Changing Colors

Hey, there! Are you familiar with the four colors - red, yellow, blue, and green - in relation to personality testing? No, well then sit back with a cup of your favorite tea (maybe some Imperial Golden Monkey or Ginger Peach?), while I tell you all about it. It actually has nothing to do with what your favorite color is, but rather is related to your temperament.

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The theory is that there are four fundamental personality types each defined with a color: red (choleric), yellow (sanguine), blue (melancholic) and green (phlegmatic). Red/Chloreics are generally leading, driving, ambitious, dominant; Yellow/Sanguines are extroverted, enthusiastic, social, outgoing; Green/Phlegmatics are peaceful, relaxed, caring about others, easy-going; and Blue/Melancholic are analytical, detail-oriented, perfectionist, deep thinker/feeler. No one temperament is better than another and all have positive and negative aspects to them.

Most importantly, a person’s temperament influences how they see and hear things. It is therefore very helpful to think about what temperament you are, as well as, what temperament your spouse, children, boss, coworkers, or friends lean towards. Knowing what each other’s temperaments are can help us change our responses and words so that they may be better received by the other person.

The first time I took the temperament test, I tested very blue with some red. I was not crazy about the results because I don’t love the term melancholic - what I really wanted was to be was a yellow or a green - outgoing and easy-going! Several years later, I took the test again, and my results continued to be a steady blue, but my red increased! Recently, our couples small group started a study of the temperaments, and again from the evaluation and the study I see that I tend toward the blue followed by red temperaments….no yellow or green in sight.

Two weeks ago, at work, I completed another color/personality evaluation for a 2-day leadership training, and my results were blue/green! Finally! A color I wanted. I’m not sure what changed, but after two days of discussing temperament and personality, I realized that it is easy to ignore my strengths, focus on my weaknesses, and want strengths that I don’t naturally have.

And while it is good to try to improve, it would be better if I just accepted my temperament and celebrate my strengths. I know others do. So my colors may have changed, but I am pretty sure that who I am didn’t, and I am good with that. What color do you think you are?

~Tammy