Temperament Corner


A careless word may kindle strife;
A cruel word may wreck a life.
A bitter word may hate instill;
A brutal word may smite and kill.
A gracious word may smooth the way;
A joyous word may light the day.
A timely word may lessen stress;
A loving word may heal and bless.
Author Unknown

A word fitly spoken is like
Apples of gold
in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:11

But I say unto you, that every idle word that
men shall speak, they shall give account thereof
in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou
shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be
Matthew 12:36-37


Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

Communication is the key to all relationships. When we do not communicate properly, the results can be devastating. Miscommunicating can cause anger, wars, murders, family splits, divorces, etc.

The Free Dictionary on the Internet describes the word “communication” to mean: “a. the art and technology of using words effectively to impact information or ideas. This would be verbal communication.”

Archie Bunker, the rather blunt father in the old TV series, “All in the Family,” made this statement:


I am sure that at one time or another, we have probably all felt like saying that to someone who does not understand what we are trying to communicate to them.

However, when counseling, you cannot say what Archie Bunker said, but what you can do is learn to understand your counselee’s God-given temperament.

As a temperament counselor, you know that we are not all “wired” the same. Each temperament acts, responds and perceives things differently.

When you are counseling a temperament different than yours, you need to learn to set your temperament tendencies aside and counsel this person according to their temperament.

In this issue we are going to look at the Sanguine in Affection to see how to communicate with them according to their temperament.

When you communicate with them:

1. You should not say:
You fear rejection and will say and do things you know are wrong, but will do them anyway.

You should probably say:
You tend to have a fear of rejection and can, at times, do things you know are wrong. You need to remember that God is always with you and He will never leave, forsake or reject you.

2. You should not say:
You will adopt the behaviors and morals of others—good or bad in order to meet your need for love and affection.

You should probably say:
You tend to take on behaviors and morals of others in order to meet your need for love and affection. You need to always remember that your behavior should be pleasing to God.

3. You should not say:
You are highly emotional, especially when you are rejected by your deep relationships, and will react with outbursts of anger. This is because you dont think through the end results of your words and actions. You should consider the possible consequences of your words and actions.

You should probably say:
You tend to be highly emotional when rejected by your deep relationships and will tend to have outbursts of anger. You need to learn not to explode in anger when rejected, but rather discipline yourself—count to ten before you react.

4. You should not say:
You make unreasonable demands on your deep relationships and suffocate them because of your high need for love and affection.

You should probably say:
You tend to be overly demanding for love and affection from your deep relationships. You need to remember that they may not require or express as much love and affection as you do. In order to keep from being overly demanding on your deep relationships, you need to seek your love and affection from the Lord first.

5. You should not say:
You suffer from anxiety if you are not told constantly that you are loved, needed and appreciated by your deep relationships.

You should probably say:
You tend to need to be told constantly that you are loved, needed and appreciated; however, when you are unable to be around your deep relationships and you begin to feel anxious, you need to learn to interact with God. He is always there for you.

When counseling a Sanguine in Affection, you need to be aware of the following regarding this temperament:

You want to approach the Sanguine in Affection in a friendly, but professional manner.

The Sanguine in Affection has a short attention span, and you need to make sure that they are listening to you—especially after you have talked for a while. You can do this by stopping what you are saying to ask if they have any questions, etc.

As you can see, communicating according to a person’s unique temperament is invaluable. The Sanguine in Affection will learn that:

1. They can be inspiring and uplifting and can make others feel loved, needed and appreciated. They can be like the “sunshine” on a cloudy day.

2. They need to not explode in anger when they feel rejected, but rather to take a deep breath and count to 10. Their anger is usually for the moment, but the person toward whom they show anger may remember the angry explosion for quite a while. See Psalm 37:8: “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.” 

3. They should not reject people who do not express love and affection in the same manner as they do.

4. They must be careful not to adopt the bad morals of others when they are trying to meet their need for love and affection.

5. They do not need to fear rejection, for God is always with them. They are never alone.

It is important to know that each temperament has strengths and weaknesses. We need to remember that God created the Sanguine in Affection just as He did the other temperaments in order to complete the Body of Christ.

God created the Sanguine in Affection with the ability to be very inspiring, uplifting and loving.

The Sanguine in Affection needs to learn to recognize the needs of their deep relationships. In so doing, they will learn that not everyone has the same temperament needs in Affection that they have.

The Sanguine in Affection needs to learn to look to God first for their love, affection and approval. When they look to God first, they will not make ungodly demands on their deep relationships, for they will be able to see their deep relationships with the “Eyes of Christ. See Deuteronomy 6:5: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling the Sanguine in Affection, you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, learned behavior, personality and birth order.

In the next issue we will look at ways to communicate with a Supine in Affection counselee.

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