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Making the Most You

Each person has a combination of temperament traits. One temperament isn't better than another. All the temperaments have strengths. And all have weaknesses. Each of your negative traits has a positive counterpart, and the weaknesses we all have in common -pride and selfishness- find a different expression in each temperament.

Your basic temperament and tendencies won’t change through your life. But there can be a big difference between temperament and behavior. Through understanding, new habits, and especially the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, you can control, modify, or even get rid of negative behaviors. Then you can have all the strengths of a temperament without the weaknesses!

Remember that God has great need for every temperament type. And when you look through the Bible, you can see how He has used each one. Peter was probably sanguine. Paul seems to have been choleric. King David was a melancholy. And Abraham appears to have been phlegmatic.

Look at the next paragraphs to see how you can grow. Pray, “God, change me.” And when God shows you an area needing change, confess and be open to His instructions and transforming power. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”.

Now, see how you can be your very best!

Choleric: How to Grow

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”.

Your Basic Problems

1. You think you're always right. You have a hard time accepting that you could be wrong. You're an expert at rationalizing away why the problem isn't with you but with other people. You say things like “I would never get impatient if everybody would do what I told them to when I told them to do it!”

2. You like to be self-sufficient. Your “I can do it alone” independence makes it hard for you to submit to someone else or surrender to another opinion or idea.

Positive Traits Carried to Extremes Become Weaknesses

  • Strengths
    • Get things done
    • Decisive
    • Persistent
  • Weaknesses
    • Insensitive to others
    • Impulsive, overlooks risks, careless
    • Inflexible, unyielding,
    • Impatient

Areas for Growth

1. Be willing to share leadership

  • Acknowledge that you're not the only gifted person
  • Encourage others to develop their talents
  • Learn to be patient with the slower temperaments
  • Affirm people generously and whole heartedly
  • Stop forcing your way! There's more than one way

2. Welcome humiliating trials

  • Adversity may be God's way of leading you to surrender and trust in Him

3. Cultivate a friendly spirit

  • Watch the tone of your voice
  • Be warmer, more open
  • Share your opinion without arguing or imposing
  • Learn to disagree graciously
  • Allow others to be right
  • Be more flexible
  • Take time to listen empathetically
  • Refrain from giving advice until asked
  • Admit you have faults
  • Cultivate the grace of asking for forgiveness

4. Learn to relax

  • Take time for leisure activities
  • Spend time with your family
  • Play with children and let them win

5. Develop a childlike faith

  • Learn to trust God in small ways
  • Relate to Jesus and not just to His doctrines
  • Learn to meditate on spiritual things
  • Take time for soul-searching with the help of the Holy Spirit

Sanguine: How to Grow

“Don't talk so much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible and turn off the flow!”.

Your Basic Problems

1. You don't take life seriously. With your fun-loving personality, you see life as problem free. Since growth involves pain and hard work, you avoid it.

2. You have a hard time following through. You have good intentions, but you seldom follow through on any given plan.

Positive Traits carried to Extremes Become Weaknesses

  • Strengths
    • Optimistic
    • Friendly
    • Fun
  • Weaknesses
    • Overenthusiastic
    • Overwhelming
    • Inconsistent

Areas for Growth

1. Develop consistency and discipline

  • Slowdown
  • Start one workable project at a time
  • Complete what you have started
  • Acknowledge you have limits - don't overextend
    • Accept fewer responsibilities
    • Set fewer goals
    • Set fewer rules and follow with consequences
  • Make a list of what must be done and do it first
  • Never go grocery shopping when hungry
  • Develop consistency

2. Be careful of how much you talk

  • Talk half as much as before
  • Don't interrupt and answer for others
  • Watch for signs of boredom
  • Condense your comments - get to the point
  • Amid exaggerating - colorful carried to extremes becomes lying
  • Develop sensitivity for other people's interests
    • Listen more
    • Ask questions
    • Observe
    • Be quiet!
  • Tone down emotions

3. Cultivate your memory

  • Pay attention to names
  • Write things down
  • Memorize

4. Develop consistent, quiet times with God

  • Stop talking to God! Listen to Him!
  • Include God in your decision-making process

Melancholy: How to Grow

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength”.

Your Basic Problems

1. You have negative feelings about yourself. You're sensitive and suffer from feelings of low self-esteem. As a result, you can conclude that God's love, acceptance, and forgiveness aren't for you.

2. Because of perfectionistic tendencies, you get very discouraged. You say things like “I’ll never make it. I can never be perfect enough.” You do a-lot of self-evaluating and introspection, analyzing your weaknesses and failures. This can make you feel hopeless.

Positive Traits Carried to Extremes Become Weaknesses

  • Strengths
    • Orderly
    • Deep and
    • thoughtful
    • Sensitive
  • Weaknesses
    • Perfectionist and picky
    • Dwells on the negative
    • Often deeply hurt by others

Areas for Growth

1. Cheer up! Dwell on the positive

  • Practice looking for the positive
  • Count your blessings and talk about them
  • Be careful with your words - they act on your mind
  • Guard your thoughts - “Whatsoever is pure…”
  • Stop holding self-pity parties
  • Praise and thank God in everything
  • Think that others have problems like you - and worse
  • Affirm people

2. Develop a healthy self-image

  • Search out the source of your insecurities
  • Learn to root your identity in God
  • Look at yourself through God's eyes
  • Believe you're special. Don't wish to be someone else
  • Listen for evidences of “false humility”

3. Develop a thicker skin

  • Identify suspicious thoughts and stop!
  • Don't take things personally
  • Differentiate between real hurt and imagined hurt
  • Learn to deal with real hurt in positive ways
    • Pouting and withdrawing are immature ways

4. Relax!

  • Be more open and flexible
  • Respond more quickly
  • Don't spend so much time planning
  • Relax your standards when possible
  • Don't impose your standards of perfection on others
  • Be grateful you understand your temperament and the temperaments of others

5. Put joy in your religion

  • Learn to trust in God's promises
  • Take your mind away from self

Phlegmatic: How to Grow

“Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity”.

Your Basic Problems

1. You have an uninvolved attitude. Basically you're passive and have a hard time getting involved in anything. You seem to watch life go by from a distance. You don't think anything is serious enough to demand your instant action.

2. You feel self-righteous. You lack obvious weaknesses, so it's hard for you to work on a problem. You'll say things like “I don't see any major problems in myself. I don't have a bad temper. I don't get depressed! I don't make a lot of noise or cause trouble. Just leave me alone, OK?”

Positive Traits carried to Extremes Become Weaknesses

  • Strengths
    • Agreeable
    • Calm and collected
    • Planner of work
  • Weaknesses
    • Too compromising
    • Self -righteous
    • Laid-back, procrastinator

Areas for Growth

1. Get involved

  • Try to get enthused once a week and work up from there
  • Don't put off until tomorrow what can/should be done today
  • Think of a new activity with your family at least once a week
  • Make plans and schedules and follow them
  • Take the initiative sometimes
  • Increase pace
  • Exercise–move, move, move!
  • Play with children
  • Learn to accept responsibility for your life

2. Learn to make decisions

  • Practice making simple decisions and move to more complicated ones
  • Learn to say “no”
  • Don't blame others for your lack of decisions
  • Observe assertive people anti try to learn from them

3. Stand for principles

  • Don't wait until you know which side is “safe”
  • Practice expressing your convictions
  • Face confrontation

4. Share your feelings

  • Learn to communicate your feelings
  • Avoid passive-aggressive behavior
    • No silent treatment or sulking
    • No walking away
  • Recognize your tendency to inflict psychological abuse

5. Get in touch with your spiritual needs

  • Confess your self-righteous attitude
  • Learn the art of meditating on God's Word as it applies to you

Psychology


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