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Temperamental

 

Temperamental

 

Copyright 2016 U.D McAlls

Published by Allfaith Christian Foundation at Shakespir

 

 

 

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Table of Contents

Prologue

Introduction

Definition

The Four Basic Temperaments and Their Features

Effects

Remedies

Conclusion

Appendix

Other books by U.D McAlls

Connect with U.D McAlls

 

 

Prologue

Measurement of temperamental or personality factors is still the most difficult of all of the fields, although several relatively new approaches are being tried. In one of these approaches the individual is put under conditions of mental stress in a controlled condition designed to produce frustration. Evidences of emotional instability and quickness of recovery are studied to determine whether these samples of emotional behaviour will be predictive of behaviour under stress situations in civilian or military life. Another approach is that of attempting to relate factors of temperament to constitutional differences in body builds. Here the old fallacy of attempting to distinguish sharp body types has been overcome by recognizing the need for a quantitative method of describing the test profile resulting from measurements on a number of body dimensions. In this way gradations in body build are recognized.

Temperamental

Introduction

We all know that the individual is not usually alone in his home, place of work, leadership position and in the wider society. This is in accordance with the common saying “No Man is island whole and entire”. It is important that we understand that we are naturally made in such a way that our temperaments can influence every area of our life positively or negatively. Some of us have hot or quick temperament and some have not. It is our natural disposition called temperament that makes us act the way we do.

 

 

As leaders of organizations, institutions and God’s people (Church), we must realize that our disposition and office are not given to us for thoughts of anger, malice, rancor, depression, oppression, bitterness, vindictiveness or un-forgiveness etc. The thoughts of a man are powerful instruments in his hands for actions because the thoughts of a man guide his actions. Our leadership positions are for the edification of God’s people and the wider society. Temperament / emotion is an important aspect of our personality make-up which we cannot do without in life. As a people whose vocation or calling (profession) is people oriented, it behooves us to understand this essential part of our human personality in order to control, manage and harness it well. Temperament takes care of how one relates to others around him in the home, place of work or anywhere at all. As a people in the leadership position in the church, it is important that we understand our temperament (i.e. knowing our strengths and weaknesses), so that we will be better able to understand others and relate with them properly. This knowledge will be also helpful for us to understand the temperamental / emotional make-ups of the different and numerous people we lead in order to relate very well with them and be better positioned to win them for Christ.

 

Temperament / emotion is very central and vital to all human behaviour. The temperament or emotion of an individual often determines his behaviour, attitudes and the degree of social adjustment as well as the level of success which the individual attains in his endeavours. Equally, the temperament or emotion of marital partners may affect considerably how well or bad one will relate to each other or play his or her role in the relationship. It is absolutely necessary for the partners to be able to understand and control their temperaments or emotions as they change at different situations of life. This control is important because human circumstances and moods of partners are not permanent, and since they are not permanent, temperaments or emotions are bound to change from one state to the other and from time to time like the weather changes.

 

This study is important because interpersonal relationships and marital instability constitute a social problem to the society. As important as the marriage institution is, it should not be allowed to suffer disruptions and failures because what affects the family translates into the wider society. Lack of proper understanding of the basic role which temperamental or emotional stability play in human personality and in achieving marital success causes marital breakdown which is a source of worry not only to the spouse but to their children, church, social welfare workers, sociologist, counselors, lawyers, government and indeed, the general public. The unresolved temperamental / emotional differences between couples due to lack of adequate knowledge have torn many marriages apart and the rate of its occurrence is heavy and alarming. The knowledge of the role which temperament / emotion plays in individual personalities and marital adjustment may help individuals relate well in the society, and married people as well as intending ones to enjoy happy married life. This may reduce conflicts and divorce rate which are on the increase in the contemporary society.

 

Definition

Temperament is the natural disposition of an individual which influences everything he does in life e.g his thinking, feeling and behaviour. It is innate. Temperament is arousable or excitable. It is a powerful personality make-up of individual. It cannot be hidden for a long time. Lahage (1984) stated that temperament influences everything you do from sleep habits to study habits to eating style to the way you get along with other people … there is no other influence in your life more powerful than your temperament or combination of temperaments.”

 

Emotion is a feeling which can influence ones behaviour in life. This feeling can be pleasant or unpleasant in life. In other words, it can change from one state to the other.

Emotion is experienced and expressed in many ways. It could be seen in behevours and actions of the individual in a relationship. Pleasant emotion according to Iwundu (1996) involves: Joy, laughter, or smiling, dancing, love, etc. On the other hand, unpleasant emotions involve: fear, worry, anger, sadness and anxiety, hate aggression, etc. The unpleasant emotions can trigger off conflicts and quarrels in a relationship. Pleasant emotions can enhance or cement interpersonal relationship and marital stability. This is why it is very necessary for an individual to understand his temperament or emotionality to enable him relate well with others.

Again, this is in accordance with the common axiom, which says, “man know thyself”. Temperaments / emotions, self – concepts and attitudes are precursors of behaviour and therefore, may influence the behaviour and actions of the individual in interpersonal relationship.

The Four Basic Temperaments and Their Features

(Strengths and Weakness)

There are four basic temperaments namely: Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholic and Phlegmatic. According to McConell (1986) Galen, a famous medical doctor carried out a scientific study on temperament and discovered that human beings produce different humours which make up the basic temperaments namely:

Sanguine, Phlegm, Choleric and Melancholic.

Quoting Galen, McConell (1986) noted that people with sanguine temperaments were supposed to be cheerful, hearty, outgoing, sturdy, fearless, optimistic, and interested in physical pleasures. Phlegm was the second humour discovered by Galen. This humour was characterized by thick white material that one sometimes coughs up when one has cold. To Galen, Phlegm was cold, moist, and unmoving. That is to say, if your bodily processes were dominated by too much production of phlegm, you had a phlegmatic temperament. That is, you were cold, aloof, calm, detached, unemotional, uninvolved, quiet, withdrawn and dependable. This study confirmed that the human liver produces two different humours – yellow bile and black bile. The yellow bile is called choler, because it supposedly caused the disease we now refer to as “Cholera”. The choleric temperament was characterized by anger, hate, and was easily given fits of temper – one that easily gives in to most of his or her bad impulses. A dire devil in driving. On the other hand, black bile was even worse, for it symbolized death in Galen’s view. Thus, if your temperament was dominated by black bile, you had a melancholic temperament. That is to say that the melancholic temperament was always depressed, dejected, unhappy and suicidal. This study also confirmed that one’s biochemistry determined his personality. One may add here that the environmental factor may have an influence in determining the personality of the individual.

 

Similarly, Lahaye (1984) summarized the four basic temperaments and outlined their strengths and weaknesses as follows:

Sanguine: The sanguine is outgoing, compassionate enthusiastic, talkative, warm, friendly and responsive.

His weaknesses are: Exaggerates, egocentric, unproductive, emotionally unstable and undisciplined. He divulges secrets easily because of his talkative nature.

Choleric: The choleric temperament is strong – willed, independent, visionary, practical, productive, decisive, leader.

Weaknesses: He is cold, unemotional, impetuous, domineering, unforgiving, sarcastic, angry, cruel and self-sufficient. Things must be done his own way otherwise, no way. He sees himself as the only con crowing.

Melancholic: The melancholic is gifted, aesthetic, analytical, self disciplined, industrious and self-sacrificing.

Weaknesses: He is theoretical, touchy, revengeful, persecution – prone, self-centered, moody, unsociable, negative and critical.

Phlegmatic: The phlegmatic is calm, quiet, easy-going, dependable, practical, objective, diplomatic, efficient and organized.

Weaknesses: He is unmotivated, selfish, stingy, procrastinator, worrier, self-protective, indecisive, fearful withdrawn, etc. He does not divulge secrets easily but he could be a “good” slow-poison.

 

It is necessary for us to understand that one may have a combination of temperaments. It is a fundamental fact that each individual personality is influenced by his temperament or emotionality though temperament is not the only personality factor. These four basic temperaments influence one’s behavior and attitudes even in administration and marital relationship. But man and his environment have little or no influence on it. He can only tone it down and not change it. For instance, an extrovert is always an extrovert. Even though he may tone down the expression of his extroversion but it is inborn. It is only God that can change it. Equally, an extrovert can easily divulge secrets and could be a “good” sycophant. If you are an extrovert be assured that your children will certainly inherit it because it goes from the gene of parents to the children.

 

Ukairo (2007:44-45) defined genes as smaller particles of chromosomes which are responsible for inheritance of traits from parents to the offspring. He further postulated that the expression of parental characteristics inherited by the offspring is a function of the genes. Well of course, we all know that at conception, every human being gains 46chromosomes from the parents. Every child inherits 23 chromosomes from the father and another 23 from the mother at conception. Can we now say that temperament / emotion is a bad thing? Or did it come by chance? The answer is no. Your temperament / emotion is not a mistake because God our Creator is a wonderful God who gave us our different temperaments or combination of them. He gave it to us in our individual differences to be useful to us. It is rather a gift. It depends on how we use it. After all, Jeremiah 1:5 says, “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”. Therefore, let us not disappoint God who made us without individual temperaments.

 

Everything you do is influenced by your temperament positively or negatively. In support of this view Lahaye (1984:9) noted that … there is no other influence in your life more powerful than your temperament or combination of temperaments. That is why it is so essential to know your temperament and to be able to analyze other people’s temperaments not to condemn them, but so can maximize your potential and enable them to maximize theirs.

 

Effects

Temperamental or Emotional instability can spell doom for an individual in interpersonal relationship. Chauhan (1978) opined that emotions have damaging effect on behaviour of the individual. The most damaging effect of emotions is on the physique of the individual. Constant emotional tension may also cause lack of sleep, restlessness, headache, chronic fatigue, insomnia and lack of appetite. Unstable temperament or emotion can tear marital relationship apart. Similarly, a research by Terman (1938) confirmed that a large proportion of unsuccessful marriages resulted from incompatible personal temperaments of either or both mates. Happy married persons were more emotionally stable, more adaptable and had uplifted interests to a greater degree than unhappily married persons, who express neurotic tendencies, intolerance and volitional inadequacy.

Apart from disrupting marital relationships, unstable temperament or emotion is dangerous to the health of the individuals in a relationship. It can cause ill-health to the administrator, leader, and couples in a marriage ranging from worries, tensions, lack of sleep, headache, restlessness, hypertension etc. All these lead to high blood pressure which can as well result to untimely death.

 

The children of the union are not left unaffected.

Broken marriages adversely affect the proper upbringing of children. If children are not properly brought up, they constitute a social problem to the society manifesting in armed robbery, kidnapping, raping and hooliganism etc.

It makes or mars success in the life of an individual. It affects the professional role performance. For example, hot temperament marred the work and leadership of the biblical Moses and prevented him from entering the promise land (Exodus .32; 19-20 Deut. 34; 4). Mr Sani Kaita a Nigerian player during the year 2010 South Africa Word Cup Match between Nigeria and Greece could not control his temper right there in the field. Instead of using his leg, he used his fist to revenge and spoil the show for Nigeria. He was giving a red card and shown the way out. That singular act adversely affected Nigeria as a nation.

 

In the month of June, 2010, members of the House of Representative Federal Republic of Nigeria lost their temper and fought at the floor of the house and wounded themselves. This was due to their inability to control their temper or emotion and understand each other. What a national disgrace to Nigeria by our law – makers? This is to mention only but a few examples. Frankly speaking, it is not good for any person to be quick tempered or to turn violent even at the slightest provocation. It can mar your profession / vocation.

 

It affects the psychological well being of the individual as an administrator or a marital partner favorably or adversely. Negative emotion can disorganize the marital well being of the individual because it is a source of worry. Lahaye (1984) agreed that no matter how intelligent a person is when he gets emotionally upset he cannot think in an orderly fashion. Emotions can break his concentration and stifle his creativity. Equally Forsyth (1987) noted that in some cases of conflict between partners in close relationship, positive emotions are not merely lost but replaced by negative and disruptive emotion. Caring becomes jealousy…the climate of dissolving relationship can be seen when the emotional reactions of spouses whose marriages are compared to the reactions of spouses whose marriages are not distressed. Aggressive attitudes and approaches are powerful negative emotion which can mar marital relationship and predispose marital partners away from achieving stability in marriage. But showing maturity in crucial matters which your position as a person, priest, administrator, leader, bishop and or husband and wife requires is a function of temperamental / emotional maturity and stability.

 

Remedies

It is essential for individuals, administrators, Priests, leaders, Bishops, husbands or wives and intending couples to analyze and understand their temperaments / emotions. This would help them discover for themselves similarity, acceptability, compatibility of the temperament or emotion of those they meet in their interpersonal relationship and be able to reduce chances of conflict or disagreement in the relationship.

 

Differences or conflicts between one party and the other or couples must be brought to the open and a spade called a spade in a most peaceful manner. This discussion should not be to find out who is to win the case but an opportunity for sincere peaceful reconciliation. This approach is very important in administration and marital relationship because built-up or unexpressed negative emotions can create unnecessary tension and bitterness which are dangerous for running of administration and marital relationship. For this reason Ephesians 4:31, advices us to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice’. This is one of the weaknesses of the choleric temperament and it is bad for a manager, administrator or husband or wife to be unforgiving. Amao-kehinde (2000) agreed that conflict when not adequately resolved could lead to more serious emotional and psychological problems which in some cases may degenerate to break up or total disintegration of the Family. By throwing the differences open in a most peaceful manner, and sentiment and nepotism avoided; compromise could be reach between the parties involved, so that if anybody is punished, he sees reason why he is punished.

 

There is no doubt that speaking tenderly to your partner instead of being harsh due to emotional instability will give him or her a sense of belonging and respect to perform better. This is essential because psychologists strongly believe that it must not be punishment all the time since punishment is not always an effective method of correcting aberrant behaviours in individuals. Thus, friendly and respectful approach may produce positive change in attitudes of partners which enhances interpersonal relationship and marital adjustment.

 

Marriage counseling is necessary as a means of knowing how to live and tolerate each other‘s emotional / temperamental weakness. Lean to accept your own uniqueness and appreciate your limitation or weakness because nobody is perfect. Understanding and expression of emotional or temperamental maturity and strong positive feeling will bring about the desired marital success and satisfaction. Emotional maturity and tolerance is very necessary in marital relationship to foster harmony and marital stability between husband and wife.

 

Conclusion

This paper has examined the definition and origin of temperament / emotion in general. It also treated the effects on interpersonal and marital relationships and provided remedies to solving temperamental / emotional problems. It is clear from the foregoing that while administrators and married people who are temperamentally/emotionally stable enjoy one form of administrative and marital stability, those administrators and married people who are not temperamentally /emotionally stable enjoy another. The level of marital adjustment depends on the temperamental or emotional stability of the married people. Where the temperamental or emotional state is not stable, it is likely to manifest in negative and disruptive behaviours which are inimical to marital adjustment. When temperament / emotion is stable, it brings about harmony in marital relationship and may enhance the growth and smooth running of any organization.

Appendix

Mel Krantzler (1981:50)

Marital love requires the ability to put yourself in your partner’s place, to understand that the differences that divide you are the differences of two unique personalities, rather than betrayals of your hopes and dreams. The unconditional willingness of each of you to understand and resolve these differences through the sharing of your need for instance gratification when your partner feels no such need; sharing the struggle to triumph over adversities as well as sharing the joys and delights of being together; nurturing each other in defeat caused by forces beyond our control and renewing each other’s courage to prevail in the face of despair; carrying necessary obligations and responsibilities as a flower rather than as a hundred-pound knapsack; acknowledging the everyday value of your partner in a look, a smile, a touch of the hand, a voiced appreciation of a meal or a new hair style, a spontaneous trip to a movie or a restaurant; trusting your partner always to be there when needed, knowing that he or she always has your best interests at heart even when criticism is given, loyalty and dedication to each other in the face of sacrifices that may have to be made – all of these are additional components of marital love that courtship knows little about.

 

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Temperamental

Measurement of temperamental or personality factors is still the most difficult of all of the fields, although several relatively new approaches are being tried. In one of these approaches the individual is put under conditions of mental stress in a controlled condition designed to produce frustration. Evidences of emotional instability and quickness of recovery are studied to determine whether these samples of emotional behaviour will be predictive of behaviour under stress situations in civilian or military life. Another approach is that of attempting to relate factors of temperament to constitutional differences in body builds. Here the old fallacy of attempting to distinguish sharp body types has been overcome by recognizing the need for a quantitative method of describing the test profile resulting from measurements on a number of body dimensions. In this way gradations in body build are recognized.

  • Author: U.D McAlls
  • Published: 2016-06-19 16:20:07
  • Words: 3466
Temperamental Temperamental