tundeswriting

The pleasure of observation…

How to handle a choleric person…?? Help!

on February 25, 2012

If you have ever done some psychology studies or done any personality test, I’m sure you have heard about different personality typology systems. The most famous is probably the Jung-Briggs Myers typology, often used by HR professionals for specifying the right career path for someone. The most ancient one is, however, the 4 personality types, developed into a theory by Hippocrates. According to the predominant body fluids and governing elements, he set up 4 human temperaments: “sanguine“, “choleric” (the two extroverted types), “melancholic” and “phlegmatic” (the 2 introverted types). Find out your own type here

Obviously, all the four types have their positive and negative traits, however, me, as a true sanguine character, of the 4 character types I find my fellow extroverted character, the choleric the most difficult to handle. This is the first time that a real choleric person emerged in my life, and I am totally perplexed about how to handle them.

Characterised by the element Fire, yellow bile as body fluid, the color fiery red and the characteristics of “Hot” and “Dry,  the choleric person is highly unstable, hence can burst into flames any moment. They have a strong will and passion, extreme ambition in their profession and a keen intellect, never satisfied with the ordinary, but aspire the Great in everything… but what to do with their extreme impulsiveness, stubbornness, hard-headedness, domineering and controlling nature, vehement anger coming out of the blue, based on pure exaggerations?

In one moment you talk to them rationally, totally calmly, making short and longer term plans, and in the next moment they act according to the sharp opposite, destroying everything fixed so far. Total unpredictability, and the day after the cycle starts again and their real self comes back again.

Clearly, with every person around we have to focus on and appreciate the virtues, accept them as they are, but the questions remain: is it ever possible to disregard furious outbursts when from one moment to the other someone turns into an intolerable monster, verbally offending you on a regular basis?  Can you ever ignore it waiting a few days when he becomes his normal self?  Is it possible to treat such a character flaw by any means? Can you ever live with a constant drama in your life? Well, life with such a friend/partner/family member would never be boring for sure and your life can easily turn into a battlefield, even if you are a totally well-balanced person, avoiding conflicts.

If you have ever met such a person, your experiences and hints are highly welcome.

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49 responses to “How to handle a choleric person…?? Help!

  1. dew says:

    Hahahaha. Well, you’ve created a very good description and know what we are and no, I don’t think you can change that. Maybe just let the tantrums pass or settle for someone more stable. :)
    Alternatively, make sure they always spend time in a sports activity and if they refuse to engage in it for a longer time, buy them a gym card as a present, just keep them physically active! Then we’re a lot more peaceful, and the optimism shines more brightly. I always throw the biggest tantrums in periods of low physical activity and feel great, and hence I suppose I argue less, when I do sport regularly. Verbal fighting will always remain a thrill for me though. :) Good luck!

    A choleric

    • Dear Dew, thanks a lot for your valuable comment :-) I never thought one has any right to change anyone, I rather think our only “job” here is to ask ourselves the question if we can accept a person the way he/she is and create a (or not create any) relationship accordingly. As for sports, I totally agree on its significance… it’s important for me as well, and I guess it has a good effect on anyone :-)

  2. zaza says:

    my husband is a choleric types of person..sometimes he become so violent that nobody can calm him..he beats me whenever a discussion gets wrong..so i don’t know hoe to handle him anymore?? i have started to hate that beast.but on one side i do love him, i want to save him from becoming more violent.

  3. Karen says:

    You love him because of the soul tie, a husband and wife have, but if he beats you….you are considered a battered woman. You will lose everything in the end…..your self worth and maybe even your life….is it worth it?

  4. I’m very sorry, Zaza :-( I completely agree with Karen, there is no excuse for violence. Simply nothing can be an explanation for that.Think about it, taking yourself to the forefront. If I were you, I would even ask for help, if necessary.

  5. John says:

    It is written last year – what about him now? Are you still together? Did you manage to calm down him?

  6. nelia says:

    I am a phleg – san and my boyfriend is a typical choleric ! We keep clashing by the day ! Am afraid. We may break-up soon . How can I prevent it from happening ?

    • Ann says:

      I’m a choleric too. I think you should avoid arguing with him. He will always try to win (most of the time, at the expense of the relationship). Also, tell him what you don’t like (just facts, be practical, no drama). Whatever it is you want him to stop doing, tell him. Cholerics aren’t emotional. He can take it. There are a lot of serious weakness that we cholerics have. And in my opinion, we really have have to develop our people skills. Bottom line is, temperament are only tendencies. But it can be definitely be altered for the better. :)

      • Jessica Heide says:

        Ann, I agree with you! As I was reading, I was shaking my head up and down. I am a choleric also, and we DO need to work on our people skills! One thing is to see if they will take the test, and get the book Silver Boxes. It has all the positives and negatives to these 4 personalities (and the test) in it. That was the first step to helping me! I knew I was domineering, didn’t have many friends, etc., but thought it was just me! So after I took the test, and read the negatives to my personality, it helped me to know what I needed to work on for myself! So I am still working on those things to this day! :) As a choleric, I get frustrated often with relationship issues- because of something I said hurt someone. It happens over and over! But, I keep going.
        I am married to a phlegmatic, and knowing my personality and his, has helped us to work with each other, and help each other change for the better! So my recommendation- have the choleric take the test, to see what they are, and maybe they will want to change! This is what happened with me, and it has helped my hubby and I’s relationship tremendously! Good luck! We are not very fun to be around! :(

  7. Angela says:

    If you are just dating a choleric,I suggest you leave because it does not get any better. They are not emotional and do not care about the feelings of anyone at all so there really is no use. They are high achievers but whats the use if he provides you with all you need (so to speak) but you are emotionally empty? Life it too short for another human being to restrict your happiness because of the persons extreme selfishness. If you have already married one, I suggest you build a wall around yourself,make good friends,keep family around you and never expect any love from him because you will keep hurting yourself while you keep expecting.

  8. Andi says:

    I ended an engagement to a choleric / melancholy. I cared for him very much and still do. I could not manage the controlling, demanding “always have to be right”, unteachable, manipulative,argumentative, prideful traits. I am a melancholy / phlegmatic. I like life to be fairly peaceful, especially in the home. I wish I knew how to manage his choleric traits but I felt “bulldozed” over too much and it wore me out emotionally, mentally, physically. Can he change? I tried to change. How much should either of us expect to change? I don’t know. I wish I could be with him but the relationship was very stressful for me.

  9. Apapa Taiwo Hamid says:

    Kudos…am phlegmatic, what type of partner will be good for me

    • Andi says:

      For phlegmatics, the choleric is actually the most complementary match. Phlegmatics need a strong leader, otherwise, the relationship would not move forward easily and things in general would not get done. However, the phlegmatic would need to be able to manage the strong temperament of the choleric. Which can be a challenge!

      Conversely, cholerics need someone to go along with their ideas, plans, etc. Phlegmatics are more natural “followers” and the ones to most easily let the cholerics have control.

      • Apapa Taiwo Hamid says:

        10ks 4 replying, but am a male phlegm, do u think i’ll be able to cope with a choleric wife?….living 2gether for years

      • nelia2 says:

        Mr Hamid from my experience it depends on how much you wiLl be able to tolerate your choleric wife. They are fussy and bossy. You have to understand you can not change that but cope with her all the days of your life! They are not emotional and natural emotional abusers. So if you can cope with all this yes! Choleric wife is perfect for you!
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

  10. Tom Walter says:

    Tough relationship with company president. Made lots of mistakes. What works: don’t stay in your head, emotional reasoning just creates more problems.

    Pray for person daily
    Gadatude list on positive qualities of other person. Read often

    Talk to trusted friends. Get input. Take risks in relationship

    ReAd about it a lot, look for shifts it creates in your perception

    Have a good exit stratigy if things do not work out. Tomorrow will always come.

    Have fun with it. Relax.

  11. chris says:

    my girlfriend is choleric and i hate every moment of her outburst. she upsets me on a regular basis with her aggresiveness, as her aggression becomes not so clear i get even more annoyed

  12. Dawn says:

    I’ve found myself to be mostly sanguine,, but a little melancholy also,,,, my guy us 100# choleric,,,,, we bicker constantly,, I was hoping to find ways of dealing with him

  13. Dan says:

    I am choleric and I agree we are difficult to deal with. We have high energy and managing us is to keep us physically occupied most of the time. Allow us to go the gym or the sports or have time with our friends. If you r telling a choleric something, get straight to the point; he does not want to waste precious time in details. If you are discussing with him, please follow a trail of some logic/reasoning. We do not get to have many friends so if we consider you one then we really hold u close to heart. We r not good at multitasking so if we r reading a newspaper do not start explaining to me what you r seeing on TV- our concentration is always deep and narrow. We will make requests and make them sound like demands such as ‘get me a drink’ instead of ‘please get me a drink’ but we do not mean to demand, it is just how we are configured. As a choleric the people I find most difficult to deal with are the melancholics.

    • Andi says:

      Dan – Thank you for your thoughtful reply. It is interesting to see your reflection on your choleric behavior. Why do cholerics communicate in such a “bossy” way, i.e. “Get me a drink”? Why is it not natural for them to say “Please get me a drink”? Why do you find it difficult to interact with melancholies?

      • Adeniji Adedayo says:

        Am also a chloric. We behave or demand in such way not out of pride but just because of our free mind, we feel free any time anywhre because anxiety indiscipline to us, no dictatorship in our own life, but a general out-view life with the belief that we are special species

      • Jessica Heide says:

        So Dan, have you figured out how to deal with melancholies yet? :) I too am a choleric, and also have a hard time dealing with melancholies. Then God blessed me with a son that is! He is only 9, so I am trying to get info NOW!!! Thanks!

      • whitney says:

        Hey Andi, I am a choleric and the reason I say things in “demand form” is because I am worried that if I ask nicely, the person will say no. This way, if the person says no, I didn’t ask nicely anyway! lol

    • nsikak edem says:

      Thanks for writing this piece.am a female choleric and somtimes i really wish dat people cud see beyond d harsh tendencies in us.its not somthing we deliberately love doing.its just a psychological make up.owing to this fact,av lost two of my relationship for reasons i somtimes cant understand.

      • Andi says:

        Again, I’d love to hear from Dan as to why he believes that melancholies are most difficult to deal with. I’m guessing is that it is because melancholies are sensitive and cholerics are abrasive. Also, cholerics like to dominate, and I don’t think that melancholies like being dominated.

  14. Andi says:

    Verbal fighting remains a thrill for you? Why? I can’t say that I am surprised. :) But as a phlegmatic, such things do not give me joy – as it is not conducive to the peaceful environment that I seek for refreshment. :)

    • SmartK8 says:

      I’m choleric. Because you seek refreshment in peaceful environment, and we seek it in argumentative environment. Every dialogue is a friendly battle. Phlegms usually put it like peaceful is good for everyone and like to pretend it is a standard or polite, but it is not, or it shouldn’t. Also we don’t like reasons like “because I said so”, “do it just for me” where no logic is included. That’s because we’re built to resist being commanded, and without a valid reason it seems like only an attempt to control us. Cholerics also extrapolate the dialog forward in time few steps ahead. So if they detect that other person in dialog is trying to manipulate, lie, be unfair, or there is a tendency. We’ll immediately call it before it happens (to stop ourselves go nuclear when you lie, or something). Sometimes even when the other person wouldn’t go that way. What “pisses” (not really long lasting as in other types though) me the most – personally – is when someone is unfair (to anyone, even to himself/herself), lies or manipulates (while he/she thinks she’s doing it “covertly”, no.. we have pretty precise bullshit detector deary). Even manipulation in a friendly tone, in a polite way. Nope… still a manipulation. As there’s much more phlegms in the world they set the standards of “politeness” that suits them. And cholerics to them are something to “handle” (as in this title), “manage”, “change”. We’re not horses, you know? Our persona is built in such way, that it is exactly opposed to attempts at being changed, manipulated, handled, managed, controlled, etc. More you’ll do it, more you’ll burn.

      • david says:

        Really like reading about cholerics. My wife is one and am sanguine. Cholerics don’t like to be controlled but like to controll orders.

  15. Andi says:

    Thanks for your candor…you say you are a special species? Why do you believe that you cholorics are more special than others?

    • smartk8 says:

      It’s the other way round. I know we (all four character types) are all special in our own way, and needed. As there are a bit more phlegms then other types (it’s a phenotype, so it depends on population in a given area really, or your relatives if you don’t live there too long) they mark us cholerics as a almost disease to be treated with anger management. It’s like non-sense gay conversion therapy. We can’t change what we are. You can shame/force us to not be ourselves (to repress our true selves), but that’s only it. As other types we have our up sides, and down sides. Other types usually like to pretend that temper control is a thing, because that way their in-born disposition can be sold as their skill, and cholerics are viewed as people who are unable to control it -> lesser people who need to be taught. But that’s false image of it. There’s hundreds of years of this, just like left-handed people were shamed once. Now special tools are made just for them. One day in the future, there will be better society standards not to provoke cholerics intentionally. Because it is also true, that other types are pushing us for fun, about non-important things, then using it later in argument. Sick. It is not a skill to push us to bring, but NOT to push us. Of course to people used to sneaky manipulation it seems sudden when cholerics detect their bullcrap and call them on it. Sometimes false positives are detected, that’s just the nature of the thing. You can’t disallow character type his bad properties. But to a certain point it is normal. Phlegmatics are pushed to be more communicative and passionate, melancholics to be more strong, and happy. Sanguines to be less shalow, and more responsible. Etc. but it is lost fight. We should embrace our inner combination of these, and make our society to count on them rather then repress us to an uniform mass. I live my life like a out of the closet choleric, and I much happier then before. I enjoy arguments.

  16. Andi says:

    Here’s a page full of details on the choleric temperament. Enjoy! Just reading it wore me out. Yikes. http://www.womenschristiantherapy.com/THE_CHOLERIC.pdf

  17. Andi says:

    Here’s one about the melancholy temperament. http://www.womenschristiantherapy.com/MELANCHOLY.pdf

  18. petros says:

    Hello to everyone, this web is good point, but doesn’t make sense do only chitchat here, there is so many people who has choleric partner and they need help, I think its normal personality disorder or mental disturbances and should be treated by shrink. I have choleric at home and I know as you do, its not easy. We do not need to define what choleric is, because we already know that, WE NEED HELP! Real help.

  19. lesh says:

    Chols like to win so I just say ‘you win.’ That makes them but they don’t understand why.

    I’m phleg-x; 0% chol. Chols are cool (not). Sanguines are fun but flakes. Mels are sweet.

  20. sacred says:

    Andi, I love that you attached the pdf of the choleric and melancholy. Do you have ones for the sanguine and phelgmatic as well? Thanks! This information has helped me understand better myself and my fiancee.

  21. fodyville says:

    Well am a choleric by temperament bt over time I have learnt to identify my weakness (such as anger resulting from sensitivity, impatient and seem to know it all attitude )though to be candid I can be a pain in the ass sometimes which has cost me a lot of friends as I aas quick to say I dnt want to be friends with people.But lately I have learnt to be patient.my advice on how to handle cholerics is simply by being very patient and tickling their ego as so doing can suppress the adrenaline level in them and also indirectly boost the creative side of them as cholerics are highly creative people.However, not in all cases are they always right in their decisions but can be 65% accurate .so to some degree they can be dependable.i hope this explanation be helpful, I welcome questions and will be glad to respond to them.

  22. Spirit says:

    I am a melancholy temperament and I find choleric people in general unpleasant to deal with. My advice would be just to avoid them. If you are in a relationship with a choleric, end it. If you are not in a situation that you can leave, try to realize that they don’t really see YOU, and are not interested in YOU. They are very self centered and goal oriented people and for them only the goal/winning counts at whatever cost. They also think they are perfect and they do everything best and everyone else is less (clever, speedy, you name it) than them which makes trying to reason with them a waste of time. The problem is at their end, nothing to do with you. There must be nice cholerics around as well, but so far I have not met (m)any.

  23. Peace says:

    Recently discovered I’ve been married to a choleric for the past 7 years. I’m phlegmatic but now realize his personality has rubbed off on me as I try to assert myself. I’m beginning to have choleric traits and I’m losing my temper and going crazy. During courtship, he hid under the umbrella of shyness but revealed his true nature few days after marriage. His anger is explosive, he argues so much, he reminds me if my errors, doesn’t look at me. I can cry from night till morning and he is angry that I’m crying. I’ve stopped crying in front of him and now I’m stubborn and angry as he is. How do I deal with this personality? Do I just become passive- aggressive as I am? I will quit trying to change him from now on. He always says I’m trying to be the head. He says I’m controlling him or trying to control him. He finds faults with me always. He says I think I am smart but he will show me he is smarter. Please help as I have been turned into his competitor. I am burnt out completely emotionally. The only way to survive seems to be to remain passive. I am open to advice, comments, help.

    • Julia says:

      I sense he is MelChlor.
      Do a Google search on MelChlor.
      Choleric never act shy (Maybe ChlorPhlegs). MelChlors, on the other hand, could be shy, are in need of control, get angry easily, INTENTIONALLY hurt their partners with their words especially as a retaliatory act, are bitter etc. They have problems with fear and anger.

      I’m Phlegmatic, but I have plenty of issues with Mels. They can be petty, hurtful with their words, illogical, unreasonable and make you miserable (except for MelPhlegs) if they haven’t learnt to work on their temperament weaknesses. As a friend, I wouldn’t have any problem though (my closest friend is one), but life Partner? Nah!
      I think we have more Mels than any other temperament type. Phlegs are not many.

    • Julia says:

      In addition, I’ll advise that you talk to him, when he’s calm. Calmly let him know how you feel and how he’s hurting you. Ask him if there’s anyway he wants you to modify your behaviour, so that he wouldn’t feel as if it’s a one-way street.
      If this isn’t working, seek counselling from someone he respects and is trusted.

  24. Rae says:

    I recently have been trying to understand myself and work on my faults. I am co-dependant but I am also choleric. In friendships and relationships I suffer from both. Anyone have some insight? I am bossy and domineering, but also very people pleasing. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Bimbo says:

      You are probably Choleric with some traits of Phlegmatic, for you to be people pleasing. What I may recommend though is that you remind yourself that you’re responsible for whatever decision you make. In other words, trying to please people in other that they call you good or whatever you may love to be referred to, may not be the solution.
      Look inwards, read books on interpersonal relationships, boundaries, but never try to please, to the detriment of your beliefs and values.

  25. febirim says:

    Hi ppl!
    I have a choleric personality by default. I have read your posts. I admit to having some of the faults listed here. Am working on them. God’s grace is helping me. I think it can too for others like me out there. But we shld understand our personality is not our character so whenever there is a room for a positive change adopt it in your character. That way we become better people. My issue now is that I don’t have many friends mainly attributed to the choleric appearance I have and maintain especially on first meeting so some may conceive me emotionless. But upon having closer relationship with such individuals they find am not as stolid as I appear, I need little help on that. Character building is necessary

  26. Julia says:

    As a Phleg, I’ve always desired some of the strengths Cholerics possess, thus, I’ve always wanted to get married to one since I have no Chlor attributes.
    What I’m not comfortable with is when people say that Phlegmatic are always good matches for Cholerics because they don’t mind being domineered; unfortunately (or fortunately), I don’t fall into this category. I don’t want to be controlled or domineered even for a minute. In fact, such makes me want to dig my feet in the ground, and gently (the Phleg way) go the other way.

    I believe Cholerics should go for Phlegs and vice – versa, because they can learn from each other. The Chlor can learn how to relate with people diplomatically and gently, while the Phlegmatic can learn to be confident and be an achiever.

    Sanguines can learn to be organised and thoughtful from Mels, while Mels can learn to savour life and less sensitive about issues.

    Well, I’m learning to be assertive and be able to tell people unpleasant truths, even if I have to take a deep breath.

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