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 Supine in Affection to see how to communicate with them according to their temperament.

When you communicate with them:

1. You should not say:

You expect your deep relationships to read your mind and know that you want love and affection.

You should probably say:

You tend to expect your deep relationships to know that you want love and affection.

2. You should not say:

You have feelings of worthlessness and feel unlovable at times. You constantly look for reasons why your deep relationships should not love you. You tend to deal with these feelings of rejection by crying.

You should probably say:

You tend to have feelings of being worthless and unloved. You may even cry as a way to deal with these feelings; crying acts as a safety valve. This is because you cannot understand how anyone could love you, so you need to always remember that God created you and loves you—all the time!

3. You should not say:

You internalize your anger and mask it as “hurt feelings.”

You should probably say:

You tend to say your “feelings are hurt”; however, what you are actually saying is “I am angry.” This is internalized anger. Learning to say “I am angry because…” will help you to deal with your anger so you can get rid of it.  In so doing, you will not lose your gentle spirit.

4. You should not say:

You have a fear of rejection, and you are easily offended and insulted, especially when your deep relationships do not initiate love and affection.

You should probably say:

You tend to have a fear of rejection and may even perceive rejection where there is none. You need to look to the Lord first for your love and affection, and then you will be less likely to perceive rejection from your deep relationships.

5. You should not say:

You serve your deep relationships but you need a great deal of recognition for what you do; if you do not receive recognition, you will feel used and become angry.

You should probably say:

You tend to have a gentle spirit and a servant’s heart, and you love to serve your deep relationships.  You tend to feel unappreciated and may become angry if they do not recognize and thank you for what you do for them.

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

You want to approach the Supine in Affection in a friendly manner with a professional attitude.

The Supine in Affection has a perceived fear of rejection, and they will come in fearing that you will learn that they are not valuable and that you may not want to work with them.

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

  1. People cannot read their mind, so they need to initiate love and affection.
  1. They should not pull away in anger when they feel rejected. Their anger is actually internalized and masked as “hurt feelings.” This is because they feel that saying “My feelings are hurt” is less offensive.
  2. They need to look to Jesus for their love and affection so that they do not make ungodly demands on their deep relationships.
  1. They need to express their needs for love and affection in order to maintain their gentle spirit.
  1. They need to rest in God’s love and know that their value is in Him.

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

God created the Supine in Affection with a gentle spirit and a servant’s heart.

The Supine in Affection needs to learn to look to God first for love and affection so that they do not make ungodly demands on their deep relationships.

The Supine in Affection needs to know that it is all right to cry; this is a safety valve for them to help deal with their stress. Psalms 56:8 says, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” 

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


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