What are the four personality types?


I have a question for you. Are you a :

  • mother?
  • university student?
  • manager?
  • pastor?
  • software engineer?
  • platoon commander?
  • cruise ship captain?

The reason I am asking is that all of these folks have one thing in common along with the other 7.7 billion people that are estimated to be on this big blue spinning ball we all call home at present. The common factor is that we are all surrounded by one another and in that mix is a diverse range of personalities, that can at times make it difficult to get along with one another. On a smaller scale for example, if you were a workforce manager responsible for the smooth running of a team, wouldn’t you find it easier to manage the team if you knew why different people in the team behaved in their own different ways? If I was that manager,I know that this would help me big time !!

There is a theory rooted in ancient Greek and Roman medicine, that there are four basic temperaments or personality types. My posit is this. If you and I knew the personality type of the people we were dealing with, wouldn’t that make it easier for us in our daily dealings with others?

So just What are the four personality types? Join me in this blog today as we examine these “people types” in the following sections:

Sanguine(party,party,party,look at me !!)

Choleric(I’m in charge, lets’ set some goals !!)

Melancholy(I understand how you feel…)

Phlegmatic(relax bro, take a chill pill…)

Who am I?

Who are they?


Please do enjoy this read and don’t forget to add any questions/thoughts /comments below when you are done :))




Sanguine (party,party,party,look at me !!)

Two ladies conversing at a party.

First up is the type that always make themselves first in a crowd !! The personality type of the Sanguine is best described as being a non-stop talker, boundless enthusiasm, outgoing,very active and sociable. You definitely won’t miss these types in a crowd. Being the extrovert, these folks are sometimes described by others as the life of the party, out there, chatty,friendly,wild,talking at one hundred miles an hour. I swear, if you dumped one of these folks on a deserted island they would make friends with the coconut trees within an hour of landing ashore !!!! :)) Some professions where you might traditionally run into this type would be tourism guide, entertainer,performer,social media influencer etc.

Choleric (I’m in charge, lets’ set some goals !!)

A lion on a windswept plain.

OK everyone, be quiet and eyes front because here comes the choleric!! These folks are natural born leaders. They are also extroverted but I suppose that they use that “presence” for a different effect. In a leadership role you can see this clearly in true leaders, in person. They are driven, ambitious,logical,goal setters, team leaders, decisive with a fact based outlook on the world. Being an ex-military person,I find that the really good leaders are the ones that do not have to say much but just “command” your attention with their presence whether they are wearing a smart military uniform or ordinary civilian clothing. Leadership definitely fits the choleric type personality !!

Melancholy(I understand how you feel…)

Lady with an understanding smile.

The melancholy type are the thinking, feeling and reflective type. Being the introvert, these folks always try to avoid the spotlight and choose to hide in the crowd. They can also be described as reserved, thoughtful,compassionate,self-reliant, independent and a perfectionist. An offshoot of this behavior is that they are often tidy and detail oriented folks. Drive past any house with a neatly trimmed and tidy yard and I bet you could knock on the door and find that there is a melancholy type living there(or the hired Gardner is one :))These folks are everywhere. I’ve met police officers, disability carers and university lecturers that do fit this mould.

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Phlegmatic (relax bro, take a chill pill…)

Chilled out dog wearing sunglasses.

Phlegmatic types are the “cruisiest” of this group. They are sometimes seen as the easiest type to get along with. Their personality type is often described as easy going, quiet,relaxed,”chilled out” and generally sympathetic towards others. I know from my own experience that these folks just “feel” good to be around. In a work environment this can be a bonus as they make a job easier to be at in this setting. The image I get in my head when I think of this type of person is a chilled out, surfie with long hair !! Some professional settings where you might encounter these folks might be in the creative arts or even as a mental health worker.

Who am I?

How was that?It’s interesting stuff hey?Of course not everyone is a pure sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic or melancholy. I would say we are all a mixture of each. Now,let’s have a go at applying what we just read to our own personal circumstances below. Grab a blank piece of paper and write down what personality type or mix of personality types you think best fits you. I bet the answer will give you an “aha” moment. As for myself I know that I am part choleric, phlegmatic and melancholy. I definitely do not like the spotlight on me at all and I certainly don’t lead the charge at a party so I know I am definitely not a sanguine !!!!

Who are they?

Crowd crossing a street on a pedestrian crossing.

OK now that you have done that, pick five people that you know and do the same exercise. They can be family, friends,work colleagues, sports buddies etc. Anyone,just pick five and try figure out what type or mix of type they are. Do this and I bet going forward, the question of what type is the personality of anybody you meet, will always be floating back there in the grey matter.

So how can all of this information help me??

The short message is that when we understand who a person is, we can then understand why they do the things they do whether that be good or bad in a group or individual setting. This personality type analysis skill is very useful as it can be applied to all sorts of situations e.g.:

  • Couples relationship
  • A primary school teacher and a group of kids
  • Colleagues at work
  • Parent/child relationships
  • A leader and a team of people


Far out friend, I don’t know about you but I learned heaps just researching and writing this article. I especially learned some more about folks around me in the pen and paper exercise above. The results there surprised me!! How did it go for you??.My whole intent of writing this article was to be able to equip the reader with a truly practical skill that they can apply at home, work and play. I truly hope that this article was able to assist somebody, somewhere !!

If you have any questions or thoughts on how this article was able to assist you, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below as I am very interested to hear others observations, on this article in dealing with those around us.

I will reply as soon as I can!”

Peace !!

Billy :))






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14 Comments on “What are the four personality types?”

  1. I would say that I am more of a Melancholy type than anything else. I like to keep my personal life to myself, and I hate the spotlight. I am also a perfectionist when it comes to my work.

    I also tend to overthink things where I place a scenario in my head of the worst things that can happen. Sometimes people will mistake our deepness with sadness.

    1. hey Viljoen,thanks for your ideas here.Yes definitely i know what you mean,sometimes my melancholy is mistaken for sadness etc when really I am smiling on the inside even when I am thinking about stuff “))

  2. Hi Billy,

    Great write up, I enjoyed reading it and it made me think of what personality each of my co-workers are. I was wondering tho, have you ever heard of the Myer Briggs personality types? If not this might be a good topic for your next write up quiet similar to this topic but with the idea of 16 types of personalities all broken down to more detail. Definatly worth a read.



    1. Hey Jarrin,thanks for your input here.Great suggestion on the myer briggs topic,I will definitely be looking into this for another topic to write about.

  3. I really have a bit of a problem putting me in one of these boxes. I think I can be or have times when I’m each one of them.

    Maybe that’s because I’m a twin person. When I go out and had a little too much to drink I get the party party type and never again want to go home.

    When I’m at work or in responsabel situations I can be a choleric, I have a plan, I stick to it and might ask a lot from the ones living with me.

    On Sundays I don’t take a chill pill but I don’t move my ass much either way. And when I feel that someone needs to talk or has something troubling him/her I get melancholic and find always time to listen.

    Strange, but that’s how I am 🙂

    1. Thanks Stefan for your ideas here.It’s so true we can be diverse in our range of temperaments and emotions etc all in the one person.Nothing strange about it friend,it’s just you and that’s cool :))

  4. My bet is that most people fit into at least two of those types of personality, I certainly do!

    I feel that being choleric and melancholy, which seems to be a strange match of characteristics in the one personality, is all me!

    It is certainly an interesting exercise to write down all the people I know and put them into their respective categories. What I did however, was put them into their dominant trait and then list their other traits as less important. It does put a unique spin on your friends. Mmm, now with those opinions being formed I need to revert to the old ways of dealing with them.

    I don’t need to analyse my friends to such a degree, but it was a great experience following your approach.

    1. Hey Steve,thanks for your thoughts here.I actually came up with thought of creating that practical exercise at the time of writing it.It certainly blew me away when I did it myself for my teens and a couple others.In one case it just confirmed for me why me and another old work colleague didn’t get along to well lol!

  5. Hi Billy, i enjoyed every bit of information you dished out in this article. I personally, after analyzing my character traits, found out i’m a mix of three actually. I tend to be Choleric, Melancholic and on fewer occasions, Phlegmatic. The test instructions you gave have also helped me in understanding some things about my colleagues and hence forth, i believe it will positively affect my relationship with them. Thanks again Billy

    1. Hey Samson,glad to hear you got something out of this article as was the intent  of me in producing it in the first place,to help others to understand others.

  6. Very interesting topic! Personally I think I’m a mixture of Melancholy and Phlegmatic. 

    I agree that knowing what type of person someone is will give us better understanding of how best to approach and interact with them. Sometimes in the same situation, we may need to use different methods for different types of people. A Choleric may be good at talking and giving out their thoughts in big group discussions while a Melancholy may perform better in smaller groups.  

    Is it possible for a person to have a mixture of all 4 types? 

    1. Hey Mary,thanks for your comment here.As I’ve stated to Barry in another comment yes i believe it is possible to be a mix of all 4 types .

  7. Okay, to your question I’m a student. Oh! Thanks for sharing this article on the four personality types. I remembered listening to a message with similar properties as this topic in my school fellowship.

    This article just refreshed my memory on it.

    I swear I’m laughing my ass off for the statement you made about a Sanguine making friend with the coconut tree…

    I was beginning to wonder where I fit in amongst these four personalities. I think I have a mixture of all the personalities except not much of the Sanguine 🙂


    1. Hi Barry,thanks for your input here.I think that is the case with all of us that we are not pure 100% of one trait or the other but a mixture.I definitely am !!

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