Do you know yourself well? Which is your temperament and which character in the Bible do you think shares the same temperament as you?
#Personality Temperament Test
While recovering from depression and anxiety attacks, my counsellor gave me a personality temperament test, to help me best understand myself so that I can be able to control my emotions and how my mind reacts to situations, especially those that I cannot control. Since then I have realized there’s nothing as powerful as knowing your deep self; why you act or react the way you do to different situations. And also understand why people behave differently; because after knowing your strengths and weaknesses, then you can anticipate and handle situations better. Discover your strengths and you will be unstoppable. There are four major temperaments; Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy and Phlegmatic. Most people have a combination of two temperaments, but there’s one that dominates the other; (the primary temperament), then there’s the subtle one (secondary temperament). Some temperaments are more prone to depression than others, but I will get to that later.
My test results were as follows; (You can download the test below)
- Section 1 – (Sanguine) =39
- Section 2 – (Choleric) =79
- Section 3 – (Melancholy) =137
- Section 4 – (Phlegmatic) =90. So I am a MelPhleg.
This is what it means to be a MelPhleg (refer to the paragraph on page 6) of this Personality Temperament Test in Tim LaHaye’s book on “Why you act the way you Do”.
Some of the greatest scholars the world has ever known have been MelPhlegs. They are not nearly as prone to hostility as the two previous melancholies and usually get along well with others. These gifted introverts combine the analytical perfectionism of the melancholy with the organized efficiency of the phlegmatic. They are usually good-natured humanitarians who prefer a quiet, solitary environment for study and research to the endless rounds of activities sought by the more extroverted temperaments. MelPhlegs are usually excellent spellers and good mathematicians. These gifted people have greatly benefited humanity. Most of the world’s significant inventions and medical discoveries have been made by MelPhlegs.
Despite their abilities, the MelPhleg, like the rest of us, have their own potential weaknesses. Unless controlled by God, they easily become discouraged and develop a very negative thinking pattern. But once they realize it is a sin to develop the spirit of criticism and learn to rejoice, their entire outlook on life can be transformed. Ordinarily a quiet person, they are capable of inner anger and hostility caused by their tendency to be vengeful.
MelPhlegs are highly vulnerable to fear, anxiety, and a negative self-image. It is really mind boggling that these people with the greatest talents and capabilities are often victimized by genuine feelings of poor self-worth. Their strong tendency to be conscientious allows them to let others pressure them into making commitments that drain their energy and creativity. When filled with God’s spirit, these people are loved and admired by their family because their personal self-discipline and dedication are exemplary in the home. But humanitarian concerns cause them to neglect their family. Unless they learn to pace themselves and enjoy diversions that help them relax, they often become early mortality statistics. (often die prematurely).
The most likely candidate for a MelPhleg in the Bible is the beloved Apostle John. He obviously had a very sensitive nature, for as a youth he laid his head on Jesus’ breast at the Lord’s Supper. On one occasion he became so angry at some people that he asked the Lord Jesus to call fire from heaven down on them. Yet at the crucifixion he was the one lone disciple who devotedly stood at the cross. John was the one to whom the dying Jesus entrusted his mother. Later the disciple became a great church leader and left us five books in the New Testament, two of which (the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation) particularly glorify Jesus Christ.”
After getting the results of my test and reading about what this means, it really opened my eyes. I have understood my temperament and I am able to know why I was having such intense deep emotions when I was battling depression and anxiety. It was really nasty when I didn’t know what was happening or why I could barely control what I was feeling.
Just to share a glimpse of what it was like
The extreme Highs
These are the days I will wake up feeling so jovial and with so much energy. It’s like my mind is completely wiped off of any bad memories or incidents. I am just full of Hope, positivity and limitless possibilities. Even what seemed impossible looks very possible now. I make plans for the day and even the rest of the week. I am okay talking to people. I want to look good, style my hair and cook good food. Then Boom!
The Extreme Lows
It’s morning and I am wondering why the floor seems so far away than usual… I can’t lift my head, I want to keep it buried in bed, yet I don’t even want to be in that bed (confusing, right?). Point is, I am feeling this incredibly deep sorrow and sadness. At the surface I think it’s for nothing, but digging deeper I realize my emotions are all over and I have like these memories sprinting uncontrollably across my mind; whether it’s a bullying experience when I was in class one 28 years ago, or a day I saw my mum crying 29 years ago, (I can clearly see what she was wearing on each particular day) or whether it is negative humiliating words hurled at me just five months ago, they are all whirling around my mind at the same time like a jet Engine .
I want to cry, but there’s this hollow feeling in my chest that is blocking me, almost chocking me; Breathing hurts, I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to take a bath, I don’t want to comb my hair and I don’t want to take a look at myself in the mirror. I don’t want to talk to nobody. If I have a dress that I don’t like very much, that’s what am putting on that day. I don’t want to plan for the rest of the day, or the week, or implement the previously laid plans. I want to stay in a dark room even at night. I would rather use the torch to maneuver around, than switch on the light and see a light filled room. It seems to magnify the pain I am feeling. During this cycles, I could go for days without food and I wouldn’t feel hungry.
Now with the awareness of my strengths and weaknesses, especially the high vulnerability to depression, I have learnt to stay alert; to avoid (sometimes literally) triggers that could take me back to the pit. Most importantly I have learnt that due to my temperament; mostly I live in my head; (thinking of the next big invention), hence why I enjoy solitude. But also I have learnt that my thoughts can lead me down a very dark road especially when triggered by traumatizing events, so I am learning to counter attack that by deliberately diverting my mind to other constructive things; like reading a book or, go the extra mile of going out for a cup of coffee with a supportive friend, which I would totally avoid before. I encourage you to take time and do that test very genuinely and get to understand yourself better.