The one secret to making friends every time is knowing their personality type. You only have four to choose from. But it gets a little more complicated because every person is a combination of a primary personality type and a secondary personality type. Once you know this, you will have the power to win and influence friends regardless of their unique personality make-up.
Are you successful at making new acquaintances? Or do you feel uncomfortable meeting new people, stumble over your words, and find it hard to make new friends?
Did you know that with a little knowledge of the various personality types, you can become quite comfortable meeting new people, know exactly how to best communicate with them, and you can increase your friendship groups in leaps and bounds. You just need to know something about the four basic personality types so that you become better at “reading” people and know what their hot buttons are.
Do you find yourself constantly on the losing end of a good discussion or argument? Do people talk over you or ignore you and your opinions in a group discussions? Do you struggle with getting involved with certain groups of people but find that they shun you because they feel that you have nothing to share? Then stop doing whatever it is that you are doing and don’t attempt to make another friendship until you take the time to learn something about people and what makes them tick. People are complex. You can’t just go barging into their lives and expect to be a hit unless you know, in advance, what’s important to them. What things do they like to talk about? What subjects should you avoid? Are they personable or do they shy away from people that they don’t know?
Those who are very successful at making new acquaintances, communicating effectively, and promoting their agendas, are able to accomplish all this at the outset by using one simple technique. They know how to identify the personality idiosyncrasies of first acquaintances and how to use those idiosyncrasies to their advantage.
This post is a discussion of the basic personality types that will show you how to immediately recognize what people want, what they want to hear, what they want to talk about, and what is the most tactical way for you to approach them so that you will be heard, understood, and liked. And when people like and understand you, they are putty in your hands. Additionally, I’ll give you a personality profile test so that you can determine YOUR OWN personality type. You probably don’t know it.
The Four Basic Personality Types
Those who study personality development and temperament agree that there are four basic personality types. These are Choleric, Melancholy, Sanguine, and Phlegmatic. Most individuals are a combination of two types; a dominant type and a lesser type. Some behaviorists use other terms to refer to the four personality types. But the four basic types remain the same. In this post, we’ll start by introducing the Choleric personality type. Decide if this type describes YOU or someone you know. The test or profile that I’ll give you a little later will confirm your suspicions.
The Choleric Personality Type
Cholerics are born leaders. They are dynamic and active, yet unemotional. Cholerics have a compulsive need for change. They dislike routine. They are strong willed, decisive and exude confidence. They are independent and self-sufficient.
Due to their independence, they have few close friends. The few friends that they have, they choose wisely. They are happy as loners and prefer prefer personal time versus being a part of a group.
As a parent, cholerics establish goals and motivate the family to action. They have all the right answers and believe their solution is the only solution. Consequently, they see their primary family role as being the organizer of the entire family.
On the job, they see the big picture and are goal-oriented. They are good organizers and make gut decisions that lead to action. They thrive on opposition but it is difficult to convince them that another agenda, other than theirs, is the right course of action. They can be bull-headed and stubborn.
If you know someone who is a choleric personality type, realize that they have little need for friends. They are independent. If you know someone who has one good friend but few other friends, chances are that person is a choleric personality type. They will work in group activities but their decisions are usually the correct decisions, at least in their eyes. Cholerics are extroverts, doers, and optimists. They are risk-takers and excel in crises.
Take the Personality Type Test
Once we introduce the other three personality types, and once you determine YOUR personality type, we’ll discuss how YOU can identify someone’s primary personality type just by chatting with them for a few minutes, while observing their body language, facial expression, and tone of voice. Once you know their personality make-up, you will be able to communicate with them better and use what you know about their personality to persuade them to your point of view. You’ll know their hot buttons as well as their weaknesses. In other words, you will have an unfair advantage with everyone you meet! Knowledge is power, and you will have that knowledge.
Now click –>HERE<– to download and take your personality test. Follow the instructions. Your test will open in a new tab so don’t worry about losing your place in this post.
Once you complete the personality test and grade it, come back here and we’ll look at the next personality type – the Sanguine. Do you know people who seem to always be “the life of the party”? That’s a sanguine.
Remember that those who are very successful at making new acquaintances, communicating effectively, and promoting their agendas, are able to accomplish all this at the outset by using one simple technique. They know how to identify the personality idiosyncrasies of first acquaintances and how to use those idiosyncrasies to their advantage.
Grading the Personality Test
Welcome back. I hope that you learned something by taking the personality test.
Before we talk about the sanguine personality type, how did your own personality test turn out? You should know after you graded the test, what your dominant personality type is (the column in the test with the highest score) and what your lesser personality type is (the column in the test with the next highest score. If two columns on the grading sheet had the same score, that’s extremely rare. But it means that you have two personality types which dominate your character equally.
Since two dominant personality types are so rare, let’s be sure the test results are accurate. Erase your results and take the test again. Only this time, don’t over analyze the personality characteristics. Go with your gut reaction or your first impression on all the rows of potential answers. Another helpful exercise is to ask your spouse or partner what they think about each potential answer. They often know you better than you know yourself. If you don’t understand the meaning of a particular characteristic in the test, look it up in the definitions that are provided with the test.
Set the test results aside and keep them. You’ll need them later when we talk about how you are going to use this information to put you in control of any meeting or dominate any conversation.
The Sanguine Personality Type
Now let’s look at the “life of the party” – the Sanguine. Needless to say, sanguines have a very appealing personality with an excellent sense of humor. They are extroverts who love people, love to talk, and love to tell stories. They are always cheerful and bubbling over with enthusiasm. They are so much fun that people love to chat with them. The sanguine can hold onto any listener while other personality types cannot. They are not shy. And while the rest of us tend to have “stage fright”, the sanguine will leap at the chance to speak from a stage. They are uninhibited and comfortable in any situation.
Sanguines are curious, sincere, innocent, and they never seem to grow up. They are having so much fun with life that they seem to still be in childhood. Walk into a party or any organized event and the sanguines stick out like a sore thumb. They are the obvious life of the party. Every one loves them and they love everybody. They thrive in crowds. The more the merrier.
At home, sanguines make family life fun. Their children’s friends love them. They don’t let crisis or disaster bother them but, instead, turn it into humor. In the home, they function like a circus master.
On the job, the sanguine volunteers enthusiastically for anything and inspires or charms others to join. Life to them is a party so they are energetic, enthusiastic, creative, and colorful.
As a friend, the sanguine has no problem making friends. They love people and other people envy their demeanor. They don’t hold grudges so they will be a friend for life. They prevent dull moments, are always excited, and they like spontaneous activities. They are fun people. If we were all sanguines, life would be one giant party with no need for any of us to worry about anything. Can you imagine that?
So far, we have discussed the Choleric and Sanguine personality types. Who do you know who possesses strong characteristics of either a choleric or a sanguine? It might be worthwhile to start making a list of people that you know who seem to fall into one of these two personality types. This will help you tie what you know, to a real live person so that you can see the personality types in action. Don’t worry if people that you know do not seem to be strong cholerics or strong sanguines. Remember that everyone is normally a combination of two personality types – a strong, major type and a weaker, lesser type.
The Melancholy Personality Type
Now let’s look at the perfect Melancholy personality type. Perfect because they are kind of anal. Everything in their life must be organized. Do you know anyone who walks into a room and begins to arrange everything on the tables so that everything is symmetrical and in it’s proper place? That’s a Melancholy.
Melancholys are your engineer types. You’ve seen them. They are the guys who have a pen/pencil holder in their shirt pocket that is stuffed full of various writing instruments. They are serious, analytic, and deep thinkers. They are also talented, creative, and often times, prone to genius. They’re introverted. Their most dominant characteristic is that they are perfectionist and idealistic. But since things are not always perfect, they are prone to being pessimistic.
As a parent, melancholys want everything done right and they want everything in its proper place in the home. They are self-sacrificing and pick up after their children in order to get everything back in its proper place versus asking their children to address this task. Melancholys encourage their children in academics and scholarship in order to do their part in creating a perfect world, which a melancholy must have.
Their perfectionist attitude and high standards are evident when they are at work. They are schedule-oriented and detail conscious. If they start a task, they must finish it. They are not good at multi-tasking since they are so detail-oriented and must finish what they start. They can identify problems quickly and are good at finding creative solutions. They are masters of things like charts, graphs, figures, and lists. Their office space is always neat, tidy, and well organized since they have to have everything in its proper place. You’ll never find a melancholy‘s desk stacked with papers and other junk.
It’s not easy for a perfect melancholy to make friends because they are so introverted and cautions about friendships. They prefer to avoid causing attention and remain in the background. However, once they accept you as a friend, they are faithful and devoted. Melancholys have a deep concern for others and can often be moved to tears with compassion. It takes them a long time to find a mate for life because they demand the same perfection in their soul mate, that they demand for themselves.
It’s interesting to note that a perfect melancholy would never live with a sanguine or choleric personality type. The sanguines are too optimistic, happy, messy, and extroverted while cholerics are loud, obnoxious and demanding. In order for melancholys to commit to a choleric or sanguine partner, that partner must be a weak choleric or sangunine with strong melancholy characteristics.
The last personality type that we’ll discuss, the phlegmatic, is laid back and generally a slob. So that situation would never work for a melancholy either. Melancholys tend to seek their own personality type as life-long mates since none of the other personality types are a good fit for them.
Let me remind you once more that with this knowledge, you will be able to identify someone’s primary personality type just by chatting with them for a few minutes, while observing their body language, facial expression, and tone of voice. When you know other people’s personality make-up, you will be able to communicate with them better and use what you know about their personality to persuade them to your point of view. You’ll know their hot buttons as well as their weaknesses. In other words, you will have an unfair advantage with everyone you meet! However this knowledge will make you popular with everyone since you know how to treat them. And when you are popular with everyone, new opportunities will be at your doorstep.
The Phlegmatic Personality Type
Do you know someone who is so laid back that it is hard for them to accomplish something as simple as opening their mail? That’s a Phlegmatic.
Emotionally, Phlegmatics are introverts, watchers, and natural pessimists. They are so laid-back, low-key, and easy going that they tend to be irritating to others who want them to get going, do something, do ANYTHING. Nothing seems to bother them. They are patient, cool, calm, and collected. The word stress is not in their vocabulary. They are quiet people watchers. They keep their emotions hidden and are happily reconciled to their well balanced lives.
They make perfect parents since nothing upsets them and they are in no rush to do anything. They take time for their children. Good news or bad news – it doesn’t seem to matter to them. Stress and anxiety are completely foreign to them.
At work, they are a real asset since since they are competent, peaceful, and agreeable. They prefer to avoid conflicts and have a knack for finding the easy way out of problems. They have administrative ability and respond good under pressure because they never feel any pressure. They are good dedicated workers as long as no one “leans” on them too much.
As a friend they are easy to get along with since they are so easy-going that they never try and force their own agenda. They tend to have many friends, likely because others do not find them to be threatening. They are good listeners and have a rather dry sense of humor. They can be quite witty. Unlike the other three personality types, they tend to overreact and show strong compassion and concern whenever any or their friends have problems.
Do you know any Phlegmatics? Write them down. If you have three or more children, chances are good that one of them is a Phlegmatic.
Putting This All Together
We have covered all of the personality types in previous sections. Additionally, you have taken the personality profile test so that you now know your own personality type. Click –>Here<– for a chart that ties all the personality types together and illustrates their like characteristics and differences. Use this diagram to remind you of the strengths and weaknesses of the four personality types and what those types have in common. You’ll need the diagram in order to understand the next section of this post. I arranged for it to open in a new tab so that you’ll have it handy.
Now let’s look at all of the personality types together and see how you are going to apply this new learning so that you can interact with people and communicate with them better because you now know a lot more about them then they know about you.
For example, if you are primarily choleric, you are outspoken and possess leadership qualities. So do sanguines, according to the chart. So this is something that you have in common. You already know that sanguines are the life of the party and love people. Knowing that, once you identify an acquaintance as a sanguine personality type, speak to what you have in common and you will become friends for life. Sanguines can never have enough friends. And they are fun people to be around so befriend all sanguines when you have the opportunity.
As a choleric, you are unemotional, decisive, and well organized. But sanguines are emotional and easygoing. You need to become a bit emotional and not as demanding when approaching a sanguine. But once you remember that and use that knowledge, you can master relationships with sanguines and do the same with any personality type. Let’s look at a real life example.
Choleric vs. Phlegmatic – Example
Jon is the youngest child in the family. He has a choleric father and older brother. Worse yet, he also has a choleric sister. However, Jon’s mother is a strong Melancholy. Every time the family wants to go somewhere or do something as a family, Jon always brings up the rear. He’s in no hurry. He’s a strong phlegmatic. He’s unemotional so he feels no stress. All the yelling to hurry up and get ready and in the car doesn’t accomplish anything. His personality causes everyone else in the family to be late whenever the family goes anywhere. Because the rest of the family is always barking at him, Jon is starting to feel like an outsider to the rest of the family. He’s getting that “youngest kid syndrome”.
But once the rest of the family recognizes and accepts Jon’s personality, they realize that Jon can’t help being laid back. That’s his personality. And all the yelling and threatening by the rest of the family is not going to change Jon’s personality and get him in the car any sooner. But it WILL eventually make Jon feel like an outsider. Realizing this, and accepting Jon’s personality traits, the family now allows more time before departing for family outings. The screaming at Jon is no longer necessary. Jon is happier. And so is the rest of the family. How much friction is there in your family because you do not recognize or accept each other’s personality characteristics?
Use the chart as a cheat sheet until you can remember what characteristics separate the four personality types. Speak to people’s strengths and what characteristics you have in common with them. People will be drawn to you and you’ll be everyone’s friend. Avoid speaking to their weaknesses. You should know that an emotional, goal-oriented Melancholy is your best choice for assigning work to be done. Don’t give important assignments to a Phlegmatic. They are relationship-oriented, not task-oriented. They are unemotional and strong-willed. So you will never change their mind about whether they need to do what you are asking them to do. Find a task-oriented Melancholy who is naturally emotional. They will readily do whatever you ask them to do and they will be excited that you asked.
Melancholy vs. Sanguine – Another Example
Both of these personality types are artistic and emotional. If you are one of these personality types, remember that when meeting a melancholy or sanguine. That’s what you have in common. And that’s how you will create a connection. But the sanguine is energetic, loud, and people-oriented while the melancholy is introverted and soft-spoken. These personality types seem to clash, and they do. That’s when you have to seek out their lesser personality type characteristics and speak to those. Your goal is to be able to relate in some way to everyone, despite their personality hang-ups.
Whenever I meet new people, I remind myself of one rule that I set for myself so that my strong choleric personality doesn’t repel people. Empower people. Find their hot buttons and subtly build them up. A new acquaintance should feel better for having met you and taken the time to interact with you. If that be the case, then you have done your job well.
Back to the melancholy and sanguines, which seem to clash. If you are the sanguine, you are trying to figure out whether the melancholy‘s lesser personality type is choleric, sanguine, or phlegmatic. If choleric, you are both born leaders, optimistic, and outspoken. Use these characteristics to create a connection. If sanguine, you are in luck. Since you are sanguine, you have much to talk about. If phlegmatic is this person’s lesser personality type, you are both relationship-oriented. Use that to create a connection. But remember that phlegmatics are really laid back. So as an energetic, fun sanguine, you will have to “back off your throttle” a bit in order to keep from “spooking” the melancholy/phlegmatic away.
Are you getting the knack of this? It wouldn’t hurt to fold the one-page chart which ties all personality types together and put it in your wallet or purse. Don’t whip it out in the presence of a new acquaintance. But when in a gathering of people, it wouldn’t hurt to take a peek at it before you go diving into the crowd to meet some new people.
Now that you know all the personality types and how they compare to each other (don’t forget that everyone has a lesser type), you have what you need in order to develop strong relationships with just about anyone. It can actually be fun to look around crowded room with your partner or spouse and try and guess what personality types are in the crowd. Then go speak to someone and confirm your suspicions.
When you speak to someone’s personality strengths, you are opening up a 4-lane highway to communicating with that person. And you are showing them that you understand them and care about the things that interests them and are important to them. That’s a winning combination that cannot fail. Now go make some friends and have some fun while doing it!
Lastly, here’s an interesting six-minute review of the book on which this post is based. I first read Personality Plus by Florence Littauer in the early 1990’s. Since that time, I have re-read it and used it as a reference for other writing. It really is that good of a read and an eye-opener. I’m including this video here for three reasons. First, the guy in the video really does do a good review. Second, you guys have been asking me to put more photos and videos in my articles. Third, Google loves it when you use Youtube videos in your blog posts and we all know how much “Uncle Google” dislikes me. Check out the video.