What is the Big Deal with Personality?Shall we pause for a moment, and answer the question.
This is kindof an interim post, a blog for those who think this pseudo science of temperaments is a waste of time: laughable at best, detrimental at worst. Not trying to convince you, really, just looking at the reasons why I find it interesting. It's the Choleric temperament that usually finds personality study offensive. I've even had a Choleric person get quite mad about it, stating that it is a terrible form of labeling, and people can change, and on and on etcetera. Which I agree with, to a point. People can and do change; they can overcome personality limitations and open themselves up to brave new worlds. The core temperament will remain the same, but it may be portrayed, or "read", differently.
In cases of trauma or severe injury I do believe a personality may alter significantly, or shift. But to be honest I've only seen it in movies (e.g. Regarding Henry with Harrison Ford and Annette Benning).
Take this Quiz!!People are preoccupied, to varying degrees, with their personalities. How do I know? Well, for one example, the plethora of personality tests on Facebook and other social media.
"Which Lord of the Rings character are you?"
"Which Disney Princess would you be?"
All of the above are attempting to reveal who you are on the inside, based on how you answer certain questions. Choose a nail polish, a novel, a time of day...every selection says something about your personality."Which city should you really live in?"
First we want to find out what kind of person we are. We are very self-obsessed, us humans. Don't deny it, ok, unless you are Mother Teresa. Or the ghost of Mother Teresa, for the sake of accuracy...I should shut up now, I sense trouble...
Next, we might be interested in what our good friends or significant others answered those questions with. Particularly if their result is, "You are Gollum", "Sebastian the crab", or "Your city is Atlantis". *-*
Movies or TV shows contain popular characters that we are likely to be familiar with. And any good story needs a cast of characters, or a cast of temperaments, if you get my drift. How the characters react to each other, how they dress, how they speak, how they enter a room - all these reveal their personality and give clues about their role. What makes it interesting is when a storyline turns this on its head, putting an unconventional personality in a conventional role, or vise versa. So many ways to shake it up! So many ways to misunderstand. Take Pride and Prejudice. Or Rabbit and Tigger. Moses and Aaron. Don Cherry and Ron MacLean?
Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter.Has anyone ever said, "What on earth is wrong with you? Why would you DO that?!"...when to you it seemed like a perfectly sane thing to do?
Now, imagine you are a Melancholy. You want to build a deck. But there are so many plans, so many types of decking, and should it be one tier or two tiers? Stairs? Railings? Flagstones? It's impossible. The plans sit stagnating on your desk for not one, not two, but seven long years. If you were Jacob, and the deck was Rachel, you could marry it. In pursuing the ideal deck, the perfect deck, you cannot move forward.
Now imagine (track with me here) a friend from out of town comes to stay....a Choleric friend. In the space of an hour one afternoon, he decides what would be the best deck for you, and while discussing it you agree. He is right! Oh, it seems so easy! And then you go into the local hardware sanctuary and order the deck! Voila.
"Why couldn't I do that?" you query.
Now remember this is just a scenario. Many Melancholies can and do make decisions. It depends what the blend is.
(Yeah...about that...by the way, each of us is a blend, and all this is simply the groundwork. Oops...)The point here is if you know a little something about temperaments, you can answer your own question. It won't drive you to drink; it makes some logical sense.
A Match Made in HeavenI'm using Choleric and Melancholy here because we haven't got to Phlegmatic and Sanguine yet. In the above example, Melancholy and his Choleric friend get along very well - they get things done.
A Melancholy/Choleric blend in a PERSON is like a clockwork of activity and efficiency. Things get done, and they get done quickly and well. The Phlegmatic looks up, wondering what sort of tornado just flew past.
In a partnership, or marriage, Choleric and Melancholy are very complementary. But sometimes they might drive each other a bit batty. "Why did you go ahead and do that without asking ME??" the Melancholy sniffs, "I had some plans for that!" Whereupon Choleric says, "You were never going to do it, so don't give me that. At least it's done now, and that's the main thing!"
And depending on the blend, things can either dissipate or escalate from there....I'll leave it to your imagination.
Here's a bit of homework for you, dear reader. The next time you get into a disagreement with someone, or ask yourself why a particular person is so weird, or insane, or a few bricks short of a load... see if you can guess their basic temperament from the clues you have so far. And then see if you can guess yours. Then contemplate how those two might interact. It probably won't resolve the issue, but it may help to put it in perspective.
Or, maybe they are crazy.
Or (dare I continue) maybe you're a tad out to lunch. Probably not. I apologize for even mentioning such a thing. Never happen again.
― Albert Einstein“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?”
“Looks like what drives me crazy
Don't have no effect on you--
But I'm gonna keep on at it
Till it drives you crazy, too.”
― Langston Hughes, Selected Poems