The Choleric temperament is one of the two extrovert temperaments.
The Choleric temperament can have great strength – when used positively that can be a force for good and bring security to many. Cholerics can be very determined and productive people and have the potential to be strong leaders. They are confident and optimistic people, often with logical and clear-thinking minds.
However, their focused and goal-orientated minds can lead to them being narrow-visioned and leaving others feeling used or side-lined. To a Choleric life is about what you can achieve so it is important to be the best and win, whether at work or sport, or even board games. To fail is to be inadequate.
A Choleric can be unemotional – life is about doing, not being – and emotions can be viewed as weaknesses and repressed. This can result in devaluing others and their feelings and a strong Choleric who isn’t in touch with their introvert temperament can be intimidating and scary!
It can be a challenge for a Choleric to accept and connect with the emotions in their introvert temperament as they consider such emotions as weaknesses. Rather than trying to meet their emotional needs physically (as a Sanguine would) a Choleric will work at a mental level and can get into muddles as they try and rationalise their emotions. It’s very important that they come to understand and accept their introvert temperament and function as a whole person.
Choleric strengths and weaknesses
The diagrams below depict the strengths of the Choleric temperament, which can be seen most clearly when God is at the centre of life, and the weaknesses, which are most clearly seen when we live for ourselves.
Choleric key concepts
Strong – use constructively
Narrow vision – goal-orientated
Choleric avoidance tactics
If you are talking to someone with the Choleric temperament and want to get close to them or try to help them, you may encounter the following avoidance tactics:
He has to be on top – he doesn’t give anything away.
If you touch painful areas he can lift himself above the pain. Sometimes this will show itself by moving into mental areas – e.g. asking lots of questions, rationalising why he does what he does or simply talking for its own sake.
He will try to find a reason to make it alright.
Sometimes he will find an excuse to physically remove himself from the room. He knows that if he looks at reality he will have to make himself vulnerable.
It may help to ask the questions that will get him back in touch with his own feelings. However, be aware that you can ask a 'feeling' question and get an 'intellectual' answer. Avoid a mental debate.