-Donald J. ibbitson, PhD
*****This is part one of a five part series on how to live/coexist/thrive with different temperament types.******
If you have a spouse/child/significant other in close proximity that is predominantly choleric in temperament, knowing the needs and aspects of this temperament, coupled with a significant amount of grace on your part, can help you survive and indeed thrive in that environment! This short article gives a brief overview only; more information can be found here: Choleric Temperament.
Cholerics are task-oriented “take charge” people who can sometimes leave a wake of wounded people during the process of getting things done in all aspects of their life.
Things to Know About Cholerics
- They need alone time. Do not force them to socialize
- They are independent. Do not try to control them or tell them what to do.
- They need recognition for their accomplishments. Give them chances to meet that!
- They are task-oriented and can be great leaders. Give them opportunities to take on responsibilities and make decisions.
- Tend to have explosive anger. They must learn to deal with this anger constructively and in ways that are pleasing to God
Things You Should Do (and Not Do!) for Cholerics:
- Do not force them to socialize. They are very selective and when and where to socialize.
- Do not try to control them
- Give them recognition for accomplishments
- Give them opportunities to take on tasks and responsibilities.
- Learn how to be a good negotiator so you will not be dominated.
- Provide them with love and affection according to their needs.
- Try to keep emotional outbursts to a minimum. Cholerics tend to be fiery and may not respond well.
- Do special things for them. Cholerics typically need affirmations of love in this manner.
- Offer assistance when it is asked for. Cholerics like to figure things out themselves.
“Issues” That Cholerics Must Typically Address or Learn:
- Deal with their anger constructively.
- Recognize the rights and feelings of others.
- Learn how to submit to authority, especially which of the Lord, while maintaining control of their own personal lives.
- Recognize the needs of others while showing love and affection, which is, not just giving love as a means of manipulation.
- Trust others and accept them as they are.
- Delegate responsibility in order to lessen the possibility of burnout.
- Refrain from using love and affection to control others.
- Only control others by good behavior, such as love, compassion, and encouragement, instead of abusive behavior.
- Pray for the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control, so they can learn to understand and feel the emotions that are lacking in their own temperament. They have difficulty understanding or empathizing with the deep, tender feelings of others.
- Dedicate all achievements to God and seek His recognition. This will lessen their dependence on man for recognition because man will eventually fail us!
- Look at others with the “Eyes of Christ.” This will give them permission to be imperfect and lessen criticism.
Disclaimer: The discussion above is geared solely towards providing insights into this temperaments needs, strengths and weaknesses. Our temperaments are never an excuse for bad behaviors and we encourage you to seek competent Christian Counseling if you are having individual or relational problems.