In this four-part series about gracious girlfriends, we’ve talked about sanguine, choleric, and melancholy friends. Today, it is time for the phlegmatic to be in the spotlight. This relaxed and inoffensive personality is the peaceful girlfriend. Although she is well-loved by just about everyone, this girlfriend has weaknesses.
Unlike the other personalities, phlegmatic people usually don’t have traits that stand out. For example, a sanguine can overwhelm others with their exuberance, cholerics can be bossy and blunt, while melancholy friends can b moody and critical. Phlegmatics tend to be even keeled which usually means they don’t have any outlandish characteristics that bother others. Other nice traits of this personality include a diplomatic nature and a “go-with-the-flow” attitude. They are comfortable letting others take the lead in the relationship whether it means choosing activities or setting the tone for the overall relationship.
Phlegmatic women tend to have lots of acquaintances but few close friends. The fact that they are introverts probably explains why: 1) they are drained by people and lots of activity, 2) they do not force themselves on others. Sometimes a phlegmatic friend may seem disengaged, but chances are your friendship is very much on her mind and extremely precious.
If you HAVE a Phlegmatic Girlfriend
If you have a phlegmatic girlfriend and are NOT of the same personality, you may find yourself a little perplexed. Why . . . you ask? Well for starters they aren’t inclined as the sanguine or choleric to pursue establishing a new friendship. They don’t come across as standoffish as a melancholy, but they are careful not to invade others space or cross boundaries they have not been invited to cross. Once a friendship is established a phlegmatic friend is not inclined to pick up the phone just to chat . . . they appreciate and enjoy calls from others, but they just don’t tend to MAKE calls It is helpful to remember that phlegmatic friends prefer one-on-one time with others as opposed to group gathering. However, if they feel comfortable with those in the group, they will enjoy themselves. Try not to drag them to an social setting where they don’t know anyone, however if you DO, do not abandon them.
A few other things to remember about this girlfriend is her ability to listen and low-maintenance nature.
If you ARE a Phlegmatic Girlfriend
If you are phlegmatic you are a wonderful friend. However, there are a few things that being so laid back can do that don’t foster a healthy relationship with others:
- Don’t be too quick to walk away from a friendship. Due to the tendency to let others set the tone, you may leave a friendship when you don’t feel valued. Instead of sauntering for the door, consider if there is anything you can do to strengthen the friendship.
- Make an effort to contact your friends. Most of your friends will not feel that you are “forcing” yourself on them if you call them.
- Be willing to try new things.
- Don’t be afraid to express yourself if you DO have a preference for lunch or an idea for a girl’s night out.
I have experienced the good and the bad of being a phlegmatic girlfriend. I think we sometimes perplex our friends who don’t understand who we are. However, looking at my current and past friendships, the ones with the funniest (and longest lasting) dynamic are my friendships with other phlegmatic women. We are all so laid back that our tendencies to not to contact each other or our tendency to appear disengaged have never been issues. We easily go with each others flow.