, fitness, and self-improvement. His writing is dedicated to helping readers achieve their best selves through practical tips and advice.