The Sanguine temperament is one of the two extrovert temperaments.
The Sanguine temperament is wonderful – Sanguines are bubbly, outgoing people who make life fun. They are kind, compassionate and generous, their enthusiasm is infection and their energy unbounded.
However, unless they draw on their introvert temperament they can come across as superficial – if they only live in their Sanguine extrovert they can skate across the surface of life, not slowing down long enough to put roots down or establish deep relationships. They can be great fun and have lots of acquaintances – but also be very lonely. They are often fearful and restless and can be undisciplined and unreliable.
We all have at least two temperaments; we all have an introvert temperament. If a Sanguine doesn’t connect with the emotions in their introvert (for example, a Melancholic who is sensitive and cannot switch their feelings off) then the Sanguine will express those emotions physically and try and meet their emotional needs physically. This can take the shape of obsession with sport, struggling with eating issues or developing addictions. Emotional issues can only be properly addressed by looking at what is going on in the introvert, either Melancholic or Phlegmatic.
Sanguine strengths and weaknesses
The diagrams below depict the strengths of the Sanguine 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.
Sanguine key concepts
Afraid to look beneath the surface
On the move – slow down!
Neither the centre nor the edge
Sanguine avoidance tactic
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: his restlessness will be your biggest challenge. Body language, changing the subject, humour, numerous explanations and cleverly constructed arguments are all designed to put you off the trail. The Sanguine can take the conversation all over the place, talk too much, exaggerate and tie himself up in knots. Just when you think the rabbit is cornered he burrows down and pops up somewhere else. If you engage in that shift of conversation you will never tie him down to the truth.
He does not like pain and does anything he can to avoid looking at it so that his comfort can be restored. With his lovely qualities of warmth and compassion, he can be soft on himself – and others - and miss the point.
Andy has written a helpful article, drawing on his personal experiences as someone with the Sanguine Melancholic temperament, of breaking free from established patterns of depressive thoughts and feelings, and offers practical advice and hope to others.