Let Me Help You Get Organized and Save Money!

So, several years ago my husband and I read Dave Ramsey’s book, Total Money Makeover.  Nathan had become a regular listener to Ramsey’s nationally recognized radio program.  Through our Total Money Makeover experience, we discovered emeals.  Emeals is a meal planning system that I found extremely helpful.  As of yesterday, I learned there is now a new emeals APP!  I was so excited, I must share!

A quick history…

While my hubby and I were not in financial disarray, we had the desire to launch our own business.  This meant big changes. We wanted to be successful entrepreneurs and knew enough to know that most entrepreneurs fail.  Starting with no personal debt is what has allowed us to continue growing our businesses without the fear and pressure that comes with trying to keep all balls in the air.  Financial freedom is…well…it’s freeing.

That said, as a young wife, I needed help managing our grocery budget.  I barely knew anything about cooking, much less grocery shopping effectively or organizing meal plans for the week.  However, my husband desperately wanted to continue eating.  So, I needed a plan and I needed to spend as little money as possible.

That has not changed.

Today, we have added two children to the mix, I have come to enjoy cooking —sometimes — and use emeals often to do the work for me.  I think I like it most because it makes this Choleric/Sanguine look organized, efficient and food savvy.   I quickly learned that meal planning was a huge part of maintaining a tight grocery bill and keeping us on track financially.

Here are my top 10 reasons for recommending this to you:

1) It is totally done for me.

2) I can choose how we want to eat.  We have been on a low fat diet for years now.  You can choose everything from organic to low-carb to classic meals.

3) I can choose my grocery store.  Emeals helps you find the right brands, actually available at your store, to cook a meal that tastes good but costs little.

4) I can choose how many people I want to feed.  With pre-school age children, we are still able to eat off a menu for two.

5) The recipes are easy!  I hate using fancy cookbooks.  I never know what they are talking about.  Emeals keeps it simple and easy to follow.

6) I can easily eliminate meals I know my family won’t eat or when I know I won’t be cooking every night.

7) The plan updates everything automatically and accordingly, so I really don’t have to think too hard.

8) Perhaps my favorite part: the grocery list is itemized by department at the grocery store.  This makes it easy to find what I need, fast.  Very helpful with two toddlers in tow!

9) The menu tells you what staples you should already have.  A quick mental check or physical check and I never get home and get mad because I forgot something for a recipe.  (You know how that can frustrate a cook!?)

10) And now…everything is on the app!  I no longer have to print the menu and carry those papers around the store.  Yippee!  This makes me happy.  I can check things off the list, add extra things I need to pick up, like bread and milk, and I can quickly eliminate things I know I have at home with the delicate touch of my index finger.

Yep.  I’m a fan.  I’m sure there are similar meal plan systems on the market that are also good. But, if you are like me and you don’t have time to research it out…here’s the only link you need.  http://www.emeals.com/welcome/index.php?source=app

Or, search your app store.

Here’s to simplifying life!

 

 

 

Personalities and Love

Personalities & LOVE

Great relationships take work.  Accept the fact that relationships; whether they be marital, parental, companion or co-worker, are not always easy to maintain.  In fact, good relationships are hard to keep.  However, we should stop equating hard with bad.  Great relationships are worth fighting for.

Always, when I present the basics of personalities, people are curious about how personalities affect their relationships, usually with their spouse.  They want to know if “opposites attract” and what that may mean for their marriage.

I am pleased to report that my husband, Nathan, and I have a fantastic marriage.  While we certainly are not perfect people and we have our struggles, we agree that knowing personalities and understanding emotional needs gives us a unique perspective on our relationship.  We both have a rich appreciation for the strengths we possess as individuals, which helps us truly love and respect one another.  We are a team.  I encourage any married person or anyone considering marriage to study personalities.

Here is a brief overview of how relationships work based on personality type.

SHARED SPACE

The “easiest” and most common relationships seem to be when the couple shares some personality space.  In other words, you and the person you are in relationship with have one color or square of the personality chart in common, but are not totally alike.  Those commonalities in behavior and expectation make the relationship easier because you naturally understand certain things about one another and are likely to have the same reactions to life circumstances.  Having your secondary personality color or square differ provides just enough balance to keep the relationship interesting.

The Popular Sanguine Relationship (yellow) – FUN!  ADVENTUROUS!  SPONTANEOUS!  Need I say more?  When two sanguines get together, it seems the fountain of fun will never run dry.  However, as we all know, there are moments in life that are just not any fun.  When the fun fades, the sanguine relationship is in danger.  Sanguines must learn how to deal with the difficult times and the fact that adult responsibilities do exist and must be handled properly.  Sometimes, planning is necessary for success and decision-making.  Together, this duo must learn how to navigate and overcome adversity.  They must learn time management, what it means to commit and how to follow the rules.  They must learn how to have fun without money and when other “not-as-fun” people are involved.  If you are in a sanguine relationship that is struggling, go have fun together.  Act a little crazy and the spark will be rekindled.

The Perfect Melancholy Relationship (blue) – When the melancholy square is the shared space the relationship tends to be well organized and private.  Time spent together is well thought out and properly placed on the calendar.  As a couple, these two have plans for provision, education and vacation as well as a timely budget or strategies for the budget in place.  The home is neat and orderly and bills are always paid on time.  However, high expectations often put a heavy burden on the relationship and it may become difficult for either person to feel perfect enough.  It may be tempting to become critical of one another and difficult to forgive and forget when the other person creates a mess.  If you are in a melancholy relationship be willing to accept delays, mishaps and changes in the plan.  Work together, but be careful not to isolate yourselves from extended family and friends.  Take time away from your normal routine to enjoy one another’s company and your common love for the arts or nature, without any rules or expectations.

The Powerful Choleric Relationship (red) – Out of the way!  Two cholerics will be working to change the world, or at least their own.  This couple is on the move, going places, doing things, seeing people, getting things done…in a word; ACTIVE.  This couple will be goal-oriented and productive.  “Down time” is spent on the next project and together this team is unstoppable.  However, these two will find themselves competing for control and for one another’s time.  Working on any relationship is too easily put off for working on work.  Be careful not to become competitive with one another.  Focus on supporting and respecting each other’s ideas.  Make time to relax.  But, realize that most of your bonding will occur as you work side by side and see accomplishments come as a result of your hard teamwork.

The Peaceful Phlegmatic Relationship (green) – Two peaceful phlegmatics simply have it made.  They are generally at peace with one another and have a relaxed relationship.  They don’t tend to pressure one another to change or do…well…anything.   As a couple they are open to whatever.  However, the reality of life circumstances are often stressful and managing a home, children and careers can easily become overwhelming for this pair.  If you are in a peaceful phlegmatic relationship you must work extra hard on communication, planning and setting boundaries.  Naturally, conflict is avoided.  So, working through problems, making decisions and sticking to a plan are difficult at best.  Phlegmatic couples are a great example for the rest of us, though, on how to be accepting, content and satisfied in a relationship.

OPPOSITES ATTRACT – When no commonalities in personality exist.

If the relationship is Powerful Choleric/Perfect Melancholy with Peaceful Phlegmatic/Popular Sanguine, the pair is a nice balance.  Some common ground exists because both people are part extrovert and part introvert giving the couple flexibility and a way to connect.  Easily, the couple will recognize their differences and have great potential to really appreciate those differences.  This is the scenario where one truly compliments the other.

If the relationship is EXTROVERT vs. INTROVERT or Sanguine/Choleric with Melancholy/Phlegmatic, the work begins.  This marriage can be very successful and fulfilling, but requires tremendous understanding.  Remember, one person is turbo-charged and energized by people, while the other is sucked dry by people and wants to go home.  This relationship will take some serious negotiating from both parties.

However, when opposites do attract the couple has a unique opportunity to create a well-rounded lifestyle and relationship that other couples struggle to find.

TOO MUCH ALIKE 

Not as common, but occasionally, people of the same personality are drawn to one another, fall in love (basically with them self) and get married.  Interestingly, it seems these marriages or lifestyles often require more attention than others because of the lack of balance.  And, by nature, two choleric or two melancholy personalities in a close relationship may need the most work of all.

The marriage will tend to have an extreme tilt.  For example if two choleric people marry, there will likely be an “abnormal” amount of conflict.  In order to tilt the marriage back to a healthy or normal range, practicing good conflict resolution becomes crucial.  Usually, one person in this relationship will have to learn to relinquish control to make peace and they begin to look a bit less “choleric.”  On the other extreme, in a relationship where both people are peaceful phlegmatic, conflict is completely avoided and lack of communication may become a serious issue.  In order for there to be progress in the home, one will be forced to step into the role of planning, making decisions and being more productive than their natural tendencies.

I think in most relationships where both people share a majority of personality traits, one person, for the sake of the relationship and general lifestyle, will step outside of their natural personality and learn to take on new traits to compensate for what is naturally off balance.  As a result, some people may even transform into what seems to be a much different person than they were when you married them.  The transformation may be just what you hoped for or it may leave you feeling unsure about the person you married.  Recognizing why change was required will help you appreciate the way your spouse has adapted to living with you.  Remember, change can be a positive thing, but the original personality is still deep within and the corresponding emotional needs still apply.

SINGLE?  NO WORRIES.  For those of you who are single, you may wonder, “Do I need a significant other to feel complete and have balance in my life?  No.  Marriage is not the only relationship.  There will be plenty of other people in your life who create that balance you need.  A phlegmatic male will find motivation from his choleric mother.  A choleric female will be humbled by her boss.  Sanguine singles will eventually settle down and seek advice from a grandparent.  A melancholy man will learn to relax as his co-workers drag him to office parties.  Just living with family, co-workers and friends will make you aware of differences in personality and you will naturally experience the fullness personalities bring to all human relationships.  Thankfully, as human beings, we have the intellectual ability to learn, change and take on strengths of other personalities so that we can access our own reserves of hidden potential, single or not.

To summarize, what is important in our relationships: don’t try to change the one we chose.  We chose our spouse because there was something about them we couldn’t live without.  We loved that “it” factor.  The “it” factor, my friends, is probably their personality — who they are and how they are wired.  Amazingly, whatever the thing was that drew us to them in the first place is the thing we end up being most annoyed by later.  Accept your differences.  Appreciate what makes your spouse unique.  Work hard at giving them the gift of meeting their emotional needs. Speaking of…

In case you need a refresher, here are the basic emotional needs of each personality:

Sanguine  (yellow) : Attention from all, Affection (touching), Approval of every deed, Acceptance “as is”

Melancholy (blue) : Sensitivity to their feelings, Understanding, Space to be alone, Silence (no people)

Choleric (red) : Loyalty, Sense of Control, Appreciation for all their hard work, Accomplishment

Phlegmatic (green) : Peace and quiet, Feelings of Worth, Lack of Stress, Respect for who they are, not what they do

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Personalities & Politics

Examining the personalties of President Obama and Mitt Romney

Life has been crazy.  So, I thought this month I’d simplify and talk about a topic that is at the forefront of our thoughts — the election.  While I will not venture too far down the political road in this post, I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at how personalities play into politics.  

Think about this: what type of personality do you think is most likely to run for political office?

If you guessed powerful choleric, I think you are right.  If you have ever been closely tied to any political campaign, you know how brutal it can be.  Candidates must have guts, nerves of steel, an aggressive presence, natural dictator-style leadership ability and no fear.  While other personality types may run and successfully be elected, by mere observation, I think it is safe to say the majority of politicians in Washington, D.C. are powerful choleric.

Do you want to know why it takes months, years even, to get things accomplished in government?  Gather all the cholerics in your family, workplace, or church; put them in a room together and ask them to reach an agreement on a difficult or complex problem.  It would be comical to watch and I can guarantee, regardless of the topic, not everyone will come out happy.  In a matter of moments the air in the room would be thick enough to cut with a knife, intensity would rise, debate would break out and down goes the likelihood of success.

When you have a group of people who a) all know they are right and b) all want their way it is going to be near to impossible for them to reach a common conclusion.  

On the flip side, it takes problem solvers and people who are not afraid to speak their mind and stand firm in the face of opposition to get the job done.  I just wonder how much of our political disappointment rests on nothing more than unavoidable personality conflicts. 

With a nation-changing presidential election approaching next month, I cannot help but examine the personalities of the presidential candidates.  Without knowing either man personally, my assessment is assumption based on the same things I would closely observe to identify your personality: body language, use of words, interests, talents, strengths and weaknesses.

President Obama: Popular or Playful Sanguine/Powerful Choleric

The Sanguine motto is, “Let’s do it the fun way.”  While fun may not be a popular political term, it’s not a stretch to see how our president’s sanguineness has revealed itself during his first term.  Whether it is playing basketball, golf, going on vacation or hanging out with celebs, this president, more than any in history, has made his white house term a fun-filled adventure.  He seems to truly enjoy appearances on television shows and with celebrities in pop culture.  Sanguines like attention and welcome opportunities to pose for the camera.  Also, Sanguines are charming.  Obama is a great speaker with the ability to win over his audiences through the sheer charm of his personality.  He makes friends easily while on the road and probably never meets a stranger.  He is the kind of person you know you would have a good time around.  He would certainly be the life of the party.  His outgoing and friendly nature makes him likeable and certainly works to his advantage.  His entire message revolves around the idea of everyone being on equal terms.  Sanguines want people to be happy and want people to like them.  What better way than by being their provider and helping them get what they want?  He will work for the happiness of his constituents at any cost.

Mitt Romney: Proper or Perfect Melancholy/Powerful Choleric

The Melancholy motto is, “Let’s do it the right way.”  I feel like in many ways, Mitt Romney must be a perfect/proper melancholy.  He projects a highly professional and proper image.  He seems concerned with appropriateness in his language, posture and dress.  He is much more reserved in his mannerisms and speech.  As an introvert, he has had to work hard at being able to communicate effectively in a public setting.  I would imagine one-on-one conversation with Mitt is much different than what we see on stage.  Lights, camera, action is not appealing to the melancholy.  In a presidential campaign, however, being in the spotlight comes with the territory.  In contrast to Obama, Romney could cares less about celebrity appearances and probably wishes he could get to Washington without hundreds of speaking engagements along the way.  His top priority is to do things right.  He will work for what he believes is right for his constituents at any cost.

The Choleric motto is, “Let’s do it my way.”  I think both Mitt Romney and President Obama are also Powerful Choleric.  Both have their own way of looking at and addressing issues, believing equally they are right.  Romney has exhibited strong leadership skills in various organizations and businesses and certainly possesses the “get it done” mentality of a choleric.  As President, Obama has also exhibited aggressiveness and a “my way or the highway” attitude common to the choleric.  Many people have called both of them arrogant…also a common label for cholerics.  I think both men strive to meet their emotional needs for accomplishment and control.

My personal assessment would be that Obama is more Sanguine than Choleric and Romney is split relatively equally between Melancholy and Choleric.  These differences in their personalities will be clearly displayed in the upcoming debates this month.  As you watch, see if you can pinpoint when Obama uses charm and humor to try and win the discussion and other moments when Romney defaults to his reserved nature and seems uncomfortable on the stage.  

Regardless of our position, social status or political preference our personalities affect who we are and how we approach things.  I’m not saying either candidate’s personality is wrong for the job, just different.  I would encourage each of you as fellow citizens to focus on educating yourself and voting based on the platform, issues and proposed solutions you feel are best for the future of America.

Nobody’s Listening! Learn to talk so people hear what you are saying.

Personalities & Communication

Learn to talk so people hear what you’re saying!

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

The key to knowing how to get along with people is knowing how to communicate with them.  Nothing is more frustrating than being misunderstood.  This month I want to address one of the most important topics on the planet; communication.

If you have been receiving this newsletter for long, you are aware that your personality affects nearly every aspect of your life.  In terms of how we communicate, consider this:

If I speak English and you speak French we are going to have trouble communicating until we each make the effort to learn the other’s language.  Or, we are going to spend a lot of money hiring an interpreter.  In the same way, if I speak the choleric/sanguine personality language and you are phlegmatic/melancholy, we are going to have trouble communicating unless we learn to speak each other’s language.  Or, we might spend a lot of money hiring a therapist or divorce lawyer.

Today I would like to share with you some practical tips on how to communicate better.  There will always be misunderstandings.  There will always be break downs in communication.  You cannot change how someone else communicates.  But, you can change how you approach others and in return, you will find that others will try to match your level of communicating.  You can work to minimize the problems and experience the relief, joy and productivity that comes with knowing you are heard.

In order to make this simple, let’s sort through the main how-to’s very directly by personality type.

Popular/Playful Sanguine – The Talker

If you are popular sanguine, limit your words and quit being so loud.  We talk too much and we talk in a loud tone.  It’s overwhelming to those who are not sanguine.  So, only say half of what comes to your mind to say.  Don’t finish a story that has been interrupted unless you are asked to finish it.  (Which, I’ll warn you, will never happen.) Practice saying only what is vital.  Listen intently for and use the other person’s name.  Stop dominating every conversation drawing the attention to yourself.  Invite others into conversations by asking them what they think or if they share your experience.  Practice listening and not interrupting.  Apologize when you interrupt and then be quiet.  Wait to speak until asked.  (I know, that one is tough!)

If you are communicating TO popular or playful sanguine, understand their personality language.  Tell stories, not gossip.  Sanguines do not keep secrets well.  Give colorful details.  The word “fine” is not okay.  Be more creative in your descriptions.  Use adjectives such as terrific, fabulous, fantastic, and amazing instead.  Give them attention and approval for their very being.  Accept their disconnected content and offer them a compliment.  Don’t tune out; rather, pay attention to what they are saying.  Give them deadlines and frequent reminders about tasks you are expecting them to complete in a timely manner or appointments they are meant to keep.  Learn to appreciate their fun and carefree communication style.

Perfect/Proper Melancholy – The Thinker

If you are perfect or proper melancholy, focus on thinking and speaking positively.  If you are communicating with people who do not share your personality type, limit the details.  Other personality types find numerous details overwhelming and honestly — boring.  Watch for opportunities to build up others by celebrating their small victories.  Adjust your expectations.  You must come to terms with the fact that there is no perfection on this earth.  Receive compliments graciously.  Do not point out the flaws when it is not absolutely necessary.  Practice giving praise and making positive observations rather than criticisms.  Add appropriate humor when you can or at minimum, smile.

If you are communicating TO perfect or proper melancholy be sure now is a good time to talk.  Do not interrupt their schedule, activities or communication.  Respect their time, space, silence and schedule.  Do not be nosy or pry for information you don’t really need.  Give factual, orderly details.  Save chit-chat for the sanguines in your life.  Laugh and cry with the melancholy.  Do not try to jolly them up.  Prepare your thoughts before you speak with them.  Know what you will say.  Learn to appreciate their structured and respectful communication style.

Powerful Choleric – The Doer

If you are powerful choleric, relax.  I know this hurts, but in most situations we are not as important as we’d like to think.  Other people are quite capable without us.  Our intensity scares people.  Stop making demands and start requesting desired actions.  Practice saying “please” and “thank you.”  Good manners are not a waste of time or a given.  You need to practice proper manners like everyone else.  Be careful of your tone.  Often you sound much more harsh than you intend and it is highly offensive.  When you sense you have been offensive, say you are sorry and mean it.  Show that you mean it, by changing your tone and allowing the other person to share their feelings.  Focus your interest and attention on the person, not the project.  Try to be still.  Do not pace or leave when someone is trying to talk to you. Slow down and actively listen without cutting them off.  Do not finish other people’s sentences or stories.  Read the rest of the letter or document.  Broaden your areas of interest.  And remember, just because you can, does not mean you should.

If you are communicating to powerful choleric, hurry up already.  Cholerics believe they are the busiest.  So, keep communication short and to the point.  Give the choleric the bottom line first in the form of sound bites.  This allows them room to jump in — and they will.  Only offer details and supporting information if asked or if it is critical.  Accept their curtness.  Cholerics are never trying to be rude; they are just very project focused.  Give them appreciation for their achievements and credit for their hard work and solid ideas.  Learn to admire their quick decision making ability and limitless energy.

Peaceful Phlegmatic – The Watcher

If you are peaceful phlegmatic we want to hear from you!  Practice expressing your opinion.  Make decisions and try to present choices.  Speak truth in love.  Think through presentations or formal speaking opportunities in advance.  Do not try to “wing it.”  Do not hesitate to share your ideas.  Practice speaking up in volume and content.  Show enthusiasm with body language and facial expression.  Often, you are misunderstood or dismissed because others interpret your casualness as apathy.  It is up to you to make us believe and perceive that you do care.

If you are communicating to peaceful phlegmatic show respect.  Look for the positive and freely give praise.  Give a few choices rather than an open ended question.  Learn to say, “I appreciate you because _______________ (attribute).”  Give the phlegmatic focused, not distracted, attention.  Wait to speak until they are completely finished.  Be patient.  Do not make them feel run over or ignored.  Learn to appreciate their listening ear and calming presence.

These communication how to’s will transform relationships because they work to meet the emotional needs of each person.  People do not listen to you or care about how much you know until they feel that you care about them as an individual.  Start communicating with this perspective, adjusting your approach to speak their language and things will improve.  I guarantee it!

In case you need a refresher, here are the basic emotional needs of each personality:

Sanguine  (yellow) : Attention from all, Affection (touching), Approval of every deed, Acceptance “as is”

Melancholy (blue) : Sensitivity to their feelings, Understanding, Space to be alone, Silence (no people)

Choleric (red) : Loyalty, Sense of Control, Appreciation for all their hard work, Accomplishment

Phlegmatic (green) : Peace and quiet, Feelings of Worth, Lack of Stress, Respect for who they are, not what they do

 

Personalities and Marriage

Great relationships take work.  Accept the fact that relationships; whether they be marital, parental, companion or co-worker, are not easy to maintain.  In fact, good relationships are hard to keep.  However, we must never equate hard with bad.  Great relationships are worth fighting for.

Always, when I present the basics of personalities, people are curious about how personalities affect their relationships, usually with their spouse.  They want to know if “opposites attract” and what that may mean for their marriage.

I am pleased to be able to share that my husband, Nathan, and I have a fantastic marriage.  While we certainly are not perfect people and we have our struggles, we agree that knowing personalities and understanding emotional needs gives us a unique perspective on our relationship.  We both have a rich appreciation for the strengths we possess as individuals, which helps us truly love and respect one another.  We are a team.  I encourage any married person or anyone considering marriage to study personalities.

Here is a brief overview of how relationships work based on personality type.

SHARED SPACE

The “easiest” and most common relationships seem to be when the couple shares some personality space.  In other words, you and the person you are in relationship with have one color or square of the personality chart in common, but are not totally alike.  Those commonalities in behavior and expectation make the relationship easier because you naturally understand certain things about one another and are likely to have the same reactions to life circumstances.  Having your secondary personality color or square differ provides just enough balance to keep the relationship interesting.

The Popular Sanguine Relationship (yellow) – FUN!  ADVENTUROUS!  SPONTANEOUS!  Need I say more?  When two sanguines get together, it seems the fountain of fun will never run dry.  My brother and his bride are both the popular Sanguine.  I wish I would have counted how many people referred to the word “fun” at their wedding.  They were both glowing with happiness. Sanguine marriages are exciting and fresh.  Both parties are flexible, compromising and forgiving which makes for a happy relationship.  As parents, this pair loves to play with their children and relishes in making fun memories.  However, as we all know, there are moments in life that are just not exactly fun.  When the fun fades, the sanguine relationship is in danger.  Sanguines must learn how to deal with the difficult times and the fact that adult responsibilities do exist and must be handled properly.  Sometimes, planning is necessary for success and decision-making.  Together, this duo must learn how to navigate and overcome adversity.  They must learn time management, what it means to commit and how to follow the rules.  They must learn how to have fun without money and when other “not-as-fun” people are involved.  If you are in a sanguine relationship that is struggling, go have fun together.  Act a little crazy and the spark will be rekindled.

The Perfect Melancholy Relationship (blue) – When the melancholy square is the shared space the relationship tends to be well organized and private.  Time spent together is well thought out and properly placed on the calendar.  As a couple, these two have plans for provision, education and vacation as well as a timely budget or strategies for the budget in place.  The home is neat and orderly and bills are always paid on time.  As parents, this pair is loving and very protective of their children.  They have a difficult time allowing their children to take risks or try things that are unfamiliar.  The liabilities of this relationship are high expectations.  Unrealistic standards often put a heavy burden on the relationship and it may become difficult for either person to feel perfect enough.  It may be tempting to become critical of one another and difficult to forgive and forget when the other person creates a mess.  If you are in a melancholy relationship be willing to accept delays, mishaps and changes in the plan.  Work together, but be careful not to isolate yourselves from extended family and friends.  Take time away from your normal routine to enjoy one another’s company and your common love for the arts or nature, without any rules or expectations.

The Powerful Choleric Relationship (red) – Out of the way!  Two cholerics will be working to change the world, or at least their own.  This couple is on the move, going places, doing things, seeing people, getting things done…in a word; ACTIVE.  This couple will be goal-oriented and productive.  “Down time” is spent on the next project and together this team is unstoppable.  As parents, cholerics are firm and motivating.  They will not tolerate laziness for long and are quick to correct.  As a married couple, these two will find themselves competing for control and for one another’s time.  Working on any relationship is too easily put off for working on work.  Be careful not to become competitive with one another.  Focus on supporting and respecting each other’s ideas.  Make time to relax.  But, realize that most of your bonding will occur as you work side by side and see accomplishments come as a result of your hard teamwork.

The Peaceful Phlegmatic Relationship (green) – Two peaceful phlegmatics simply have it made.  They are generally at peace with one another and have a relaxed relationship.  They don’t tend to pressure one another to change or do…well…anything.   As a couple they are open to whatever.  As parents they are very patient with their children, but must work to maintain control over them.  Strong-willed children will just take over the home.  The reality of life circumstances are often stressful and managing a home, children and careers can easily become overwhelming for this pair.  If you are in a peaceful phlegmatic relationship you must work extra hard on communication, planning and setting boundaries.  Naturally, conflict is avoided.  So, working through problems, making decisions and sticking to a plan are difficult at best.  Phlegmatic couples are a great example for the rest of us, though, on how to be accepting, content and satisfied in a relationship.

OPPOSITES ATTRACT – When no commonalities in personality exist.

If the relationship is Powerful Choleric/Perfect Melancholy with Peaceful Phlegmatic/Popular Sanguine, the pair is a nice balance.  Some common ground exists because both people are part extrovert and part introvert giving the couple flexibility and a way to connect.  Easily, the couple will recognize their differences and have great potential to really appreciate those differences.  This is the scenario where one truly compliments the other.

If the relationship is EXTROVERT vs. INTROVERT or Sanguine/Choleric with Melancholy/Phlegmatic, the work begins.  This marriage can be very successful and fulfilling, but requires tremendous understanding.  Remember, one person is turbo-charged and energized by people, while the other is sucked dry by people and wants to go home.  This relationship will take some serious negotiating from both parties.

However, when opposites do attract the couple has a unique opportunity to create a well-rounded lifestyle and relationship that other couples struggle to find.

TOO MUCH ALIKE 

Not as common, but occasionally, people of the same personality are drawn to one another, fall in love (basically with them self) and get married.  Interestingly, it seems these marriages or lifestyles often require more attention than others because of the lack of balance.  And, by nature, two choleric or two melancholy personalities in a close relationship may need the most work of all.

The marriage will tend to have an extreme tilt.  For example if two choleric people marry, there will likely be an “abnormal” amount of conflict.  In order to tilt the marriage back to a healthy or normal range, practicing good conflict resolution becomes crucial.  Usually, one person in this relationship will have to learn to relinquish control to make peace and they begin to look a bit less “choleric.”  On the other extreme, in a relationship where both people are peaceful phlegmatic, conflict is completely avoided and lack of communication may become a serious issue.  In order for there to be progress in the home, one will be forced to step into the role of planning, making decisions and being more productive than their natural tendencies.

I think in most relationships where both people share a majority of personality traits, one person, for the sake of the relationship and general lifestyle, will step outside of their natural personality and learn to take on new traits to compensate for what is naturally off balance.  As a result, some people may even transform into what seems to be a much different person than they were when you married them.  The transformation may be just what you hoped for or it may leave you feeling unsure about the person you married.  Recognizing why change was required will help you appreciate the way your spouse has adapted to living with you.  Remember, change can be a positive thing, but the originalpersonality is still deep within and the corresponding emotional needs still apply.

SINGLE?  For those of you who are single, you may wonder, “Do I need a significant other to feel complete and have balance in my life?  No.  Marriage is not the only relationship.  There will be plenty of other people in your life who create that balance you need.  A phlegmatic male will find motivation from his choleric mother.  A choleric female will be humbled by her boss.  Sanguine singles will eventually settle down and seek advice from a grandparent.  A melancholy man will learn to relax as his co-workers drag him to office parties.  Just living with family, co-workers and friends will make you aware of differences in personality and you will naturally experience the fullness personalities bring to all human relationships.  Thankfully, as human beings, we have the intellectual ability to learn, change and take on strengths of other personalities so that we can access our own reserves of hidden potential, single or not.

Anyway, back to the main point for this month…

To summarize, what is important in our relationships: don’t try to change the one you chose.  We chose our spouse because there was something about them we couldn’t live without.  We loved that “it” factor.  The “it” factor, my friends, is probably their personality — who they are and how they are wired.  Amazingly, whatever the thing was that drew us to them in the first place is the thing we end up being most annoyed by later.  Accept your differences.  Appreciate what makes your spouse unique.  Work hard at giving them the gift of meeting their emotional needs and your relationships will bring you great joy.

In case you need a refresher, here are the basic emotional needs of each personality:

Sanguine  (yellow) : Attention from all, Affection (touching),Approval of every deed, Acceptance “as is”

Melancholy (blue) : Sensitivity to their feelings,UnderstandingSpace to be alone, Silence (no people)

Choleric (red) : Loyalty, Sense of ControlAppreciation for all their hard work, Accomplishment

Phlegmatic (green) : Peace and quiet, Feelings of Worth,Lack of StressRespect for who they are, not what they do

The Powerful Ones

The Choleric Personality 

While the Sanguine personality type is the most obvious to identify and the Melancholy is the second most obvious, being the Sanguines stark opposite, we find ourselves taking a different approach to determine the Choleric

As you read, try to identify the choleric in your life, understanding that you cannot change them.  However, you can change your approach to them in order to improve or save this intense relationship.  

If you identify yourself as Choleric, please slow down and hear me today.  You posses a tremendous amount of potential.  However, you are the most unlikely to reach your full potential because you are, by nature, not teachable.  I’m not asking you to agree; I am simply asking you to read the entire thing and hear me out.  Fair enough?  Please consider how you can best live in the avenue of your strengths and what steps you need to take to overcome and break through your weaknesses.  Don’t be fooled, your weaknesses will stop you from reaching your greatest potential.  The worst thing you can do is conclude, “Well, that’s just the way I am,” — that is, unless, you are willing to give that courtesy to everyone else including employees, coworkers and family. We are ALL a work in progress.    

Here are 7 main points for you to know and expect about the Powerful Choleric personality:

1) Shift in Atmospheric Pressure.  I have found the best way to determine if someone is Powerful Choleric, is not by the way they dress or the volume of their voice, but by the shift in the atmosphere when they enter a room.  They never enter a room unnoticed.  If they are a positive force in your life, they bring with them a sense of energy and excitement. You brace for a new adventure and see them as someone to follow.  If they are a negative force in your life, they bring with them a feeling of stress and tension that could be sliced with a knife.  You know what I mean. 

2) Likeness to the energizer bunny.  The choleric person is highly productive and project focused.  They always have a TO DO list much longer than is humanly possible.  This is the person you look at and think, “Do they ever stop?”  The answer is no.  Even in their sleep, they are thinking of what is next.  They often find it difficult to rest.  However, they do understand that sleep and rest are necessary for production and so, once they decide to stop for the day, they stop.  Compared to the other personality types, Cholerics have the highest energy level and are re-energized by activity.  As long as there are things that need done, they seem to muster the energy and effort it takes to make it happen.  And then, they strongly desire credit and recognition for their achievements.

If you are not Choleric, you may find it difficult to keep up with this person.  You may find you are exhausted by all their projects and wild ideas.  Set clear boundaries with them.  They need to understand what you are willing to help do and not do.  They need to know how much is too much.  Otherwise, they will drive you right over the edge.  I assure you, nothing will seem like too much to them.

3) A love for being challenged.  The choleric is a thrill seeker who thrives under pressure.  They continuously challenge themselves to take things to the next level. Even when a new challenge is not required or necessary, they will make one up.  Often, this tendency results in the choleric making normal, routine activities and conversations more difficult.  Many people struggle in relationships with a choleric because it seems nothing is ever simple.  The choleric makes things harder and more complicated than is necessary.  

Cholerics are problem fixers who are quick to jump on rescue missions or to throw out options for solving problems unless they perceive a winning solution is not possible.  

You see, if the choleric can’t win, they won’t play.

4) Not a democracy.  Passionate about their business, family and causes, Cholerics are natural born leaders whose basic desire in life is having their way. And they will figure out how to have it.  In fact, my Choleric, entrepreneur father loves to say, “He who signs the check has the last say.” Truly, they innately believe they are right and the best person for the job, often convincing them-self they are the only one capable.  Usually, this personality type is the fastest to see the end, or big picture, which gives them tremendous decision making ability.  The problem is, they lack patience and communication skills to help everyone else see things from their perspective.  They are too busy to slow down and explain.  They will remove whatever or whomever is hindering progress rather than waste time helping them get on the same page.  They tend to lead like dictators with an inner, or perhaps vocal, attitude that screams “I’m driving the bus.  I know where we are going and I know how to get there.  Get on or get off, but I’m pulling out now.”  

When Cholerics are living in their leadership strengths, the bus will be full of loyal and devoted followers.  People are drawn to ambition and the ability to truly get a job done and done well.  However, what people won’t tolerate long is being made to feel like they are stupid, replaceable or not important.  Cholerics in leadership positions — which I am confident to assume are all cholerics — must remember these truths: people are more important than projects, people are not projects, and the kind of success that leaves a legacy is not possible without a team.  

Leaders need loyal followers.  Loyal followers need honest, compassionate and thoughtful leaders who are willing to listen, ask questions and consider other points of view.  

5) Respect redefined.  Because the choleric is so task focused, they define respect in terms of accomplishment and the ability to make decisions.  Without realizing it, most cholerics withhold admiration and respect for others until they have witnessed them succeed.  Respect is earned.  This explains why cholerics usurp authority and have a hard time submitting to someone who they view as incompetent or who has not rightly earned their way.  

I must express a word of caution as a choleric who desires to develop into a woman of unshakable character.  Being a person who can claim to be respectful means, that even when it is difficult, you choose to show and give respect regardless of whether someone has earned it.  Respect does not mean you agree, it means you treat others with the same kindness and courtesy you expect, no strings attached.

6) Controlling or just right?  I already noted the Choleric’s basic desire to have their own way.  They desire control of people, situations, finances, projects, etc.  What I need every reader to understand is that the Choleric’s desire for control is not a choice or an attempt to drive you completely nuts, it is a need.  They need control like they need oxygen.  The good news, is that they are designed for it and they can handle it.  A choleric, living in their strengths, has an ability unlike the other personality types to do well under extreme pressure.  They can think clearly and make the right decisions under difficult circumstances without falling apart or worrying about what others will think.  I hope you can recognize the blessing of such a person!  The warning to the choleric is in the approach.  The most important thing for a choleric to control is self.  You cannot just take over as you wish, say what you want, to whomever you want and when you want.  Just because you can, does not mean you should.  Not every project, person and situation needs to be rescued.  Use discernment and consideration as you seek to help.  The cholerics desire for control often leads them down a path where they are involved in so many things, they lose their ability to manage time wisely and wind up failing in most everything rather than being extremely successful in a few.

7) Powerful emotions.  The choleric is often the most easy to identify when their emotional needs are not being met.  They become impulsive, overbearing, impatient and angry.  To obtain and maintain emotional health, Cholerics need loyalty from the troops, a sense of control, appreciation for service and accomplishment.  

In the simplest terms, the choleric in your life needs four things from you;

1) to know, without a doubt, you are on their side,

2) to be able to make some decisions to which you submit and enthusiastically agree,

3) to hear you say ‘thank you’ for all of their hard work and efforts,

4) time to get things done.  

I have found that the best thing you can say to fill the cholerics emotional cup is something along the lines of, “I don’t know how you do all you do.”  Watch the resolve on their face lighten.  Express gratitude to them often and your relationship will soar.

My challenge to you this month is that you take these seven things, one for each day of each week this month, and think about how you can use the information to build up your Choleric relationships.  The key will be actually doing something with the information.  Perhaps you need to have a conversation laced with appreciation, offer to physically help get a project finished, promote your Choleric to a role that better suits them, or simply get out of their way and watch them go.   

Or, if you are Choleric, consider how you can make better decisions to change your bad habits, attitudes and communication style for a better you this month. 

Remember, healthy relationships make for a happier, healthier more productive life.  And besides that, people are worth it.