Which Ancient Personality Type Are You?

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Evaluations of One’s Character Who doesn’t like having their picture taken?

You undoubtedly have some interest in knowing about yourself, including your strengths, shortcomings, and character qualities. This is true unless you are a cyborg or a brick wall, in which case you probably do not. Did you know that one strange hypothesis, which postulated that our personalities are produced by the fluids in our bodies, had a significant impact on the development of a large number of today’s most popular and widely used personality tests?

This psychological theory impacted everything from the development of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, which is still widely used today. It is also known today as The Four Humors or The Four Temperaments.

Continue reading if you are interested in discovering more about bile, phlegm, and blood (I’ll explain more later), as well as how the ancient Greeks and Romans attributed these bodily fluids to character, and if you are a fan of personality tests that measure one’s level of curiosity and inquisitiveness.

In addition, throughout the course of the next few weeks, I will be publishing a selection of personality tests based on The Four Humors. Be on the lookout!

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Do You Have Phlegm, Blood, Yellow Bile, or Black Bile? (or all four)

Wow! Isn’t it an interesting issue to consider? Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, had this view when he hypothesized that the fluids in our bodies had a direct impact on our emotions (hence the title).

Hippocrates’ medical practices were informed by his biological theory of personality, and he proposed that our bodily fluids contained four distinct humors. These humors, when in equilibrium, were responsible for perfect health. However, when they were out of equilibrium, they were responsible for the development of diseases and disabilities in our bodies.

To be more specific, the four humors consisted of: black bile, which was connected with the melancholic person; yellow bile, which was linked with the choleric person; blood, which was associated with the sanguine person; and phlegm, which was associated with the phlegmatic person. It is interesting to note that this philosophy was eventually embraced and altered by Western European and Islamic medicine; an example of this may be seen in Avicenna’s Unani medicine.

Later on, the Four Humors hypothesis of temperament was shown to be unreliable; nevertheless, researcher and psychologist David Keirsey improved upon it in his book entitled The Temperament Sorter.

See also  The Ruler Archetype: Authority and Control

The Four Aspects of Humor

The experience of figuring out what “kind of person” we are may be rather exciting. Finding out more about our individual personality types might help us along the path to self-discovery. So, what time of year, what kind of element, and what kind of organ are you? What does the ancient interpretation of your personality say about you? Read on to find out.

Those Characterized by a Choleric Temperament

According to some, choleric humor best exemplifies the “leader temperament.” The choleric individual exudes confidence, is domineering and passionate, and is bursting to the seams with boundless energy and aspiration. The majority of choleric have an outgoing personality, however there is a subset that has an introverted personality type; nevertheless, this is far less prevalent. The choleric individual has a quick temper, a strong will, and the ability to dominate others.

Humor: Yellow Bile

Organ: Spleen

The Time of Year is Summer

Element: Fire

An Idealist Best Describes this Personality Type in the 21st century

The Sanguine Characteristics or Temperament

The sanguine person is outgoing, gregarious, and craves excitement. In addition, the sanguine person has a strong focus on other people and exudes a contagious optimism towards life. In our lives, we often have the pleasure of interacting with individuals that embody the phrase “happy go lucky.” Although they never lack friends, those with the sanguine personality type have a tendency to be chaotic, frivolous, and impulsive.

The Humor Lies in the Blood

Organ: Liver

The Time of Year is Spring

Element: Air

The Artisan is the Modern Personality Type

The Melancholic Mood or Temptation

Melancholics are often the group’s silent idealists because of their thoughtfulness, introversion, and reserved nature. In essence, they yearn for time spent alone with themselves, are serious, intense, and prone to irritability, in addition to being sensitive, perfectionistic, and cautious when making choices. The Melancholic is the one who tends to the babies in the group.

Humor: Black Bile

Organ: Gall Bladder

Season: Autumn

Earth is the element

The Guardian is the Modern Personality Type

The Phlegmatic Attitude or Personality

People who are calm, collected, and dependable often find a place in the lives of most of us. These are the people that have a phlegmatic disposition. The term “constant” is the one that most accurately describes a phlegmatic individual. This is due to the fact that they are faithful friends, loyal coworkers, and loyal lovers. On the other hand, a phlegmatic individual is more likely to engage in passive-aggressive behavior and even be lazy. They are, in essence, the world’s versions of “nice boys” and “good ladies,” in that they are mild-mannered, obedient, and reliable.

See also  Archetypes in Culture: Influences and Traditions

Humor: Phlegm

Organ: Brain/Lungs

The time of year is winter

Element: Water

Rational Personality Type is the Modern Example

Naturally, the majority of us have a tendency to be a combination of the four humors, but in most cases, one temperament has a tendency to predominate over the others. Feel free to contribute your own unique brand of Hippocratic comedy in the comments section below.

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-Dr. Jonathan Parker-

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