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Temperament Corner: January/ February

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

SPECIAL NOTES FOR COUNSELING MARRIED COUPLES THAT HAVE “LIKE” TEMPERAMENTS IN THE INCLUSION AREA.







As you know, “opposite” temperaments tend to attract each other because of their differences; however, we find that “like” temperaments can also tend to attract each other. And just like the “opposite” temperaments, the “like” temperaments need to learn to live with each other. The “like” temperaments need to understand their likenesses.


In this issue, we will cover a Phlegmatic married to a Phlegmatic in the Inclusion area.

Dr. Phyllis Arno


In review, the Inclusion area is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with people in the area of surface relationships, association, socialization, and their intellectual energies.


The following words describe a Phlegmatic in Inclusion:


  • slow-paced

  • task-oriented

  • tough-minded

  • dry sense of humor

  • observer

  • well-rounded

  • low energy-tires easily

  • stubborn

  • perfectionist

  • capable of socializing

  • stable

  • capable of tedious tasks

  • calm

  • easy-going

  • at times can appear to be selfish

  • efficient

PHLEGMATIC IN INCLUSION MARRIED TO A PHLEGMATIC IN INCLUSION


In this area, there will be no “opposites attracting” since they are both Phlegmatics in Inclusion. They will have to learn to work together, not against each other.


They both are task-oriented but have the ability to relate to people in the Inclusion area.


Both have low energy levels and will try to preserve this energy.


When opposites attract, they can balance each other; however, two Phlegmatics in Inclusion will have a difficult time learning to maintain any kind of balance as they each want to preserve their low energy and will tend to try to pass social commitments, etc., on to the other.


BOTH PARTIES HAVE THE SAME BASIC NEEDS


1. TO BE SELECTIVE IN SOCIALIZATION


Because both parties have a low energy level, they will be very selective about accepting social obligations.


Both must learn to prioritize their responsibilities, especially if they have children and are both working.


Both must also learn that when things get too hectic for them and they have taken on too many obligations, they may need to triage their priorities in order to accomplish all that is set before them.


Both will try to negotiate ways of getting out of social functions by using their dry or wry humor.


Both can also become “addicted” to going on the internet and “socializing.” It takes very little energy to sit at a computer and send e-mails. This would result in them spending far less time together.


GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE


  • Both need to recognize that they are both very selective about accepting social invitations.

  • Both need to learn to prioritize and triage their social obligations.

  • Both need to learn to keep their dry or wry humor in check. This is because the more stressed they are, the more “biting” or “harsh” their humor can become.

  • Both may need to learn to limit their computer time in order to spend quality time together.


2. TO HAVE ADEQUATE REST


Both will require adequate rest. When they come home from work, they will both be drained and probably neither will want to cook—they are just too tired. This means that one of them will probably stop at a fast-food restaurant. If they are not careful, this may cause them to have a “weight problem.”


After work, both will probably prefer to come home and watch television or take a nice bath or shower and go to bed. This is because they are both physically and mentally drained.


On the weekends they could sleep all weekend long and still not have any more energy than when they went to bed.


Neither will want to do the chores around the house. This is because they do not have any energy left.


When the kids have to be driven to ball practice, special school events, etc., neither will want to be the chauffeur.


Both will use their dry or wry humor to ward each other off so that the other will take on responsibilities that they feel they do not have the energy to do. This could lead to many things being left undone.


GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE


  • Both need to recognize that they both have low energy.

  • Both need to recognize that, because they both have low energy, they should not expect the other to take on all the household responsibilities.

  • Both need to learn to share the duties of chauffeuring the children to their events. They do not want the children to feel neglected or unwanted because they are too tired to be with them.

  • Both need to learn to keep their dry or wry humor in check, especially when they are overly tired. These remarks or humor can cause the other spouse to retaliate with their dry or wry humor.


4. TO BE ABLE TO WORK AT HIS/HER OWN SPEED


Both may be pushed beyond endurance at work because of their low energy level. They may be the brunt of jokes at work and misunderstood by fellow employees. Because of this, they may be given duties that no one else wants to do.


Both tend to be able to do tedious tasks and they are perfectionistic; therefore, they expect perfection from other people.


Both like to work shoulder-to-shoulder with others so that they are not totally responsible for any certain area.


Both have always been misunderstood. People will stand back and look at them and say they are “lazy.” What they do not understand is that they both have low energy levels and they are probably working at their optimum level.


Both will expect the other to take on household responsibilities because they may not understand that their spouse has low energy, too. They need to learn to work together sharing the household chores.


GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE


  • Both need to find employment where they can work at their own pace.

  • Both would make good bookkeepers, teachers, accountants, negotiators, cataloging and/or data entry clerks.

  • Both need to recognize that they need to learn to work together and to work at a speed that will not drain their energy.

  • They need to learn not to expect the other to do more than they themselves are physically able to do.

  • Both need to learn to keep their dry or wry humor from hurting the other, especially when they are on overload. This is because when they become overly tired, they become very irritable and their remarks can become very hurtful.



5. TO LEARN TO STAY INVOLVED IN LIFE


Because of their low energy they may tend to become overly protective of their energy. They may tend to spend their time thinking of ways to get out of socializing. This includes work, school or even family functions. They could possibly come home on Friday, go to bed and stay there until Monday morning.


They both may tend to even pull away from the Lord and neglect attending church because of the demands that “might” be made on them, i.e., teaching Sunday school, taking care of the nursery, etc.



GUIDELINES FOR HELPING THIS COUPLE


  • Both need to learn to respect the rights and feelings of others. They need to prioritize their socializing so that they do not withdraw from the world.

  • Both need to learn that they must spend time with the Lord and not pull away from Him. He is their strength..

  • Both need to learn to keep their dry or wry humor from being biting or harsh when they use it to keep from being pulled into socializing.

  • Both need to allow themselves and others to be imperfect.

  • Maintaining balance is the key.



SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR THIS COUPLE


  • They must both recognize that they have low energy, and they need to learn to come together to make decisions regarding accepting social invitations.

  • They must both learn not to make excessive demands on each other regarding household chores, etc. Both must allow the other to work at their own speed in order to keep from being totally drained. They need to work together and clearly define their household responsibilities in order to maintain and run an effective household.

  • They must both learn to stay involved in life. They may become so intent in preserving their energy that they will pull away from life itself. They need to learn to maintain balance in their life so that they do not selfishly pull away from family and friends.

  • They must both learn to keep their relationship with the Lord active because He will give them the strength they need to fulfill the call God has on their life.



PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling Like Phlegmatics in Inclusion, you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, birth order, learned behavior, and personality.


In the next issue we will look at Counseling Married Couples with Like Temperaments in the Inclusion area of the Sanguine.



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