*****This is part two 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 melancholy 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! This article gives an overview only; for more information visit this link: Melancholy Temperament.
Melancholies are loners and can be very challenging to live with because “opening up” is not one of their temperament strengths. They are capable of showing great love, in their way, to their deep personal relationships and are typically very loyal and “by the book” people.
- They require truth, order, reliability, and dependability
- Require stable environments
- Can become very proficient in new areas if given the time to learn it properly and not be pushed.
- They have low self-esteem
- They need alone (quiet) time to regerate
- They need little physical affection and can feel crowded if someone moves into their space.
- Are very independent and are self-motivated.
- Melancholies are deep thinkers and have active minds.
Things You Should Do (and Not Do!) for Melancholies:
- Work very hard at helping at raise their self-esteem by reinforcing the positive and down playing the negative within the environment.
- Show them that they are loved and appreciated, displaying only minimal amounts of physical attention
- Do not interfere with their independence or what they are self-motivated to do or accomplish
- Provide them with a home that is orderly and acts as a sanctuary away from the rest of the world.
- Do not force them to take on the sole responsibility for someone else.
- Be careful with money and show that you are attempting to be conservative with money.
- Do not make them feel foolish, criticize them, or confront them for their mistakes.
- Punishment/rewards have little effect; the melancholy is self-motivated.
- Help the Melancholy focus their minds on positive things, thinking on things that are good instead of things that are negative. This will lessen their moodiness and depression.
- Encourage them to show or express their deep and tender feelings in ways that are comfortable to them and to those they love.
“Issues” That Melancholies Must Typically Address or Learn:
- Deal with anger constructively. Anger typically gets internalized (We’re all familiar with the very sad moniker “Going postal!”)
- Give other and themselves the right to be imperfect.
- Find life situations where they can provide themselves with the quiet time alone they need every day.
- Forgive themselves and others for past mistakes. They will tend to be very hard on themselves over mistakes.
- Gain control of their thought life and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
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.