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Sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic - how each temperament manifests itself


Sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic - these are 4 types of human temperaments. I am sure that knowledge of temperament is extremely important, because it is up to him to behave, his reaction to the world around him, and his ability to interact with other people. I propose to find out everything about your temperament and your loved ones in the following material.

Temperament: what is it, its performance

Today, it’s probably difficult to find a person who could not answer the question: “Choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic - what is it?”. But at the same time few people have complete information on this topic, usually limited to only general information. It is urgently necessary to correct the situation!

Let's start with the establishment of the concept of "temperament". What it is?

In psychology temperament considered as a personal characteristic that is most strongly influenced by innate, that is, natural psychophysiological properties. Temperament It also acts as an individual personality trait due to his mental activity — intensity, speed, and pace of mental processes.

Most of the temperament manifests itself in three areas, namely:

  1. in total activity;
  2. on indicators of the motor sphere;
  3. emotionality.

Consider all 3 indicators in more detail:

  • To analyze total personality activity helps the degree of intensity of its interaction with the outside world (nature and society). At this point, there are two borderline states: from brightly manifested lethargy, passivity to, on the contrary, excessively increased activity, quick actions and reactions.
  • Motor (or motor) activity is given by speed and sharpness in movements, manner of speaking, external mobility or, on the contrary, sluggishness, sociability or isolation.
  • Discover about the emotionality of the individual it is possible for rapidly changing emotional states, susceptibility to various emotions, mental sensitivity.

The teachings about the human temperament have been known since antiquity. And they have always been associated with physiology. Back in the 5th century BC, the great healer of antiquity Hippocrates made a description of 4 types of temperament (which we still use today).

He believed that the attitude to a particular temperament depends on the dominant fluid in the body:

  • in sanguine persons it is blood;
  • choleric - bile;
  • phlegmatic - mucus;
  • and melancholic - black bile.

Hippocrates considered temperaments solely from the standpoint of physiology.

In the 18th century AD, an analogy was made between hippocratic temperament varieties and four psychological types. This, in turn, was the starting point in the in-depth study of this topic. To this day since then, no significant changes have occurred. We also associate the choleric temperament with aggressiveness, the sanguine temperament with the love of life, the phlegmatic temperament with pacification, and the melancholic temperament with melancholy and receptivity.

Modern psychology finds under temperament manifestation of stable and stable innate personality characteristics that affect the characteristics of mental activity, regardless of its content.

The following properties are attributed to temperament:

  • extraversion;
  • introversion;
  • reaction rate;
  • plastic;
  • rigidity.

Consider further details.

Concepts extraversion and introversion brought into use by Carl Gustav Jung (who was a Swiss psychologist and philosopher). According to them, it is possible to establish how much the reaction and activity of an individual depend on external factors (extraversion) or is provoked by deep psychological processes and experiences (introversion). The extroverts are sanguine and choleric, and the introverts are phlegmatic and melancholic.

Reaction rate - tells about the speed with which mental processes and mental reactions take place (quick mind, speed of speech, gestures). This parameter increases in choleric, sanguine, melancholic sleepers and decreases in phlegmatic and tired melancholic. A person who has a quick reaction against a background of low sensitivity (sanguine and choleric) does not realize that phlegmatic and melancholic people cannot follow the course of his thinking. As a result, wrong conclusions are made regarding intellectual data of the second category, which has a very negative impact on human relationships, especially business ones.

Low activity - acts as a degree of involuntary reactions with regards to external and internal influences and irritations (manifestations of criticism, offensive expressions, raising the voice). These protection and orientation reactions are automated. More active choleric with sanguine, inactive phlegmatic.

Activity - according to it, we get information about the energy potential of an individual, used by him for overcoming obstacles, as well as achieving his goals. This indicator manifests itself as persistence, goal-orientedness, concentration of attention. This is the main property of temperament, which is responsible for achieving goals.

The most active in this parameter are phlegmatic, although their low reactivity does not allow you to quickly get involved in the work. The owner of phlegmatic temperament almost never faces overwork. Choleric individuals are active, but they also have reactivity. Sanguine quite active, but with monotonous activity quickly tired. Melancholic inactive.

It is by the ratio of reactivity with activity that we find out what influences human activity the most: external or internal circumstances - mood, random events, or goals, intentions, convictions.

Plasticity and rigidity indicators - will tell about the ability flexibly adapt to external influences (plasticity) or inert behavior (rigidity). Sanguine persons have the highest plasticity, and phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic are considered rigid.

By emotional excitability - will find out about the minimum impact that is needed for an emotional reaction to occur, and with what speed it will develop. Sanguine, choleric and melancholic are strongly emotionally excitable, and phlegmatic people have a weak emotionality.

By a special combination of activity, which is influenced by the intensity and volume of the interaction of the individual with the outside world (physical and social), as well as the degree of emotion, we learn about the individual characteristics of temperament - "dynamic aspects of behavior".

Scientists are convinced that this parameter has a specific physiological basis - that is, it has certain features of the functioning of physiological structures. It is also known that temperament is innate, it builds the base of all personal properties, in particular character. And under the formation of the latter indicators of temperament become certain traits of character.

Types of temperaments and their characteristics

Having understood what temperament is, and also having familiarized with its main components, it’s time to learn the characteristics of a sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic.


This type of temperament, according to Academician Pavlov, is the most "normal" of all. And he found all other temperaments as deviations from this norm.

For sanguine temperament is characterized by a strong and very mobile nervous system. This provokes his increased work capacity and the ability to perform various tasks in turn. Also, such an individual easily adapts to new conditions and people. He behaves actively, quickly in his life, has active facial expressions, gestures well.

It has a high sensitivity, which allows him not to get angry because of little things, as, for example, choleric does. For the same reason, it does not take too much the hearts of others around. It is a typical extrovert, which pays more attention to external objects than to internal experiences.

Sanguine people are lively and expressive, they constantly strive to realize their impulses (desires, pans). And they are not inclined to get lost in doubt for a long time, preferring quick decisions. Thanks to these qualities, it is the sanguine person that can be called the most adapted and perfectly feeling in conditions of society. But he has a highly developed "Ego", as well as the ability to take control over their feelings and emotions. The actions of such people are always deliberate and rational.

The ideal work of sanguine persons is related to people, but not involving too close contact. That is, it is the work of the seller or administrator, but not a psychologist or a doctor.

Representatives of this type of temperament have an average ability to learn, are superficial in the acquired skills and knowledge. The same applies to interaction with other people: the sanguine feelings are also superficial and tend to pass quickly. Their leadership qualities are not bad, but not the best either. In conflict situations, they try to “get dry out of the water” than to solve the problem by physical disassembly.


This type has a very strong, but completely unbalanced nervous system (the predominance of excitation processes over inhibition processes). This causes increased emotionality and a strong response to external factors. His nervous processes proceed even faster than that of sanguine persons, therefore, choleric people are so quick and sharp in their movements.

Like the sanguine, is an extrovert. He always tries to realize his motives, in particular, his brightly expressed expression. If you see somewhere a person who is constantly gesticulating and looking in all directions, possesses active facial expressions - you know, this is definitely a choleric person.

Choleric strongly reactive - that is, quickly respond to external stimulation. To attract the attention of such individuals is not very difficult. Often they over-react even to weak stimuli. Slightly less socially adaptive than sanguine, the cause of which — others often find their reactions not quite adequate. They have a weak "Ego": it is incredibly difficult for them to control their emotions and impulses. They are characterized by strong emotionality, as well as irrational thinking.

Choleric ideally work in the media or in show business, because of them make great actors. They also often become musicians, artists, writers.

Prone to superficial knowledge, not a general theory. In love, they show fervor, but their feelings often cool quickly. In a relationship, they need a certain drive, extreme, constant new emotions. They are best to create a pair with other choleric and sanguine. A phlegmatic and melancholic can not stand this hot temperament.

Prone to leadership, but, again, greatly hampered by their increased emotionality, as well as irrational decisions. In conflicts, choleric men show all their fuse and, unlike sanguine, they often solve problems with their fists.

Phlegmatic person

This type has a strong but inert nervous system - that is, with great difficulty it is removed from the state of equilibrium. These people are ideally suited for a long and monotonous activity that does not tire them at all. But to switch to something else phlegmatic is already hard.

Due to its sluggish nervous system, it often gives the impression of being slightly inhibited, which is in behavior, that in actions. He does not show active gestures, moves slowly, is not very agile and fast. One gets the impression that such information has long been reached by such a person. This is especially true of emotional manifestations.

It acts as a typical introvert, concentrating more on his thoughts. Since phlegmatic inhibition prevails over arousal, they simply control their internal impulses and restrain emotions. But they accumulate affect: they can hold back several times in a row, and then all the anger gathered outside will be thrown out.

They are quite socially adapted people. All of their decisions in life are made only under the influence of common sense, logic, and without a shadow of any emotion.

Representatives of this type of temperament are encouraged to choose for themselves an individual monotonous activity. So they become excellent programmers, financiers, researchers, engineers, and so on.

Prone to long-term assimilation of new information and the same slow establishment of relationships. But, if they have already developed feelings for a person, they will persist for a very long time, perhaps even for a lifetime. It is the phlegmatic who are stronger than others "sticky" in public. For love they are best suited melancholic and sanguine, and with choleric, they hardly understand each other.

Almost no leadership skills. In conflict situations, they prefer to ignore the method - they do not demonstrate their emotions for aggression. Making the phlegmatic hit the other person is incredibly difficult, but if this happened, you will not envy the victim.


We have already become acquainted with the types of choleric, sanguine and phlegmatic, it remains only to talk about melancholic.

The nervous system of melancholic is weak, which indicates their susceptibility to emotional seizures. They are not capable of prolonged stress and have a high distractibility attention. In addition, they tend to get stuck, to dwell on situations, to accumulate insults in themselves.

You may have thought that melancholic should be easily concentrated on certain goals (sticking), but in reality, if such a person fails once, he stops making new attempts.

Melancholic temperament is the most sensitive to external factors. Therefore, such people notice that remains invisible to representatives of other temperaments. Often they become wonderful empaths.

Their nervous processes are rather active, although they mostly occur inside the person, not outside. Outwardly, such individuals may create the impression of being slightly inhibited, although, in contrast to phlegmatic people, they are also emotionally overloaded. Melancholic people are uniquely introverts, which concentrate most of all on their emotions, rather than thoughts, like, for example, phlegmatic. At the same time they do not have active facial expressions and gesticulations (or carefully conceal their feelings).

Representatives of this type have a weak "Ego". They manage to cope with their expression, but they are not able to resist their own motivations and emotions. For example, it is very hard in the morning to force yourself to get out of bed if they do not get enough sleep.

Melancholic people are the least socially adapted people. It is difficult for them to establish relationships with others, plus they often ignore social norms and rules. A very long time getting used to the new. Also, such individuals are characterized by increased anxiety: they are tense even due to minor external stimuli. Therefore, often suffer from various fears and phobias.

Melancholic unambiguously rational choleric, as able to cope with their emotions. He is shown to engage in individual activities, in which there is no hard tension and clear deadlines. Creative work is just great, but not acting, as is the case with choleric people, but creating a new one: designer, director, scientific figure.

This type is the most trained: it comprehends information quickly, but stores it for a long time. In relationships, phlegmatic people are best suited to them - since they are the least straining them. Capable of maintaining long-term relationships.

As for leadership, then, although melancholic and has quite good characteristics for him, it is simply not interesting for him. In conflict situations they prefer to slow down and suppress their true emotions.

Now you know who a sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic person is and how they manifest themselves. Finally, it should be noted that in nature, pure types of temperament are quite rare. As a rule, there is a connection of several types.

And to find out your type of temperament, I suggest to take the test in the following video: