A person with a phlegmatic temperament hates conflict and confrontation. They tend to be motivated by loving approval. They prefer to work in a team. It is bliss to the phlegmatic ear to hear we can do this together. Not you do this and you do that.
Some phlegmatic traits
• Easy going
• Find it difficult to take initiative
• Relate well to others
Australians have a saying which would suit the phlegmatic person very well. The saying ‘She’ll be right mate’. They are happy to take instructions. They prefer not to be in charge. It has been estimated by some personality theorist about 68% of the population have a dominance of phlegmatic traits.
Some keys to recognising phlegmatic at first glance
• Moves slowly
• Good listener
• They lean against things
• Tend to be watchers
• Appear relaxed
Phlegmatic people are inoffensive. They can be lazy and avoid responsibility. But can be faithful reliable workers. Family are very important to them. The will put family before work every time.
Working with someone with phlegmatic traits
• Be caring
• Take time
• Move slowly
• Create a peaceful atmosphere
• Guide them gently toward decisions
• Be friendly
• Show interest in their family
• Work with them
• Explain things carefully
• Be reassuring
Phlegmatic and choleric are opposites
Phlegmatic traits are often combined with either sanguine or melancholy traits. Phlegmatic people with sanguine traits can be more outgoing. Phlegmatic people with melancholy traits can be detailed and perfectionist.
Phlegmatic can have secondary sanguine traits
The phlegmatic person can find the sanguine too much. They dislike all the action, talking and loud laughing. They often dislike the bossy choleric approach to live. Choleric personalities want the phlegmatic to get moving and hurry up.
Phlegmatic can have secondary melancholy traits
The melancholy person wants the phlegmatic and sanguine to take more care, be more detailed. The phlegmatic person with secondary sanguine traits wants the melancholy person to have some fun and stop being so serious. People are more important than tasks in their eyes. Tasks and getting the task done perfectly are more important to the melancholy person.
The easy going phlegmatic wonders what all the activities of the sanguine and choleric achieve. Why can’t they take it easy? It will all workout in the end what’s the worry. And as for those melancholy guys why does everything have to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfection so why try, just relax, be happy.
I have found it really pays to have an understanding of the personality styles. The knowledge can help us to understand ourselves and others. I see them as a guide to help me get along with other people.
Not only Plato suggested we should “Know thyself”
Myer Briggs has one of the most respected profiling methods if you go to the website http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp you can read a more detailed account of their theories.
In the next blog I will review and finish the discussion on personalities