How to understand others by understanding yourself.


Personality could be defined as the set of habitual behaviours and emotional patterns that come from biological and environmental factors. Our influences and experiences along with the way we're wired all contribute towards what we call our personality. 

We have have a personality!

In her book 'Personality Plus', Florence Littauer classifies four primary personality types: Popular Sanguine, Perfect Melancholy, Powerful Choleric and Peaceful Phlegmatic. She suggests that every person fits into one of these personality categories, while some are near equal parts of two of the personality types.

A greater understanding of our own personality type enables us to better understand others.




Your Personality Profile

In each of the following rows of four words across, place an 'x' in front on the one word that most often applies to you. Continue through all 40 lines; be sure each number is marked. If you are not sure which word is most applies, ask a friend!

(Print the sheets below)

personality 1.jpg
personality 2.jpg

Word Definitions

  • ANIMATED - Full of life, lively use of hand, arm and face gestures.
  • ADVENTUROUS - Willing to take on new and daring enterprise with a need to master them.
  • ANALYTICAL - Constantly in the process of analysing
  • SOCIABLE - Sees being with others as an opportunity to be entertaining. If you enjoy social gatherings as a challenge or business opportunity do not check this word.
  • STRONG-WILLED - Determined to have his/her own way.
  • CONSIDERATE - Having regard for the needs and feelings of others. CONTROLLED- Has emotional feelings but doesn’t display them. COMPETITIVE- Turns every situation, happening, or game into an arena of competition. Always plays to win!
  • CONVINCING - Can convince you of anything through the sheer charm of his/her personality. Facts are unimportant.
  • REFRESHING - Renews and stimulates or pleasantly lifts spirits.
  • RESPECTFUL - Treats others with deference, honour, and esteem.
  • RESERVED - Self restrained in expression of emotion or enthusiasm. RESOURCEFUL - Able to act quickly and effectively in virtually all situations.
  • SATISFIED - Easily accepts any circumstances or situation.
  • SENSITIVE - Intensely sensitive to self and others.
  • SELF-RELIANT- An independent person who fully relies on his/her own capabilities, judgment, and resources.
  • SPIRITED - Full of life and excitement.
  • PLANNER - Prefers to work out a detailed arrangement beforehand, for the accomplishment of project or goal. This person much prefers involvement with the planning stages and the finished product rather than the carrying out of the task.
  • PATIENT - Unmoved by delay. Calm and tolerant.
  • POSITIVE - Characterised by certainty and assurance.
  • PROMOTER - Compels others to go along, join or invest though the sheet charm of his/her personality.
  • SURE - Confident, not hesitating or wavering.
  • SPONTANEOUS - Prefers all of life to be impulsive, unpremeditated activity. This person feels restricted by plans.
  • SCHEDULED - Controlled by their schedule, and gets upset if that schedule is interrupted. There is another type of person who uses a schedule to stay organised, but is not controlled by the schedule. If the second describes you, do not check this word.
  • SHY - Quiet, doesn’t easily instigate a conversation.
  • ORDERLY - Has a methodical, systematic arrangement of things. Can be obsessively tidy.
  • OBLIGING - Accommodating. One who is quick to do it another’s way.
  • OUTSPOKEN - Speaks frankly and without reserve.
  • OPTIMISTIC - An almost childlike dreamer.
  • FRIENDLY - Responds to friendliness rather than initiates a conversation. They respond with great warmth and enjoy the exchange.
  • FAITHFUL - Consistently reliable. Steadfast, loyal and devoted sometimes beyond reason.
  • FUNNY - This person has an innate humour that can make virtually any story funny, and is a remarkable joke-teller. If you have a dry sense of humour, do not check this word.
  • FORCEFUL - A commanding personality. One would hesitate to take a stand against this person.  
  • DARING - Willing to take risks; fearless, bold.
  • DELIGHTFUL- Greatly pleasing, fun to be with.
  • DIPLOMATIC- Deals with people both tactfully and sensitively.
  • DETAILED - Prefers working with the minute or fields that require detail work such as math, research, accounting, carving, art, graphics, etc.
  • CHEERFUL - Consistently being in good spirits and promoting cheer. CONSISTENT - Agreeable, compatible, not contradictory.
  • CULTURED - One whose interests involve both intellectual and artistic pursuits, such as theatre, symphony, ballet, etc.
  • CONFIDENT - Self-assured and/or certain of success.
  • IDEALISTIC - Visualises things in an ideal or perfect form,
  • MEDIATOR - Consistently finds him/herself in the role of reconciling differences in order to avoid conflict.
  • MUSICAL - Participates in or has an intense appreciation for music. This type of music would not include those who find it fun to sing or play. The latter would be a different personality that enjoys being an entertainer rather than one who is deeply committed to music as a form of art.
  • MOVER - So driven by a need to be productive, they find it difficult to sit still.
  • MIXES EASILY - Loves a party and cannot wait to meet everyone in the room. Never meets a stranger.
  • THOUGHTFUL - Remembers special occasions and is quick to make a kind gesture.
  • TENACIOUS - Holds on firmly, stubbornly, and won’t let go till the goal is accomplished.
  • TALKER - Constantly talking, generally telling funny stories and entertaining everyone. There is another compulsive talker who is a nervous talker and feels the need to fill the silence in order to make others comfortable. This is not the entertaining talker we are describing here.
  • TOLERANT - Easily accepts the thoughts and ways of others without the need to disagree with or change them.
  • LISTENER - Always seems willing to listen.
  • LOYAL - Faithful to a person, ideal or job. This person is sometimes loyal beyond reason and sometimes to his/her own detriment.
  • LEADER - A born leader. This is not one who rises to the occasion because they can lead, but one who is driven to lead and finds it very difficult to believe anyone else can do the job.
  • LIVELY -Full of life, vigorous, energetic.
  • CONTENTED- Easily satisfied with what he/she has.
  • CHIEF - Commands leadership.
  • CHART MAKER - Enjoys either graphs, charts, or lists.
  • CUTE - Bubbly-beauty, cutie, precious, diminutive.
  • PERFECTIONIST - Desires perfection but not necessarily in every area of life.
  • PERMISSIVE - Permissive with employees, friends and children in order to avoid conflict.
  • PRODUCTIVE - Must constantly be working and/or producing. This person finds it very difficult to rest.
  • POPULAR - Is the life of the party and therefore is much desired as a party guest.
  • BOUNCY - A bubbly, lively personality.
  • BOLD - Fearless, daring, and forward.
  • BEHAVED - Consistently desires to conduct him/herself within the realm of what is proper.
  • BALANCED - Stable, middle of the road personality, without extremes.
  • BRASSY - Showy, flashy, comes on strong.
  • BOSSY - Commanding, domineering, overbearing. Do not relate this to the raising of children. All parents seem bossy and domineering. Think only of adult relationships.
  • BASHFUL - Shrinks from notice, resulting from self-consciousness.
  • BLANK - Shows little facial expression or emotion.
  • UNDISCIPLINED - A person whose lack of discipline permeates virtually every area of his/her life.
  • UNSYMPATHETIC - Finds it difficult to relate to the problems or hurts of others.
  • UNENTHUSIASTIC - Finds it hard to get excited or feel enthusiasm.
  • UNFORGIVING - Has difficulty forgiving or forgetting a hurt or injustice done them. This individual may find it hard to release a grudge.
  • RETICENT - Unwilling or struggles against getting involved.
  • RESENTFUL - Easily feels resentment as a result of real or imagined offenses.
  • RESISTANT - Strives, works against, or resists accepting any other way by his/her own.
  • REPETITIOUS - Retells stories and incidents to entertain you without realising he/she has already told the story several times before. This is not a question so much of forgetfulness, as it is of constantly needing something to say.
  • FUSSY - Is insistent over petty matters or details, calling for great attention to trivial details.
  • FEARFUL - Often experiences feelings of fear, apprehension or anxiousness.
  • FORGETFUL - Forgetful because it isn’t fun to remember. Their forgetfulness is tied to a lack of discipline. There is another personality that is more like the absentminded professor. This person tends to be off in another world and only remembers what they choose to remember. If you are the latter, do not check this word.
  • FRANK - Straightforward, outspoken and doesn’t mind telling you exactly what he/she thinks.
  • IMPATIENT - Finds it difficult to endure irritation or wait patiently.
  • INSECURE - Apprehensive or lacks confidence.
  • INDECISIVE - Finds it difficult to make a decision at all. There is another personality that labours long over each decision in order to make the perfect one. If you are the latter, do not check this word.
  • INTERRUPTS - Interrupts because he/she is afraid of forgetting the wonderful thing they have to say if another is allowed to finish. This person is more of a talker than a listener.
  • UNPOPULAR - A person whose intensity and demand for perfection can push others away.
  • UNINVOLVED - Has no desire to become involved in clubs, groups, or people activities.
  • UNPREDICTABLE - May be ecstatic one moment and blue the next. Willing to help and then disappear. Promises to come and then forgets to show up.
  • UNAFFECTIONATE - Finds it difficult to verbally or physically demonstrate affection openly.
  • HEADSTRONG - Insists on having his/her own way.
  • HAPHAZARD- Has no consistent way of doing things.
  • HARD TO PLEASE - A person whose standards are set so high it is difficult to ever please them.
  • HESITANT - Slow to get moving and hard to get involved.
  • PLAIN - A middle-of-the-road personality without highs or lows and showing little if any emotion.
  • PESSIMISTIC - While hoping for the best, generally sees the down side of a situation first.
  • PROUD - One with great self-esteem who sees him/herself as always right and the best person for the job.
  • PERMISSIVE - Allows others (including children) to do as they please in order to keep from being disliked.
  • ANGERED EASILY - Has a childlike, flash-in-the-pan temper that expresses itself in a child’s tantrum style. It is over and forgotten almost instantly.
  • AIMLESS - Not a goal-setter and has little desire to be one.
  • ARGUMENTATIVE - Incites arguments generally because they are determined to be right no matter what the situation may be.
  • ALIENATED - Easily feels estranged from others often because of insecurity or fear that others don’t really enjoy their company.
  • NAÏVE - A simple and childlike perspective, lacking sophistication or worldliness. This is not to be confused with uninformed. There is another personality that is so consumed with his/her own particular field of interest that he/she simply could not care less what is going on outside of that sphere. If you are the latter, do not check this word.
  • NEGATIVE - One whose attitude is seldom positive and is often able to see only the down or dark side of each situation.
  • NERVY - Full of confidence, fortitude and sheer guts.
  • NONCHALANT - Easy going, unconcerned, indifferent.
  • WORRIER - Consistently feels uncertain or troubled.
  • WITHDRAWN - A person who pulls back to him/herself and needs a great deal of alone or isolation time.
  • WORKAHOLIC - There are two workaholic personalities. This particular one is an aggressive goal-setter who must be constantly productive and feels very guilty when resting. This workaholic is not driven by a need for perfection or completion but by a need for accomplishment and reward.
  • WANTS CREDIT - One who is almost dysfunctional without the credit or approval of others. As an entertainer this person feeds on the applause, laughter and/or acceptance of an audience.
  • TOO SENSITIVE - Overly sensitive and introspective.
  • TACTLESS - Sometimes express him/herself in an offensive or inconsiderate way. TIMID - Shrinks from difficult situations.
  • TALKATIVE - A compulsive talker who finds it difficult to listen. Again, this is an entertaining talker not a nervous talker.
  • DOUBTFUL - A person who is full of doubts, uncertain.
  • DISORGANIsED - One whose lack of organisational ability touches virtually every area of their life.
  • DOMINEERING - Compulsively takes control of situations and/or people. Do not consider the parenting role. All parents are somewhat domineering.
  • DEPRESSED - Struggles with bouts of depression on a fairly consistent basis.
  • INCONSISTENT - Erratic, contradictory, illogical.
  • INTROVERT - Thoughts and interests are directed inward. Lives within him/herself.
  • INTOLERANT - Appears unable to withstand or accept another’s attitudes, point of view or way of doing things.
  • INDIFFERENT- A person to whom most things do not matter one-way or the other.
  • MESSY - Messy because it isn’t fun to discipline him/herself to clean. The mess is hardly noticed. There is another personality that gets messy when depressed, and yet another that is messy because it takes too much energy to do the cleaning. Be sure you are the first one mentioned if you check this word.
  • MOODY - Easily slips into moods. This person doesn’t get very high emotionally, but does experience very low lows.
  • MUMBLES - This person may mumble quietly under the breath when pushed. This is a passive display of anger.
  • MANIPULATIVE - Influences or manages shrewdly or deviously for one’s own advantage. One who will find a way to get his/her own way.
  • SLOW - Slow moving, easy-going.
  • STUBBORN - Determined to exert his/her own will. Not easily persuaded. SHOW-OFF - Needs to be the center of attention.
  • SKEPTICAL - Disbelieving, questioning the motive behind the words.
  • LONER - Requires a lot of alone time and tends to avoid other people.
  • LORD OVER - Doesn’t hesitate to let you know he/she is right or has won.
  • LAZY - Evaluates work or activity in terms of how much energy it will take.
  • LOUD - A person whose laugh or voice can be heard above others in the room.
  • SLUGGISH - Slow to get started.
  • SUSPICIOUS - Tends to suspect or distrust.
  • SHORT-TEMPERED - Demanding impatience-based anger and a very short fuse. This type of anger is expressed when others are not moving fast enough or have not completed what they have been asked to do.
  • SCATTER-BRAINED - Lacks the power of concentration, or attention. Flighty.
  • REVENGEFUL - Knowingly or otherwise holds a grudge and punishes the offender, often by subtly withholding friendship or affection.
  • RESTLESS - Likes constant new activity because it isn’t fun to do the same things all the time.
  • RELUCTANT - Unwilling to get involved, or struggles to prevent getting involved.
  • RASH - Acts hastily without thinking things through, generally because of impatience.
  • COMPROMISING - Often compromises in order to avoid conflict, even when he/she is right.
  • CRITICAL - Constantly evaluates and makes judgments. Example: Sees someone coming down the street and within seconds might try to evaluate his/her cleanliness, look of intelligence or lack of it, style of clothing or lack of it, physical attractiveness or lack of it, and the list goes on. Constantly analyses and critiques, sometimes without realising he/she is doing so.
  • CRAFTY - Shrewd, one who can always find a way to get to the desired end.
  • CHANGEABLE - A person with a childlike short attention span that needs a lot of change and variety to keep from getting bored.


The Big Reveal

Now lets look at the results and reveal what personality or combination you are. Also, let's look in more detail at each personality type.



The Melancholy Personality Type

Analytical, focused, take orientated, works to preselected options, likes plans and recipes. The melancholic type of Personalty is the type of personality which is analytical and focused on getting tasks established and seeing them through to their completion. Often with sacrifice to their social and similar friendship/familial social lives.

Strengths of a Melancholy 

The Melancholy's Emotions

  • Deep and thoughtfully

  • Analytical

  • Serious and purposeful

  • Genius prone

  • Talented and creative

  • Artistic or musical

  • Philosophical and poetic

  • Appreciative of beauty

  • Sensitive to others

  • Self-sacrificing

  • Conscientious

  • Idealistic

The Melancholy As A Parent

  • Sets high standards

  • Wants everything done right

  • Keeps home in good order

  • Picks up after children

  • Sacrifices own will for others

  • Encourages scholarship and talent

The Melancholy At Work

  • Schedule oriented

  • Perfectionist, high standards

  • Detail conscious

  • Persistent and thorough

  • Orderly and organized

  • Neat and tidy

  • Economical

  • Sees the problems

  • Finds creative solutions

  • Needs to finish what he starts

  • Likes charts, graphs, figures, lists

The Melancholy As A Friend

  • Makes friends cautiously

  • Content to stay in background

  • Avoids causing attention

  • Faithful and devoted

  • Will listen to complaints

  • Can solve other's problems

  • Deep concern for other people

  • Moved to tears with compassion

  • Seeks ideal mate


Weakness of a Melancholy

The Melancholy's Emotions

  • Remembers the negatives • Moody and depressed
  • Enjoys being hurt
  • Has false humility
  • Off in another world
  • Low self-image
  • Has selective hearing • Self-centered
  • Too introspective
  • Guilt feelings
  • Persecution complex
  • Tends to hypochondria

The Melancholy As A Parent

  • Puts goals beyond reach
  • May discourage children
  • May be too meticulous
  • Becomes martyr
  • Sulks over disagreements
  • Puts guilt upon children

The Melancholy At Work

  • Not people oriented
  • Depressed over imperfections
  • Chooses difficult work
  • Hesitant to start projects
  • Spends to much time planning
  • Prefers analysis to work
  • Self-deprecating
  • Hard to please
  • Standards often to high
  • Deep need for approval

The Melancholy As A Friend

  • Lives through others
  • Insecure socially
  • Withdrawn and remote
  • Critical of others
  • Holds back affections
  • Dislikes those in opposition • Suspicious of people
  • Antagonistic and vengeful • Unforgiving
  • Full of contradictions
  • Skeptical of compliments


The Phlegmatic Personality Type

Peaceful, kind, gentle and thinks of others – This personality type is the one which is kind, quiet, peaceful and does not like to cause conflict with others. The phlegmatic is the most sensitive of all the personalty types and because of this tends to be the most agreeable and best personalty type to get one with – but they can sometimes be considered boring.

Strengths of a Phlegmatic

The Phlegmatic's Emotions

  • Low-key personality

  • Easygoing and relaxed

  • Calm, cool and collected

  • Patient well balanced

  • Consistent life

  • Quiet but witty

  • Sympathetic and kind

  • Keeps emotions hidden

  • Happily reconciled to life

  • All-purpose person

The Phlegmatic As A Parent

  • Makes a good parent

  • Takes time for the children

  • Is not in a hurry

  • Can take the good with the bad

  • Doesn't get upset easily

The Phlegmatic At Work

  • Competent and steady

  • Peaceful and agreeable

  • Has administrative ability

  • Mediates problems

  • Avoids conflicts

  • Good under pressure

  • Finds the easy way

The Phlegmatic As A Friend

  • Easy to get along with

  • Pleasant and enjoyable

  • Inoffensive

  • Good listener

  • Dry sense of humor

  • Enjoys watching people

  • Has many friends

  • Has compassion and concern


Weaknesses of a Phlegmatic

The Phlegmatic's Emotions

  • Unenthusiastic
  • Fearful and worried • Indecisive
  • Avoids responsibility • Quiet will of iron
  • Selfish
  • To shy and reticent • Too compromising
  • Self-righteous

The Phlegmatic As A Parent

  • Lax on discipline
  • Doesn't organise home • Takes life to easy

The Phlegmatic At Work

  • Not goal oriented
  • Lacks self motivation • Hard to get moving
  • Resents being pushed • Lazy and careless
  • Discourages others
  • Would rather watch

The Phlegmatic As A Friend

  • Dampens enthusiasm • Stays uninvolved
  • Is not exciting
  • Indifferent to plans
  • Judges others
  • Sarcastic and teasing • Resists change


The Choleric Personality Type

Stern, forward, motivated and full of leadership – The Choleric Personality type is the character of a person who likes to get things done, overcomes any obstacles which get in their way and seek to be achievers.

Strengths of a Choleric

The Choleric's Emotions

  • Born leader

  • Dynamic and active

  • Compulsive need for change

  • Must correct wrongs

  • Strong-willed and decisive

  • Unemotional

  • Not easily discouraged

  • Independent and self sufficient

  • Exudes confidence

  • Can run anything

The Choleric As A Parent

  • Exerts sound leadership

  • Establishes Goals

  • Motivates family to action

  • Knows the right answer

  • Organises household

The Choleric At Work

  • Goal oriented

  • Sees the whole picture

  • Organizes well

  • Seeks practical solutions

  • Moves quickly to action

  • Delegates work

  • Insists on production

  • Makes the goal

  • Stimulates activity

  • Thrives on opposition

The Choleric As A Friend

  • Has little need for friends

  • Will work for group activity

  • Will lead and organize

  • Is usually right

  • Excels in emergencies






Weaknesses of a Choleric

The Choleric's Emotions

  • Bossy
  • Impatient
  • Quick-tempered
  • Can't Relax
  • Too impetuous
  • Enjoys controversy and arguments
  • Won't give up when loosing
  • Comes on too strong
  • Inflexible
  • Is not complimentary
  • Dislikes tears and emotions
  • Is unsympathetic

The Choleric As A Parent

  • Tends to over dominate
  • Too busy for family
  • Gives answers too quickly
  • Impatient with poor performance
  • Won't let children relax
  • May send them into depression

The Choleric At Work

  • Little tolerance for mistakes
  • Doesn't analyse details
  • Bored by trivia
  • May make rash decisions
  • Manipulates people
  • Demanding of others
  • End justifies the means
  • Work may become his god
  • Demands loyalty in the ranks

The Choleric As A Friend

  • Tends to use people
  • Dominates others
  • Knows everything
  • Decides for others
  • Can do everything better
  • Is to independent
  • Possessive of friends and mate
  • Can't say, "I'm Sorry"
  • May be right, but unpopular


The Sanguine Personality Type

Social, forward, carefree and fun loving – The sanguine is one which seeks out novelty, people and life experience. Not caring nor wishing to settle down too quickly or too fast and are always on their feet, smiling, entertained and in the life of a social party.

Strengths of a Sanguine

The Sanguine's Emotions

  • Appealing personality

  • Talkative, Storyteller

  • Life of the Party

  • Good sense of humor

  • Memory for color

  • Physically holds on to listener

  • Emotional and demonstrative

  • Enthusiastic and expressive

  • Cheerful and bubbling over

  • Curious

  • Good on stage

  • Wide-eyed and innocent

  • Lives in the present

  • Changeable disposition

  • Sincere at heart

  • Always a child

The Sanguine As A Parent

  • Makes Home Fun

  • Is liked by children's friends

  • Turns disaster into humour

  • Is the circus master

The Sanguine At Work

  • Volunteers for Jobs

  • Thinks up new activities

  • Looks great on the Surface

  • Creative and colorful

  • Has energy and enthusiasm

  • Starts in a flashy way

  • Inspires others to join

  • Charms others to work

The Sanguine As A Friend

  • Makes friends easily

  • Loves People

  • Thrives on compliments

  • Seems exciting

  • Envied by others

  • Doesn't hold grudges

  • Apologizes quickly

  • Prevents dull moments

  • Likes spontaneous activities


Weaknesses of a Sanguine

The Sanguine's Emotions

  • Compulsive talker
  • Exaggerates and elaborates
  • Dwells on trivia
  • Can't remember names
  • Scares others off
  • Too happy for some
  • Has restless energy
  • Egotistical
  • Blusters and complains
  • Naive, gets taken in
  • Has loud voice and laugh
  • Controlled by circumstances
  • Gets angry easily
  • Seems phoney to some
  • Never Grows Up

The Sanguine As A Parent

  • Keeps home in a frenzy
  • Forgets children's appointments • Disorganised
  • Doesn't listen to the whole story

The Sanguine At Work

  • Would rather talk
  • Forgets obligations
  • Doesn't follow through
  • Priorities out of order
  • Easily distracted
  • Wastes time talking

The Sanguine As A Friend

  • Hates to be alone
  • Needs to be center stage
  • Wants to be popular
  • Looks for credit
  • Dominates conversations
  • Interrupts and doesn't listen
  • Fickle and forgetful
  • Makes excuses
  • Repeats stories


Reflections & Questions


  1. How surprised were you to discover your personality type?

  2. What character traits did you recognise from your day-to-day (good and bad)?

  3. From what you've learnt, what are you most proud of?

  4. What will you do differently as a result of what you've discovered?

  5. Can you recognise the part you play in your team, family, marriage?

  6. How can understanding yourself, help you to understand others better?