26/09/2017 - Proverbs 4:23 'Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.'
You know what it feels like to be under pressure. Everyone does at some time in their lives. We try to manage it, contain it, organise our way out of it, with varying degrees of success – or failure. And even if not under pressure, most of us are perfectly capable of creating our own inner tensions and struggles.
We often write about the ‘two people in one house’ idea. Each of us has at least two temperaments that are as distinct as two people living in the same house. Now those two people can have very different interests. For example, let’s take the temperament mix that most clearly demonstrates this pull in opposite directions – the Choleric Melancholic. The Choleric thrives on projects. He wants to drive forward, break new ground, do exciting things. The Melancholic wants to create, enjoy, organise, tidy up, to be heard. He needs space. Don’t stifle him with pressure.
What to do? If the Choleric needs a project, why not make the proper care of the Melancholic his project? Understanding, encouraging and developing his introvert could stretch the resourcefulness of any Choleric. It’s a win-win. This isn’t about the Choleric doing it for the Melancholic or because of any inadequacy within it. It is rather that he makes it his goal to let his introvert be who he really is. For many, this is the part that is often sadly neglected. It is true that this is not the outward movement that a Choleric looks for but he will cope with that if he knows that the ultimate goal is to take all that he is out there for the benefit of others.
The same is true for all the mixes. The Sanguine loves to troubleshoot – so why not troubleshoot his introvert? Find out what that inner part of you needs and harness the power of the extrovert to make it happen. It isn’t about pandering to weaknesses but living life to the full. Failure to do so means that, as the extrovert pursues his goal, he drags a reluctant introvert with him that will get increasingly resentful until it all comes bubbling out in less than helpful ways.
How does this work in practice? Are you under pressure? What does your introvert need? Get your extrovert to step in and make sure it happens. Are you not taking proper breaks? Do you create space, opportunity to relate properly, to recuperate, to enjoy? Your introvert might not feel like making a fuss but your extrovert is perfectly capable. It isn’t about the extrovert doing it for the introvert but rather creating space for the introvert to grow in his own confidence. He needs someone to believe in him first.
A double introvert may not recognise these patterns so clearly but the need is there for the Phlegmatic to allow and encourage the Melancholic to come through and be fully expressed.
Our verse makes this a priority. ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’ Manage the introvert and you will manage your life.