Random thoughts - a collection of thoughts which arise in the course of life; they may come from counselling situations, random conversations or observations. New posts will be added frequently so visit the site regularly to read John's thoughts.
2. I was recently asked a question about an analogy I use about the Phlegmatic temperament; that a Phlegmatic likes to sit and fish in his pond, undisturbed, with a ring of barbed wire around the perimeter to prevent anyone coming in and disturbing the water. The question was 'In terms of operating in strength in that temperament, is the aim for the phlegmatic to get used to the idea that the pond water will be turbulent at times and that's OK? Or does a healthy phlegmatic still manage to keep the water tranquil but manage the intrusions/ invasions better so that it doesn't feel like the water is turbulent and inner peace is still maintained?'. It's a good question and the answer is that the whole protective mentality of the Phlegmatic is wrong. Life moves forward. At the core of the Christian faith is a call - a call to follow. It involves leaving the safety and serenity of the pond and going on a journey into the unknown. The pond mentality is that of the man who hid his talent - to preserve what he had. The better picture is that in Psalm 23; 'He leads me beside the still waters'. Yes, there are times to rest - because you are on a journey. It's that way round. Click to read more about the Phlegmatic temperament.
1. I was asked recently why 2 men handled a visit to resolve a difficult situation very differently. My answer was that the differences lie mainly in their approach to life in general, due to their differing introvert temperaments. The Phlegmatic approach is that of an observer, the Melancholic one of involvement. The Phlegmatic is able to detach himself emotionally, the Melancholic less so. The Phlegmatic will deliver facts, the Melancholic the feelings involved. This encourages the objectivity of a Phlegmatic and the subjectivity of the Melancholic. If the desired result or conclusion is not realised, the objectivity of the Phlegmatic will be more clear cut in his response to a lack of cooperation. However the Melancholic will analytically try to resolve the apparent inability of comprehending the issues. Both have their plus and minus. The Phlegmatic can be too dismissive or bring an authoritative truth to bear. The Melancholic can become too emotionally involved in the pursuit of the right conclusion and be unhelpful to both parties or, because of a right emotional insight, be able to leave the situation to the person themselves to sort out. Generally a fully engaged Phlegmatic is better at doing this but the Melancholic can discipline themselves to also draw a correct line under the situation.
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