Temperament Corner

THE Melancholy IN CONTROL
By Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

Temperament Corner by, Dr. Phyllis J. Arno We are going to examine the Melancholy in Control.

In review, Control is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with people in respect to decision making, control and power.

The Melancholy in Control strengths include: good decision-making and leadership capabilities in known areas, need for little control over the lives and behaviors of others, ability to work with others, dependability, responsibility, reliability, need for truth and order, and being self-motivated.

The Melancholy in Control weaknesses include: fear of the unknown, rigidity, inflexibility, sensitivity to failure, rebelliousness, procrastination and being strong- willed.

“A Melancholy is a Melancholy is a Melancholy.”  Even though they are task oriented, a Melancholy still needs people.  It does not matter whether they are a Melancholy in Inclusion, Control or Affection, the bottom line is: THEY NEED PEOPLE!

In this issue we are going to review possible questions a counselee might ask regarding their Melancholy in Control spouse, child, co-worker, friends, family members, neighbors, etc.

Q.  Why do they put up a “no” wall when I suggest making a change?
A.   They fear change.
Q.  Why do they fear change?
A   Change forces them to move into unknown areas.
Q.  Why is this so difficult for them?
A.  They are afraid they will fail.
Q.  Why do they procrastinate?
A.   They need time for the unknown to become known so they can make the right decision.
Q.  Why can’t they just go to plan “b” if plan “a” does not work?
A.  They are afraid they will look foolish and incompetent.
Q.  Why will they complete a project without checking their work?
A.   The need to look competent is more important to them than the actual competency.
Q.  Why do they get angry if I point out a mistake that they have made?
A.  They are usually not angry at you, they are angry at themselves for making the mistake.
Q.  Why are they so hard on themselves if they make a mistake?
A.  They feel that they have not been responsible and/or reliable.
Q.  Why do they sometimes rebel or do the exact opposite when I make a suggestion or tell them how I think the project should be done?
A.  They do not like to be controlled.   
Q.  Why will they, at times, become angry if I try to make a suggestion regarding their leadership decisions?
A.  You may have made a suggestion regarding a “known area,” and they do not need or want your input.
Q.  Why will they sometimes go along with my suggestions?
A.  They may need your input because they are in an “unknown” area.
Q.  Why are they more willing to do something for me when I say, “Would you do this for me?” or “Could you do this for me?”
A.  They like the words “would you” or “could you.”  When you say these words, they do not feel controlled.
Q.  Why do they follow some people and not others?
A.  They will usually follow someone that they feel is a “general.”  In other words, if a person has proven that he is knowledgeable in a specific area, they will be open to take advice from him.
Q.  Why do they become stressed if they have to make an “on the spot” decision?
A.  They feel incapable of making a decision until they have had ample time to assess the situation.
Q.  Why is their rule “one strike and you are out” if you ever lie to them?
A.  They expect and need truthfulness from people.  If you lie to them, they will have a difficult time ever trusting you again.
Q.  Why do they have a difficult time making and enforcing rules for their children?
A.  They do not like to control them; they just want their children to grow up and be responsible,  reliable and dependable.
Q.  Why do they tend to allow their children to make decisions on their own?
A.  It is just too much stress for the Melancholy in Control to be responsible for themselves, let alone their children.
Q.  Why do they get so upset when they see injustice in the world?  
A.  They tend to believe “right is right and wrong is wrong,” so when they see injustice, they believe they need to do something about it.
Q.  What are some of the ways other temperaments may respond to the Melancholy in Control?
A. The Choleric might say:  “Why don’t you step out of your safety zone and make a decision? It could be the right decision.”
The Phlegmatic might say:  “Just make a decision. You are tiring me out with your procrastinating.” 
The Sanguine might say:  “Stop putting up your ‘no’ wall and agree with me!  You are throwing me into my swing because I feel you are saying that my plan is not good enough!”
The Supine might say:  “I helped you with your decision making. Why won’t you help me with making mine?”
Q.  How can I live with this Melancholy in Control?  They are absolutely driving me crazy!
A.  Enlightenment and understanding is the key. 

Encourage them to face their fears.  God tells us not to fear approximately 366 times in the Bible. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 

Encourage them to submit to God’s authority. By submitting to His authority, they will be able to submit to those in authority over them in the workplace, at church, at home, etc.  Melancholies in Control need to learn to give permission to those in authority over them and by so doing, the Melancholy is still in control.  “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13:1

Encourage them to seek the Lord’s help in making decisions in their unknown areas, and then they will be able to make their decisions with confidence.  This will lessen their fear of the unknown, and they will then be able to say as Paul said in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

Encourage them that if their trust has been violated, they need to forgive the person or persons who violated that trust.  They need to remember that we serve a God of second chances. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

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

In the next issue we will cover possible questions a Melancholy in Control counselee might ask. 

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Temperament Corner

THE SUPINE IN CONTROL
By Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

Temperament Corner by, Dr. Phyllis J. ArnoWe are going to examine the Supine in Control.

In review, Control is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with people in respect to decision making, control and power.

Some of the Supine in Control strengths include: dependability, ability to uphold and enforce “the policies” and/or rules set by others and to serve those they follow. They are caregivers, and they are faithful and loyal.

Some of the Supine in Control weaknesses include: internalized anger, dependence on others for leadership, weak willpower, difficulty in saying no to self and others, and tendency to feel powerless and at the mercy of others.

“A Supine is a Supine is a Supine.”  In other words, a Supine needs people.  It does not matter whether they are a Supine in Inclusion, Control or Affection, the bottom line is: THEY NEED PEOPLE! In this issue we are going to review possible questions a Supine in Control counselee might ask.

Q.  Why am I so easily offended by people when they do not include me when they are making decisions that affect me?
A.  You perceive that they are rejecting you.
Q.   Why do I dislike being the one who must make decisions for the project we are working on?
A.   You do not want the responsibility.
Q.   Why do I prefer that others make the rules so that I can uphold and enforce them?
A.    It is less stressful for you.
Q.   Why do I feel stressed, anxious and insecure one day, but the next day I do not?
A.   You feel incapable of making leadership decisions on your own and become stressed, anxious, insecure and fearful; then, when you find someone to help you make your decisions, the stress lifts off  you.
Q.   Why do I feel powerless and at the mercy of others?
A.   You feel that you do not have the strength to stand up to them.
Q.   Why do I pull away from people if they don’t include me when making decisions that affect me?
A.   You feel “hurt” (angry) and rejected.
Q.   Why do I sometimes sulk, pout and pull away from people?
A.   This is your way of letting them know that they have “hurt” (angered) you.
Q.   Why don’t I just come out and say “I’m angry” instead of “I am hurt”?
A.   You tend to feel that saying “I am hurt” is less offensive and confrontational.
Q.   What do you mean when you say I have indirect behaviors?
A.   You take the “roundabout” way.  You act like you do not want to be included in decision making, but you really do.
Q.   Why do I do this?
A.   You want people to know or “read your mind” without having to tell them that you want to be included in their decision making and, at times, you want them to help you make your decisions.
Q.   Why do I wait to be included or invited in the decision making?
A.   You want people to be genuine, and you feel that if you have to ask to be included, that they really did not want to include you.
Q.   Why do I have a difficult time saying “no”?
A.   You need people to help you make your decisions, so you will not say “no” to them because you tend to think, “If I help them, they will help me.”
Q.   Why do you say I have a gentle spirit? What does this mean?
A.   You tend to be kind and tenderhearted.  You are not harsh or severe.
Q.   Why will my friends pull away from me when I keep coming to them for help with making my decisions?
A.   They may feel that you are becoming too dependent on them.
Q.   After someone gives me advice, why do I disregard their suggestions and listen to someone else’s advice?
A.   You don’t like to offend anyone, so you will go along with what the next person tells you.
Q.   Why will I continue to take abuse from my spouse?
A.   You may feel like you have done something to deserve being abused and, if you left this abusive situation, your thoughts  might be: “Where would I go?” and “Who will take care of me?” You may even think, “If I tell myself that they do not really mean to hurt me, things will get better.”
Q.   Why do I feel like I must have done something to deserve being abused?
A.   You have low self-esteem, and you need to replace your self-esteem with Christ esteem.
Q.   Why will I look to my children to help me make decisions?
A.   You do not like to make decisions alone, so you will solicit their help.
Q.   Why will I be so different at home than when I am in school?
A.  Your decisions are usually made for you at home so you do not have to make decisions on your own.  At school you have to make decisions on your own and you  are afraid that you will make the wrong decision and be rejected.
Q.    What can I do about my feelings of rejection and worthlessness?
A.    You need to see yourself as uniquely created by God.  You are His child and as His child, you have Christ-esteem, not self-esteem, and you can do all things through Christ Jesus.  (See Philippians 4:13)
Q.    What can I do about my “hurt” feelings?
A.   Recognize that your “hurt” feelings are actually internalized anger.  You need to learn to say, “I am angry because….”  Identifying why you are angry is the first step to rid yourself of this anger and the stress that accompanies it.
Q.    Why do I get stressed when I have to make a leadership decision alone?
A.   You tend to feel that your decisions will not be accepted.
Q.    Why do I want to run away when I am overwhelmed?
A.   You feel this will lessen your stress; however, you can never run away from yourself. To lessen your stress, turn it over to God; He will help you.

Q.   What can I do to help myself?

A:

1. Learn to be direct. When you want to be included in decision making or when you need help from others with your leadership decisions, tell them that you want to be included; they cannot read your mind.

2.  Develop a close relationship with the Lord and seek His help in making your decisions. He will always be there for you.  He is just a prayer away. Hebrews 13:5 tells us, “…for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

3.  Know in your heart that God created you and you are valuable to Him. Psalm 139:14 tells us, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

4. Understand that God created you a follower to uphold and enforce the rules and you are valuable to the Kingdom of God.  God made leaders, followers, peacemakers/negotiators, writers, artists, singers, etc., because it takes all of the temperaments to make up the Body of Christ.

5.  Learn that you do not have to take abuse from anyone.  No one deserves to be abused.

6.  Learn to maintain balance in your work and rest and  that it is okay to say “no.” You do not have to do more than you are capable of doing. God only requires reasonable service.

7.  Learn that when you say “I am hurt,” you are really angry.  You need to say, “I am angry because…” and rid yourself of this anger so that you do not lose your gentle spirit.

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

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