Faces of Anger – Part 3 – The Phlegmatic

If you have been around kids you may have observed this behavior. You tell a kid to sit down in the midst of screaming and running around. It may be obvious to you but the kid keeps playing around. This goes on for a while and finally, the kid gives in only because you are the grown-up, but the body language is telling you that they are complying but on the inside, they are still standing up.

This is usually the attitude of a phlegmatic temperament.
These are people that don’t necessarily have any needs and the thought of needing is very draining why bother? They are extremely slow-paced and stubborn. They tend to sit back and watch other temperaments do things wrongly and then try to identify ways to right those wrongs without expending energy. Their way of taking action is to tell everyone about it and that’s just about it cause who has that energy?

Phlegmatics seem to be very flexible and well rounded emotionally. They are very calm, easy-going extremely efficient, perfectionistic. THEY WANT PEACE AT ALL COSTS.

They don’t want to be involved and they tend to be observers of life rather than participants of life. They tend to be self-righteous and nearly impossible to change. When they get pushed past their energy levels, they tend to be sarcastic and unmovable.  You cannot motivate them to do anything especially if they don’t decide to invest the energy for it.

This is the only temperament that can easily handle the choleric temperament. With their dry sense of humor, they leave the choleric so angry that the choleric walks away.  This humor is a defense mechanism that protects them from the inspiring sanguine since they are not interested in being inspired but to observe life. This humor also protects them from getting caught up with the self-sacrificing melancholy, zero energy for all of that. They will accept the services of the supine as long as they don’t have to do anything in return.

Since Phlegmatics are always searching for ways that don’t require much energy, they tend to be good negotiators and when they are angry…they are not aware. In their minds, they are protecting their energy and are determined not to succumb to the temptation of being rageful.
In a nutshell, they are very passive-aggressive and can create an atmosphere of great disrespect because they refuse to explode loudly or get caught in the games of verbal abuse. They get you to do all of that.
These are some of the passive-aggressive behaviors that people do when they don’t acknowledge their anger.

  • they become silent knowing that it bothers other people
  • they pout and sulk
  • they get lazy and procrastinate ( and stand up on the inside)
  • everything is F.I.N.E.
  • half-hearted  in what they do
  • become involved in behind the scenes bad behavior
  • don’t do favors ( use dry humor to push people off)

Okay by this time you have kind of figured out your own anger. We will look at the sanguine next time.  Remember anger has been shamed as bad. This emotion is trying to communicate very useful information and it’s very unfair to ignore it. 

Emotions are momentary, but we usually develop mindsets around these emotions and we think we are holding on to the emotion but we are really hanging on to the interpretation of the emotion.

Learn what you do when you get angry, identify what triggers your anger, what are the needs that are not being met? Lean into your heart and love yourself enough to meet the needs in healthy ways, otherwise your anger will just give you away.

Contributor: Damalie Namale

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