Each of the four types of humours corresponded in
ancient times to a different personality type.
The sanguine temperament is fundamentally impulsive and
pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are sociable and charismatic. They
tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be
boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However,
some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can
also mean sensitive, compassionate and thoughtful. Sanguine
personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way
through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a
little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose
interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much
people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have
an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right.
They have no lack of confidence.
The choleric temperament is fundamentally ambitious and leader-like.
They have a lot of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to
instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments,
especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and
political figures were choleric. They like to be in charge of
everything. However, cholerics also tend to be either highly
disorganized or highly organized. They do not have in-between setups,
only one extreme to another. As well as being leader-like and assertive,
cholerics also fall into deep and sudden depression. Essentially, they
are very much prone to mood swings.
The melancholic temperament is fundamentally introverted and
thoughtful. Melancholic people often were perceived as very (or overly)
pondering and considerate, getting rather worried when they could not be
on time for events. Melancholics can be highly creative in activities
such as poetry and art - and can become preoccupied with the tragedy and
cruelty in the world. Often they are perfectionists. They are
self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic
is that they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to
think of others.
The phlegmatic temperament is fundamentally relaxed and quiet,
ranging from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. Phlegmatics tend to be
content with themselves and are kind. They are accepting and
affectionate. They may be receptive and shy and often prefer stability
to uncertainty and change. They are consistent, relaxed, calm, rational,
curious, and observant, qualities that make them good administrators.
They can also be passive-aggressive.