Temperament Basics – The Supine (The 5th Temperament)


If you are Supine you probably have many interests and cares, but little ability or perceived need to express your needs. One Supine remarked that to be a Supine “felt like having tape over his mouth.” They often have a wish or desire, but are unable or unwilling to express it. The Supine often wish’s that others could “read their minds.” If others have ever observed that you are too sensitive or easily offended, you may very well have a Supine temperament. Slow-paced and diligent, Supines are not indifferent or uncaring about life. Quite the opposite, they may have the strong feeling of the Sanguine but simply be unwilling/unable to express themselves.

Supines have a view of the world that makes them consider others to be superior to themselves. They frequently employ themselves in positions that permit them to be servants to others. They will dutifully work to please others, who they see as better than themselves.

Perhaps the best way to describe the Supine is that it seems to be a combination of the Sanguine and the Melancholy. The Melancholy expresses little need for and, as a true introvert; they tend to shy away from social contact. A Supine does not express much need for much social contact either; however their need is VERY great! Like the Sanguine, they have a great need for social relationships. They look like they don’t want it but effectively hide their needs and expect you to read their mind. And if you fail to correctly read their mind, they will be “hurt,” but actually angry. Indirectness is a hallmark of the Supine, along with a tender heart and gentle spirit.

A great capacity for service, liking people, and the desire to
serve others. They possess an inborn gentle spirit. As youngsters, they are often tormented and abused by other children. They are typically slow to fight back. Instead they tend to internalize their anger and hurt, actually believing they deserve the treatment they receive.

Dependability, ability to enforce “the policies” set by others and to serve those they follow, their caretakers, with absolute loyalty. . A Supine will always be inclined to seek out others advice when trying to make a decision. Supines feel very inadequate and consider themselves incapable of making a good decision on their own. They may seek out the counsel of several, and become quite confused if they receive differing opinions.

Aggressive disorders, open dependence, defensive against loss of position, weak willpower, a tendency to feel powerless and at the mercy of others-they have such an intense need to serve others, they often become “natural born victims.” Other temperament types may view the Supine as a demanding individual. By all outward appearances they might appear this way. But the real truth is that they are steering others into taking care of them, and do not want the responsibility of actual decision making.

The ability to respond to love and to open up emotionally when they feel emotionally “safe.” If treated properly, they are capable of absolute and total commitment to deep personal relationships. However, if a Supine actually feels safe in a close, personal relationship, they can respond and return expressions of caring. They can become intensely loyal, producing absolute, complete faithfulness. No temperament is more prone to this kind of intense loyalty.

The inability to initiate love and affection. They require constant reassurance that they are loved, needed and appreciated. Because of their inability or unwillingness to express their needs, most Supines fail to get their needs met. While they appear reserved and cool, the fact is they are truly in need of a lot of close, personal affection, love, and attention. Since they find it nearly impossible to actually express themselves, they simply cannot get their needs communicated.

Gentle spirit
Desire to serve others
Intensely loyal
Can feel God’s love, joy, and peace
Great capacity to respond to love

Slow-paced and diligent
Great capacity for service
Dutifully pleases others
Decision making abilities
Ability to enforce “the policies” set by others

Needs social relationships
Likes people
Slow to fight back
Seeks counsel in decision making
Can undertake numerous tasks especially if these tasks are performed for the development of relationships

Unable to express themselves
Feels inadequate
Hurt easily
Fear of rejection
Harbors anger as hurt feelings
Internalizes anger
Too sensitive

Needs constant reassurance
Avoids making decisions
Makes decisions cautiously
Feels powerless
Feels at the mercy of others

Wishes and desires unexpressed
Feels others are superior to them
Expect others to read their minds
Fail to communicate their needs

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