Intense, overly-practical, and detached. Ever experience these things?
If you answer in the affirmative, chances are good that there is a choleric in your life. This isn’t at bad thing, but it can be frustrating if you don’t understand this intense person. So, what are some tools you can use to survive this personality at work, school, church, or home? Let’s dive in.
Intensity is one way to recognize the choleric. They often have a scowl and knit eye-brows because their mind is always contemplating their next mission. That intensity isn’t confined to their facial expression . . . it can permeate a room! It’s almost like they bring and unseen presence of barbed wire with them wherever they go. This is especially true if they have had a bad day or are working through a big project. Completing a mission consumes them.
My husband is choleric, and there are times I just retreat and let him work. I’ll offer to help with a project if there is anything I can effectively contribute. For example, all the wood floors in our home are choleric installed. It was a big project, but not particularly involved, say like rerouting electricity. I helped hubs rip up the old floor and prep before the new one went down. He appreciated my assistance. However, when he knocked the wall out of our bedroom so I could have a sliding glass door and a patio on the the other side, I stayed away. It was a big AND involved project. He rewired outlets and installed new lighting fixtures. That was WAY out of my league so I stepped back and let him work. He didn’t need (or want) my “help” hindering him.
Some personalities (mine included) need a bit of whimsy and day dreaming in their lives. The choleric, for the most part, doesn’t. It isn’t practical. Now, don’t think they don’t contemplate their future, but it comes more in the form of goals and “what can I accomplish?”. My hubs and I are a perfect examples of this dynamic living together.
I’m a dreamer with lots of interests. Some come to fruition, others don’t. My choleric spouse has indulged many of my dreams over the years . . . and enjoyed a measure of success with me. On the other hand, he has always been a good provider for our family. He is not only practical, but technically minded. He has a bachelors degree in geology and a masters in Geo-chemistry. Many years ago his aspirations were to work in the oil and gas industry until it crashed in the 80s taking him in another direction. Oil was no longer a practical pursuit, and he had a young family to feed. Over the years he supported us well, but wanted to do a better job at securing his (and thus our) future. He landed a job at the Los Alamos National Lab and earned another masters degree . . . in engineering! A field in which he had no previous education. But, it was a practical endeavor, and he earned straight A’s through a very arduous curriculum while supporting a family and helping raise our two boys.
He has dreams, but the practical business of family was his mission. When it comes to surviving the choleric drive that often overrides their own dreams, be supportive, but also encourage them to pursue something they enjoy so that a little bit of fun can creep into that practical mind of theirs.
It isn’t unusual for a choleric personality to appear detached. Their mission-minded (practical) wiring often overrides the heart part of their being. When their heart DOES crawl to the surface it is in a very practical way . . . sending money to help homeless animals, donating time to build a house, or stopping on the highway to help a stranded motorist. They show their heart by doing and, unless you understand the choleric, it’s easy to miss their softer side and see them as detached.
My choleric hubby has a melancholy blend which, as I have dubbed it, is the robot blend. (Read about that here.) He approaches life like a machine. Me, on the other hand, well, I’m a phlegmatic/sanguine blend and am all about relationship. I’m not mission-minded enough for him, and he isn’t relational enough for me and seems detached much of the time. But, because I understand he shows his love in ways like making sure my car runs, that things around my house are in good working order, etc., I KNOW he loves me. I know he really isn’t “detached” from the relationship, it just looks that way.
As with all the personality types, there is a danger to take our strengths to the extreme so that they become weaknesses. The choleric personality needs to understand that about themselves. If they, in turn, can understand the personalities of those around them, it may help them step away from some of the extreme traits they exhibit and interact better with those around them. But, in the in meantime, it helps when we understand the intense character of this “go-getter” personality that makes the world go round.