Phlegmatic Temperament

phlegmatic temperamentHippocrates linked the Phlegmatic with phlegm, a body fluid that is thick, slow-moving and almost stagnant in nature. To the observer, the Phlegmatic’s are extremely slow-paced and stubborn.

The Phlegmatic goes through life doing as little as possible, quietly, and expending little energy. It is not clear whether the Phlegmatic temperament has very little energy, or it is because they refuse to use what little energy they do have. They are task oriented with a great capacity for work that requires precision and accuracy and expends a minimal amount of energy. Only sleep can regenerate a Phlegmatic in Inclusion.

It is important to understand that the Phlegmatic’s temperament, just like all the other temperament, cannot be accuratel assessed just by observation; temperament analysis via the Arno Profile System is necessary to accurately identify a person’s temperament.

The world may never know all the brilliant thoughts, great books, spectacular works of art, or wonderful ministries that have been buried with the Phlegmatic. They seldom, if ever, use these ideas and talents because it would require expending to much energy and effort, to put these ideas into action. The Phlegmatic sits back and watches other temperaments busy doing things wrongly and looking at all the things in te world that need to be changed. Identifying the injustice is not difficult for the Phlegmatic in Inclusion; however, they will seldom, if ever, initiate action against injustice. They will try to inspire others to do something, but are not likely to personally get involved themselves.

The Phlegmatic is the only temperament the Choleric is unable to control (which frustrates the Choleric tremendously). The Phlegmatic is the most stable temperament. The Phlegmatic is the most stubborn of all the temperaments when it comes to making changes. Because of their tendency to uninvolvement, they are natural negotiators and diplomats. “Peace at all costs” is their motto.

The Phlegmatic has no fear of rejection and can handle unaffectionate and hostile people. They are calm, easygoing people who are not plagued with the emotional outbursts, exaggerated feelings, anger, bitterness or unforgiveness as are other temperaments. They are observers who do not get involved nor expend much energy. Their cool, complacent attitude an hurt people that love them. The way they observe can cause them to never to give of themselves and, therefore, never receive either.

Inclusion Strengths of The Phlegmatic: The ability to perform tedious tasks, relate to both tasks and people, calm easygoing, extremely efficient and perfectionistic. The Phlegmatic in Inclusion can function quite well in a hostile social setting. Nothing “ruffles their feathers.”

Inclusion Weaknesses of The Phlegmatic: Unwillingness to become involved, tendency to be an observer rather than a participant, and use of a verbal defense that often hurts others.

Control Strengths of The Phlegmatic: The tendency to be very practical, conservative, peace-loving and a good peace maker / arbitrator.

Control Weaknesses of The Phlegmatic: Indecisiveness, the tendency to procrastinate, and being very difficult to motivate. They use verbal defenses that often hurt others; it is used against anyone who tries to motivate or control them, particularly Cholerics.

Affection Strengths of The Phlegmatic: Well balanced, easygoing, non-demanding, calm and realistic in demands for love and affection.

Affection Weaknesses of The Phlegmatic: Unwillingness to become involved in deep relationships, tendency to be an observer only, rarely self-sacrificing, unemotional and inexpressive. Verbal defenses are used to protect low energy supply with regard to physical and sexual involvement.


See descriptions of other temperaments:
Melancholy | Supine | Sanguine | Choleric | Phlegmatic


Learn the history of the Arno Profile System

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