How Your Temperament Can Affects Your Relationship

How Your Temperament Can Affects Your Relationship

Whether you realise it or not, your temperament tells a lot on your relationship with colleagues, friends, families, spouses, children etc.  It’s largely tied to how much you relate, feel, think, realise, see and clarify people and things around you.

“His conception of the universe is, however, instinctive, not intellectual, it can’t be criticized as a concept, because there’s non there, and it can’t be criticized as a temperament, because temperament can’t be criticized” Alvaro de campos

Temperament (noun):  A person or animal’s nature, especially as it permanently affects their behaviour. The four temperamental tests include;

  • Choleric,
  • Sanguine,
  • Melancholic,
  • Phlegmatic




  • Are the proud extroverted alphas, hot tempered, quick thinking, active, practical, strong-willed, self- confident, self- sufficient and very independent minded of our species
  • Choleric people are leaders and directors; seeking to be in control, to be on top and the best which doesn’t necessarily mean they are all driven to reach the top of the cooperate leaders, but in the day- to- day interactions have the tendency towards one –upsmanship.
  • However, they use imperative, commanding languages e.g starting sentences with look/ listen, They generally believe in right and have immense stubbornness admitting to their flaws unless admitting to these would make them look better than others and  tend to leave little or no room for negotiation in an argument. Most arguments are mainly about them rather than the issue; a battle of egos rather than a quest for truth…simply they are bosses.
  • They usually do not give in to pressures of what others think, unless they see that they can’t get the desired result. They think big and seek positions of authority, thus can plough through obstacles that bar their path to maintain or reach their position Most bullies are choleric, but few cholerics are bullies, many in fact stand up to those who bully others. They can be great supportive friends, crusaders against social injustice as they love to fight for a cause.  Their confidence and demanding nature make them ‘Natural leaders’ like managers, politicians, captains etc.
  • Choleric likes to meddle in other’s affairs and speak their mind if they feel it’s necessary and often do not mind their speech, they believe in being pragmatic, bluntly honest rather than sugar-coating. It is important to them to be strong, courageous, tough. They are in many ways the opposite of phlegmatic but synonymous to melancholic in some ways e.g stubbornness
  • Dating isn’t fun unlike with the Sanguines . They approach dating in the same manner as other life issues. Thus it’s crucial that their partners share same similar goals and interests. While they analyse and hide their emotions, they look for someone who is emotionally expressive, flexible or even hesitant. Often phlegmatic personalities are their choice when seeking the perfect partner. They can be romantic or deeply committed when they find someone worthy.
  • Of all the four temperament, they fall in love less frequently but with the highest sexual drive. They do not like to sleep around except they are in a committed relationship…only then do they see it as the central core of the union




  • Are boisterous, bubbly, chatty, social extroverts, fun- loving, impulsive, entertaining, persuasive, easily amused, optimistic and indecisive. They are receptive and open to building relationships quickly.
  • They will smile easily and often it isn’t unusual to feel you have known a sanguine for years when you’ve only met minutes ago. They find social interactions with faces both familiar and unfamiliar invigorating. People of melancholic temperament might perceive a room of ten strangers frightening but sanguine sees it as an opportunity to meet new friends. This also made it effective for them to work with people. As ‘people pleasers’, they try to entertain, surprise their friends and can also be generous.
  • They are good listeners, very curious beings .They find self-disclosure difficult and therefore will talk about themselves occasionally. They tend to move away from friends considered boring or dull.
  • Sanguines are usually not picky, like more things than they dislike. They usually like sport, artworks, cultural events, complicated music, movies/ shows, exotic restaurants, newest thing in vogue because they fear rejection or not making a favourable impression or being viewed as unsuccessful. They are the most adventurous of all the temperaments
  • They aren’t particularly trustworthy as they’ll be eager to spill secrets with others and their general flightiness can make them unreliable as they are likely to get easily distracted. They can be competitive and tend to be disorganized because they are indecisive, unless disciplined.
  • Sanguines see dating as entertainment. They are more compatible with their own type- someone who will go adventuring with them (in conversations, tourism). They are highly sensitive to the world around them. Most have a lot of experience in dating and can easily adjust to almost any relationship. They have no desire to control you, they have relaxed attitude towards sex- sometimes seen as a recreation.


Phlegmatic people are the meek, submissive introvert, indecisive, unemotional, easy going, never- get-upset, living to please others. They are also slow to warm up but eventually accommodating and indirect when responding to others. They are the easiest to get along with. Living a quiet, routine life, free of normal anxieties of other temperament is also a feature.

  • They’ll defer to others to make choices, and will feel upset and pressured if they have to make a decision themselves. They do not see themselves in a leader role. Obstacles that get in the way of their steady path will cause them to halt and fumble around. They are more likely to travel around than through it with the path easily changed by others.
  • Plegmatics seldom exert themselves or push their way along in their careers because they just let it happen, they prefer to have just a few close friends of which they are very loyal to. They also find it difficult breaking their long standing relationships regardless of what the person does.
  • Phlegmatic ranges from warmly attentive to lazily sluggish. They tend to be content, kind, affectionate receptive, calm and shy individuals.
  • They are consistent, rationale, curious, observant… qualities making them good administrators. They can also be passively aggressive. They tend to avoid quick decision-making.
  • They are well behaved; rebelling against established rules would feel deeply uncomfortable to them. “They may say, worriedly, should we really be doing this” or “We might get into trouble”!
  • They are the most sensitive and romantic of the(4) temperaments. Being with their partners, they seek for common intellectual and emotional ground, which will serve a bridge from heart to heart. They will send romantic cards, give hugs and confess their love in the hope of hearing same response from partners.
  • These people avoid getting too involved with people and things generally. Their stoic expressions often hide their true feelings because they can be deeply hurt or rejected. Thus, do not see dating as a fun experience else it’s about seeking hands in marriages or long term committed relationship. It’s been known for them to get tired emotionally and stop dating for a period of time.
  • Importantly, despite the fact that they seek for harmony and spend a lot of energy to build relationships, they don’t like clingy or overly demanding people.




  • These people are perfectionistic introvert, logical, analytical, factual, private, timid, emotionally sensitive, suspicious of things and people around them until proven otherwise, let’s- do- it- right person. They respond in a slow, cautious and indirect manner.
  • Melancholic people probe for the hidden meaning behind your words and are self-sacrificing, gifted, well organized , creative, and are determined to make the right and best decisions, they will ask specific questions which may be repeated again\ over-analysed. They need reassurance, feedback and reasons why they should do something. They need info, time to think and plan and of course fear taking risks, making wrong decisions or being viewed as incompetent … making them to be perfectionists.
  • They hold themselves or others to unrealistic high standards, and get distressed when these standards aren’t met i.e self-deprecating cos they couldn’t meet their own need, and critical of others cos others couldn’t meet their standards. They may have negative attitude toward something new until they’ve had enough time to think it over
  • Of all the temperaments, they are classified as the pillars of the society and may have been the analysts, information gatherers in the previous ages but currently in the society they are scientists, programmers, logicians etc.
  • Unlike most other temperament who become passionate and somewhat irrational when they fall in love, melancholic’s love is more pragmatic; seeing their lovers as assistants, with preference based on common sense and compatibility. They are predictable and love to go by the rules and traditions of their family.
  • Dating to them is taken seriously e.g. They will never be late, their men open doors for women, their ladies cook for men… to cut this short they enjoy tradition associated with dating and relationship. While conversing with them, melancholics like to be concrete, detailed and factual, hating drama.
  • Sex for them is a way to relax, it isn’t a playful adventure UNLIKE the sanguines. They are with the least sexual drive- tho, they do enjoy sex but they like it when it is familiar, not in the style of “one night stand”.
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ADESANYA OLUWATOBILOBA,   A Medical student, College of medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo state. She is a member of Primebella Initiatives (A non governmental organisation where young females are trained and equipped to build their future). Oluwatobiloba likes art, fashion, music and focuses on improving love-driven relationships. Her hobbies are; travelling, cooking, and meeting new people. She’s also into food and event planning and currently resides at Ibadan, Nigeria.


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