Your character is a mix of four basic personality types: sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic. Around 50% of the variations in human personality are defined by genetic factors. However, the personality itself is built up of two completely different traits; character and temperament.
What’s the difference – Character and Temperament?
The difference between your character and your temperament is as follows:
Your character traits come from your experiences, for example:
- Your parents’ habits, preferences and values
- The “norms” of your society in expressing love and hate
- What your relatives considered to be normal and acceptable
- What was considered dangerous
- What was considered funny
- Plus many other cultural aspects.
Temperament, however, is the balance of your personality. These are biologically based tendencies that you inherited from your parents. This is your disposition to think and feel in a certain way that appeared from your early childhood. The way you deal with stress, how easy you fall in and out of love, the way you deal with a heartbreak are all defined by your temperament.
Learning about the temperaments will help you understand others and your personality in a much better way.
Biology of Different Types of Personality
Since the days of Ancient Greece and continuing onwards to the present day, it was confirmed that there are four different types of personality. These are broad basic personality types that are usually present in a unique mix that defines how you think, feel and behave.
These personality types are –
Long ago, each of these types was associated with a dominant humor present in the body: sanguine – blood humor, phlegmatic – phlegm humor, choleric – yellow bile humor, melancholic – black bile humor.
Additionally to that, the latest research shows that these four basic temperaments are associated with chemicals, like dopamine (for sanguine type), estrogen (for phlegmatic type), testosterone (for choleric type) and serotonin (for melancholic type).
The Sanguine Type
This type is characterized by spontaneity, optimism, enthusiasm, high energy, mental flexibility, novelty seeking, impulsiveness and curiosity. These traits are associated with specific genes in the dopamine system. These people often have very expressive faces and love using words like “adventure”, “energy”, “new”, “fun”, “active”, “travel” and similar. More »
The Phlegmatic Type
These people are mainly defined by their social skills, such as their ability to express themselves and read other people face expressions and body language. They do well at connecting facts and seeing “the big picture”.
They are nurturing, sympathetic, agreeable and emotionally expressive. Some of these character traits are linked with estrogen that is present in both men and women.
Physically you can recognize them by their smooth skin, full lips, round faces and small noses. Their favorite words are “passion”, “passionate”, “sensitive” and “sweet”. More »
The Choleric Type
This type is associated with testosterone, which is also present in men and women, but more so in men. These people are direct, focused, tough, analytical, logical and strategic. They have a great deal of courage and like to compete, often against each other. They often have square jaws, high cheekbones and high foreheads and love to use words like “intellect”, “ambition” and “challenge”. More »
The Melancholic Type
Melancholics tend to be calm, loyal and orderly, just as their personality name sounds. They are cautious and conventional. These men and women inherited genes in the serotonin system and their favorite words are “family”, “loyal”, “respect”, “caring”, “values” and “moral”. More »
Most people are unique blend of four different types of personality, where all of the traits are present to some extent. However, some of these traits will be predominant. Your predominant type will be considered your main temperament and while you most probably display all four temperaments to some extent; you still can easily identify two leading temperaments – your basic temperament and your secondary temperament.