IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES
Do not be surprised when you discover that you have a significant behavior or tendency in common with someone, who otherwise, has a very different personality than yours. Several behaviors are shared on the personality chart, but for different reasons. Understanding the motivation behind behavior is important in order to correctly identify true personality type. I have put traits that generally trip people up in bold type.
Both the Popular Sanguine and the Powerful Choleric are talkative. Sanguines are telling stories, creating small talk and sharing new ideas in order to meet their emotional need for attention. On the other hand, cholerics are talking with purpose — giving instruction, asking questions, providing their solutions and getting down to business in order to get something marked off their to-do list.
These two personalities are also both natural leaders whom others follow. Sanguines lead because people are drawn to their enthusiasm and constant activity. Sanguines draw a crowd, which quickly becomes an audience. Cholerics lead because they must. They need followers in order to accomplish their purpose or project, and so they have a commanding personality.
One last thing the optimistic Sanguine and Choleric have in common is denial. Sanguines do not particularly like to focus on things that are not fun, and Cholerics struggle deeply with admitting faults or wanting to identify another thing they will have to fix.
The Popular Sanguine also has commonalities with the Peaceful Phlegmatic. Both personalities are often associated with playfulness. Sanguines love to relieve stress through play. Phlegmatics also like to play through quiet, calm activity where they can sit down in contrast to the sanguine who plays loud and with others in a rouse of activity.
A negative trait these two personalities share is laziness. Sanguines prefer fun over work. Period. Phlegmatics are low-energy people who are not spurred to action until it becomes necessary.
The Peaceful Phlegmatic also shares a few behaviors with the other introverted personality, the Perfect Melancholy. Both are fearful, quiet and cautious. By nature, phlegmatics are more quick to retreat than the other personalities, so they often find themselves being bullied or pressured into uncomfortable situations where they are forced to pick a side. These experiences cause them to become fearful about “next time,” and they determine it is safer to stay home. The Melancholy personality is constantly questioning life and pondering the “what-ifs?” Fear dominates through all of the terrible scenarios that could happen rather than in the reality of what is.
Also, both the Peaceful Phlegmatic and Perfect Melancholy are quiet. However, phlegmatics are not necessarily shy; they are just content to watch and listen. They are not compelled to ask questions or give advice. The melancholy, however, is a naturally shy person. It is not that melancholies have nothing to say, but usually they are anxious about saying something in the wrong way and looking foolish. They prefer writing over talking so that they can review their words before sending them forth.
These two are both cautious. The phlegmatic always asks, “how much energy is this going to take?” as well as “how much stress will this cause me?” The melancholy is cautious because they want things to be done right, according to plan and well thought out. They cannot risk looking unprepared or foolish to others.
Powerful Choleric and Perfect Melancholies share the workaholic tendency and are both controlling. Starting with the latter, people almost always assume that if someone is controlling they must be choleric. Not true. Cholerics take control because they take real issue with wasting time, and they generally feel their way is the best way and any other way is “stupid.” They have trouble submitting to someone else’s agenda, so they take control. Melancholies, however, can also be a controlling force because of their fear that something will not be done perfectly and others will notice the imperfections. So, they take control. With the same goals in mind, both may become workaholics in order to accomplish their desires or to see to it that no one else messes things up.
Sanguines, Cholerics and Melancholies may all seem organized and neat. Sanguines only appear to be organized and make sure everything is nice and tidy in appearance so that people will like them, be impressed and praise them for having their act together. Cholerics are organized mostly for efficiency. Remember, cholerics do not like to waste time by having to hunt for things that are necessary for production. Melancholies are organized and neat regardless of whether or not they believe anyone will ever see it. Their desire is perfection. If phlegmatics are organized and neat it is because someone is on their case about it and they are trying to avoid further conflict or because someone has stepped in and cleaned out their closet on their behalf.
This list does not exhaust every area that we may have in common with another personality type, but I hope you can see how we are often the same, but for different reasons. To effectively apply the personalities to your relationships, you must look beyond the behavior to the motive.