The Four Temperaments. The Melancholic

The Melancholic


The melancholic always looks a bit sad and concerned about deep problems that no one else thought ever existed. And when problems don’t exist, the melancholic creates them because he/she likes to meditate and reason about all of life’s problems. The melancholic is critical and pedantic and always keeps things in perfect order or he/she feels somehow guilty for not always doing things right. He/she doesn’t usually speak of his/her feelings until it becomes too late to change things, even if it is something big like a divorce or quitting one’s job. But when the melancholic does speak, he/she is so critical and judgmental that he/she often hurts the ones he loves by not being able to forget and let go. He/she is highly responsible and reliable and likes to pose as a victim when the stress exceeds his/her tolerance limit. Always trying to be orderly and clean, rational and structured, the melancholic is of great help when one needs coherence and stability. The most important gift of the melancholic is the depth and seriousness in all he does.

Relationship to other temperaments

The melancholic needs coherence and order to feel stability in the world. He/she is highly perfectionist and this makes him/her sad when life itself takes its own turns and causes unplanned imperfections. The melancholic gets along best with other melancholics, as they also find themselves profound and understand each other better in their fears and needs for perfection. The relationship with the choleric is painful and the melancholic many times poses as a victim, because they neither appreciate being told what to do, nor being shouted at. The sanguine is hard to live with for a melancholic because of the latter’s sudden changes of thought, superficiality and light joyfulness, which are not the melancholic’s way of being. The relationship with the phlegmatic is peaceful and long lasting. This temperament has the task to deepen life’s experiences with a special sensitivity towards the innermost struggles of the soul; when it does not find its balance, the melancholic temperament leads to self destruction, depression and cynicism.

Balancing the melancholic’s gift

The melancholic is well organized and careful with details. Chaos and spontaneity make him/her feel tired and frustrated because the melancholic likes to anticipate all future events, but since this is not possible, his/her life challenge is to find tolerance with change and becoming malleable. The melancholic temperament brings order and a deep and kind understanding of life, helping the lower self go through deeper processes of introspection and healing in order to develop the higher self.

Articol de Prof. Dr. Sebastian Stănculescu

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