Many of you know that I’ve taken a hiatus from social media. Quite honestly, I needed to get away of from social media and all of its distractions. I wanted an opportunity to clear my head and, frankly, spend my time doing other things…like finishing books. Little did I know that my break away from the virtual social scene would be an unplanned moment to get to know myself.
Yes, I know. I’m 27 years into life and I’m STILL figuring me out. Don’t get me wrong; I know who I am in Christ, but living alone for nearly 6 years blinds you to the quirks and mannerisms that you have. For instance, my obsession with unplugging chargers that aren’t connected to a device or the fact that I eat the same thing for lunch (almost) everyday. We all have them, but to have them exposed can be eye opening. Now, my self revelation was much more than finding out quirks. Instead, I had an eye opening reality check on my personality.
My fiancé and I both took personality tests. I had taken many before and already knew that I was characterized as a “thinking-doer,” an analytical go getter with a direct attitude. Regardless, I took yet another test and was more enlightened than I’d been before. The previous tests did great at describing my work style and tendencies, but this test shed light on my relational habits, emotional needs, and interactions with others. It evaluated my temperament.
The results of the test could be categorized by four different temperaments: Popular Sanguine, Perfect Melancholy, Powerful Choleric, and Peaceful Phlegmatic. I’ll save you the suspense and let you in on my temperament. I am a mix of Powerful Choleric and Perfect Melancholy. By mix I mean that I scored almost the same for both temperaments. So, what exactly do this funny words mean? With the help of Wikipedia, here are some brief descriptions:
- Sanguine (optimistic and social)
- Choleric (short-tempered or irritable)
- Melancholic (analytical and quiet)
- Phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful)
Based on these definitions, a short description of me would be “quiet, analytical, and irritable.” Though not fully encompassing, it already doesn’t sound like a very fun person. Well, at least that’s what I thought after reading the full descriptions of both.
I can truly see myself in both of these temperaments; however, in seeing those characteristics written on paper, I realized that there are some things that I just don’t like about my personality. For instance, a Choleric, though independent, confident, and an achiever, is also easily annoyed or angered, insensitive, and not very relational. And the Melancholy, who is analytical and reserved, is also suspicious of people’s intentions and take life too seriously. Its a wonder that I come out of the house or even laugh!
After coming to the realization that my personality would someday drive me to have an aneurysm, I decided that I didn’t want the negatives of those temperaments to define me. I needed an attitude adjustment. What I was seeing didn’t line up with the word of God. Being Christlike is being slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). It’s being tenderhearted, compassionate, patient, and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32). It’s not taking life too seriously, but knowing that laughter is medicine for the soul (Proverbs 17:22). Being Christlike isn’t being suspicious (not to be confused with cautious) of others, but dwelling with them in unity (Psalm 133:1).
Since discovering these traits and being discouraged about them, I have committed to changing those aspects of my attitude. Each day, I pray that God shows me how to be more like Him. I pray as David prayed in Psalm 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (v.10). I challenge you to do the same. What are those ugly personality traits that you need God to reveal to you and change? Don’t be afraid to let God soften your heart and make you more like Him.
Click here to take the test.