The Melancholic Temperament: Understanding the Negatives
The melancholic temperament* is a very intriguing and multi-faceted disposition. This individual hasmuch to offer others, but to be able to do so; he must be carefully guided and disciplined. His strengthsmust be cultivated and the weaknesses eliminated or neutralized.Parents who wisely learn more about the melancholic temperament are able to rear their child to be thebest he can be. It is time well-invested.The weaknesses of the typical melancholic personality are the following:
Tendency to sadness and melancholy
--He has a propensity to magnify difficultiesand lose confidence in himself. Exaggerated reserve and timidity are the result.In
The 4 Temperaments,
Father Conrad Hock explains, "He has a strong will coupledwith talent and power, but no courage."Although this person loves deeply and empathizes with all who suffer, he finds ithard to reveal himself and his feelings. He desires and yearns for closeness but it isvery hard for him. He has problems discussing ideas, feelings and so forth. This maylead to misunderstandings.
Inclined to be passive and inactive--
Because he tends to be pessimistic, themelancholic hesitates to begin projects; "there might be too many problems."Without guidance, he fears and dreads suffering and self-denial because of theexertion necessary to deal with them.
--The melancholic can easily become despondent and discouraged. Hecan be the "man with the missed opportunities." He hesitates to make decisionsbecause there are too many considerations. He postpones projects, then theybecome even more time-consuming and onerous.
Slow in thinking and speech
--He needs time to consider every angle and cannotbe pressured. If he is asked to answer quickly and without preparation, the personmay become flustered and frightened. Therefore, he may stutter, say the wrongthing, leave ideas unfinished. He may thoroughly bungle it.In his work, he is very careful and thorough...and slow. This may be mistaken forlaziness. It is not!
--Pride takes the form of tremendous fear of shame or humiliation.Although he really is naturally reserved, his modesty is compounded by exaggeratedanxiety about the possibility of disgrace.
He will even let others less talented be promoted ahead of him. Then he feelsresentment that, if not checked, can become entrenched. In the future, he may growsuspicious of others because of incidents like this cause.The parents of a child with the melancholic temperament have their work cut out. Theyoungster has so much potential, so much to offer and is so endearing.Making the time and effort to gently guide and discipline him is completely worthwhile andrewarding. This is clear as he grows into adulthood and his thoughtful and kind waysblossom with amazing results.