Monday, July 20, 2009

Temperaments and a Kid at the Park

In the last few years, I have started to learn a lot more about some of the basic temperaments.  It's actually very interesting in studying people in general as well as in coming to know yourself and your family in a whole different way.  I'm most familiar with the terms started long ago.  I want to say Romans and Greeks had something to do with it, but I'm too lazy to do the back check right now.

You can learn more here if you're interested, but the short story is:

Cholerics are extraverted, self-motivated leaders.

Melancholics are introverted, deeply thoughtful perfectionists.

Phlegmatics are introverted, easy-going amiable folks.

Sanguines are extraverted, funny, affectionate people-persons. (Eh, that's a weird plural.)

I would be what they would call a melancholic-phlegmatic, with the strongest tendency toward melancholic.  They have write ups of the different personalities, including strengths and weaknesses of each personality type.  There are some in the Catholic world that are particularly interested in these due to the affect personality can have on spiritual growth.  Anyway, let me tell you how the melancholic-phlegmatic description reads through a melancholic filter:

Due to melancholic fears and tendencies toward perfectionism, this person often finds themselves paralyzed in the face of new projects. With a double dose of introversion, they are socially awkward beyond belief. Because of their innate negativity, they are likely to be unable to work and play well with others, and at the same time be perceived as snobs.  They are needy and highly susceptible to anxiety, depression and a negative self-image.   They have a tendency toward hypochondria and genuine physical weakness.  Though they tend to have strong feelings, you would never know this as they are encased in a cold outer shell that they present to the world.

I decided that I didn't like that description, so I took the test again, hoping to skew the results to something a little less depressing.  No go.  Unless I outright lied, I was looking at melancholic-phlegmatic. And, if you read the actual description, you will see that while I did pick things that were truly present, my mind automatically focuses on the negative and perhaps overemphasizes some of those points! :) Thus proving the point that I am melancholic, I guess.

How about another facet of the melancholic mind. (Seriously, I get depressed even by the name "melancholic".  There needs to be a different name.  Phlegmatic is also bad.  It technically means someone that has an overabundance of phlegm!  Phlegm!  I'm not kidding!)  Wait.  Where was I?  Oh, right.  Small talk and I are not great friends.  I prefer deep topics.  My mind will go to deep places whether I want it to or not.

Yesterday, I was at the park with some friends, and we watched in amusement when a small child went racing past while his mother called him in the opposite direction.  His excuse: "My body is running away!"

My first reaction was, that's hilarious.  I love it when kids do stuff like that when I don't have to deal with it.  Reminds me of when my sister would stick out her tongue at me and then claim that she was "stretching it".

Okay, then there was the other reaction.  One that I prefer not to admit, but I have to live up to the "confessions" portion of my blog name sometimes.  That reaction was "Hmm, someone should tell that kid that our bodies are only a visible, outward expression of who we really are inside..." TOB? On the playground?  Where did that come from?

Then I mentally slapped myself in the face and went back to drawing stuff in the dirt with a stick.  (What can I say?  There is a two-year-old that I can't say no to, and if he wants to play in the dirt, I just ask what I'm supposed to draw.)

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha!!! I love your deep life lessons learned while entertaining my son. FYI he has been talking about you all day. :)