Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm a Phlegmatic-Sanguine, What's Your Excuse?

When Delaney lent me this book, The Temperament God Gave You by Art and Laraine Bennett, it had been on my amazon wishlist for at least a year and a half. I've always been interested in these kind of personality tests because they've proven to be very insightful... and the fact it explained things from a Catholic point of view made it that much more appealing to me.

I had previously taken the Four Temperaments test on Catholic Match (a couple of years ago when I was briefly on the site). The first time I received Sanguine-Phlegmatic as my result but it didn't really sound like me. There more things I disagreed with than not. When 4marks split from CM (or at least that's how I remember it) and allowed us to keep our profiles without having to stay on CM, I did just that and re-took the temperaments test. This time I received a 63% Phlegmatic and 37% Sanguine. After reading it, I knew that I had finally taken the test properly and had gotten it right.

After receiving the book I decided to once again do the test and it revealed that, indeed, I am a Phlegmatic-Sanguine. So what exactly does that mean? Well, in a nutshell, that I'm an introverted, empathetic gal who has to be careful not to get easily discouraged (I never do but...) or even fail to attempt something out of fear of failure (which I sometimes do). What I appreciate about this book is that it is honest but doesn't make you feel like you're completely flawed or weird. Though it does point out your weaknesses, which were pretty spot on with my own temperament, it also offers great advice without being preachy.

One of my favorite sections (though, it's hard to choose THE favorite) was definitely the chapter on your temperament and your spiritual life. It offered prayers one could recite to help with the spiritual weaknesses one has. As my primary temperament is Phlegmatic, my spiritual gifts are: peace, understanding, counsel, and meekness. On the flip side, my spiritual weaknesses are: sensuality, sloth, and complacency. I'm not even going to lie, I do struggle with sloth especially lately with all the blues I've been feeling. The saint who shares my temperament is St. Thomas Aquinas (who is a buddy of mine, as my good friend Angelica would say) so I know who to look up to when I feel myself slipping. For someone with my temperament the Rosary, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the brown (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) scapular and Miraculous Medal are all recommended to enhance my spiritual life. I actually found this beautiful Miraculous Medal (which they were apparently giving away to whoever got there first and it was the last one) at my parish when I returned to the Church a couple of years ago and I believe it has helped me.

After I told my mom about how much I loved the book, we tried to find the Spanish language equivalent of it for her but there wasn't one. I ended up translating both the test and results to her. She ended up being a Sanguine-Choleric and my father (which we collaborated on to see if we would get his temperament right; we did) was a Choleric-Sanguine. Apparently I inherited my Phlegmatic side (as well as my multi-colored hair) from my paternal grandmother seeing as how both my parents are/were incredibly extroverted. We would laugh while I was translating things because they were spot on with all of us. I went back to the Parent-Child section, which advises parents on how to better motivate their child according to each's temperament, and read advice for my mom. Again, it was like the authors had been observing the interactions between my mother and I and I think it helped both of us understand the other better. It's certainly helped the relationship between her and I greatly as it really opened my mother's eyes to a problem we were having; our differing temperaments were clashing when it came to a certain issue but now my mom understands as do I.

I can't really go into a lot without writing entire paragraphs straight out of the book. If you want to learn more about yourself I would definitely recommend you checking out this book. If you've taken the test on 4marks, this book goes into more detail than on the site. (Btw, according to 4marks I am part of the minority of people that are phlegmatic-sanguines.)

Alright, well, I don't think this was much of a book review but I don't really think this book is one that can be reviewed properly without actively reading and engaging in it. Again, I highly recommend it and I think it will definitely help understand yourself and others. I definitely took a lot out of it and I know you will too. :D

I guess that's all for today. It's 100 degrees Fahrenheit (it was 101 yesterday) so I'm going to find a nice cool place to sit down and continue reading a book on Catholicism. :) I hope everyone is staying cool and out of the heat. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.


Milisande Awnia Grim said...

I am a Melancholic-Phlegmatic

But the first time i took it I was Melancholic-Sanguine. Which pretty much means im insane :D

In Christ

Emmy Cecilia said...

Haha, yeah. I had to take it a couple of times just to make sure.

larainebennett said...

Thanks for the great review! We certainly appreciate it! Have you seen our second book, The Temperament God gave Your Spouse? Also please visit our website at:

Marcy K. said...

Have you ever heard of "Personality Plus" books by Florence Littauer. I read those first before this one, and I like those better, even though this one is great. They are not geared toward spirituality but are just fun. I tested Phlegmatic/Sanguine too.

Marcy K. said...

Great blog by the way, too.