I read this insightful quote from the great French novelist, Stendhal. He wrote
Which word in this quote got your attention?
Each temperament will be attracted to a particular word in this quote and base its interpretation and understanding of the entire statement on it.
The choleric will see “character.”
The sanguine, “everything.”
The phlegmatic, “acquire.”
The melancholic, “solitude.”
Which word got your attention?
If the four temperaments were having a conversation about Stendhal’s thought, the word they would all struggle with is “except.” Each temperament will have a different reaction to “except” in relation to the word they identify with.
Let’s look at a more mundane statement.
The choleric sees it all done — a pristine kitchen and a great movie (that he chose.)
The sanguine will rush through the dishes, because she can’t wait to be entertained.
The phlegmatic is still at the table finishing dessert.
The melancholic is thinking they should all leave. He will do the dishes after they have all gone and then sit and read.
Will they understand each other? Will they find social harmony? Will the dishes get done? Will everyone enjoy the movie? Maybe.
If the temperaments are understood, the way they perceive and the way they behave, life works. Understanding differences, even revering differences, makes social interaction rich with good possibilities.
Understanding temperaments, also, makes self-forgiveness an easier consideration.
I’m offering my course on the Four Temperaments in four sessions beginning next Sunday.
This is the Inner Year course in social wisdom, social grace and social creativity. This is not about having good manners or being polite. This is about understanding yourself and the person you are interacting with. The temperaments are what shape all interactions and all reactions creating social success or social disaster.
All books on etiquette were written to overcome temperament. Manners and politeness mean you don’t need to understand anyone, you just have to conform to convention. No wisdom, grace or creativity needed. So if your social goal is to be boring and bored, you don’t need to take this course. Read a book on manners, instead. (BTW, books on etiquette are usually written by phlegmatic cholerics.)
If you want to have fun, be effective, love and be loved, it all begins in the games temperaments play. This course teaches the games.
You will learn all the reasons to love each of the temperaments and all the reasons to hate them. And then you will learn all the reasons to just observe them, hear the music that resonates in each and get a feel for the motivating energy behind each.
You will learn how each temperament asks for help, gives directions, and makes love.
You will learn how each temperament relates to authority, neediness, and change.
And then there are the ways the temperaments combine — the singles, doubles and triples. We will look at them all.
Social interaction without the four temperaments would be dull and lifeless. Creative collaboration requires the gifts and challenges that each temperament brings. Making temperamental differences more conscious as social wisdom, grace and creativity is the intention of this course.
The choleric will love this course because it provides knowledge and skills for moving toward social harmony, an ideal for the future.
The sanguine will love this course because it is lots of fun and offers lots of ways to experience the variety of the social life.
The phlegmatic will love this course because it organizes the social life and when the temperamental organization is understood, the social life becomes more comfortable and less demanding.
The melancholic will love this course because it offers so much to think about and encourages the deep compassion of universal love.
Learning the Languages of the Four Temperaments
If the time does not work for you, you can still take the course. Each presentation is recorded. You can listen to the replay online or download the MP3.
You will receive the slides with the outline of each session prior to the webinar so that you can make notes as you listen. There are also many valuable handouts to help you understand the differences.