The Four Temperaments  (Hippocrates)

Today the message out of my tarot cards was quite invasive:

Get ready for big changes – adapt or perish – make sure you rescue what you want to keep, because the rest may be taken from you pretty soon.

So I decided to discuss this in the view of the “four” temperaments.

The Basics:

A quick recap, most of you are probably fluent with Hippocrates’s “four temperaments”.  Now of course there are as many temperaments as there are people on Earth, but one can roughly place most people on a quadrant.

Make a set of axes, and let the Y-axis be the amount of extraversion; the X-axis is a sliding scale from people-driven to task-driven, or emotional to objective.

Like so:

The Four Temperaments

If you look at this graph you will probably see where, more or less, you fall into that system.

Most people have elements of all four temperaments, but one or two will predominate your character.

What drives the temperaments: (simplistically)

  • Sanguine:  “Be my friend!  Look at me!  Where’s the party? “
  • Choleric:  “Do as I tell you!  Am I surrounded by idiots?  Do I have to do everything myself?  Get the task done!”
  • Melancholic:  “It has to be done correctly.  Nobody listens to me!  I’m invisible!  I’m the only one here who really has the expert knowledge to know exactly how this has to be done.  … er… why don’t they invite me to their parties, ever?”
  • Phlegmatic: “Make yourself comfortable – don’t expect me to clear up first.  If I can do it tomorrow why bother today?  It will happen anyway…  I don’t mind.  Feel free.  Help yourself.  Don’t push me.”

This is a horribly simplistic overview, but you get the idea.  *wink*

Pertaining to today’s Tarot reading:  Here are your instructions  😉

Sanguine:  Stay chirpy, it’s not a disaster…  keep calm… remember to make a list of things you need to rescue…  yes there are people who will help you, just stop talking for a second… relax…  listen to the Choleric without getting upset…

Choleric:  Be as organized as you usually are and do take the lead (again), but please – cut the others some slack!  You have it all in control and are doing fine, and you know it, but you may actually be required to help organise the Sanguine – no, don’t shout at her.  And leave the Phleg alone, he’s coping even if it doesn’t look that way.  Do help the Melancholic to prioritize.

Melancholic:  Detail is not as important as getting it done, right now.  Remember the 80/20 rule.  Remember, two swords will stay behind regardless, so decide early what you can afford to lose.  Don’t get upset with the Choleric, she’s only doing her job.

Phlegmatic: Gear up, this is indeed a crisis.  Yes, you will have to get going on it.  Make a to-do list and tick off at least one item a day, it will add up.  No, it’s not as much work as it seems to be.  Yes, you may have to get out there and interact.  Relax, they do like you.  Oh dear, I didn’t say “relax”, did I?  DON’T relax!  Stop relaxing immediately!  Get moving, first the left foot…

😉  Now that you all know exactly what to do, I’ll be out of here.

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