» The Phlegmatic


“What a great guy!” is a typical epithet for a phlegmatic. The phlegmatic’s reactions are slow, of short duration, and rarely intense. As a result, the phlegmatic temperament is characterized by a calm demeanor under all circumstances—even the most volatile—making him a perfect poker player or diplomatic envoy! Underneath the reserved exterior is a kind and gentle heart that seeks harmony and abhors conflict.

If you are a phlegmatic, you most likely possess a dry wit and a steady, amicable demeanor. You are dependable, polite, and even-tempered. You feel more comfortable in a small group of friends or even spending a quiet evening relaxing at home. You are never flashy, belligerent, or self-aggrandizing. You would rather take the blame (even unjustly) than stir up controversy or pick a fight. On the job, you seek neither power nor the limelight, but work steadily, patiently, and methodically. You are reliable, patient, and methodical on the job, and can work alone, or with the most difficult of personalities. You will prefer job security, working within a structured organization, but can also be a leader of great character and service. Former U.S. president Calvin Coolidge, for example, was known for being a man of few words, conservatism in maintaining the status quo, and a propensity for “effectively doing nothing.” Once at a dinner party, a young woman bet him that she could make him say three words. Coolidge dryly replied, “You lose.”

In relationships, you are the steady, calm, stabilizing peace-maker, reliable and of good character, you are willing to make the concessions and to stay in the background. At times, when people are being very demanding or tension is high, you find yourself withdrawing to be alone—and then you may find yourself accused of being apathetic or indifferent. As a phlegmatic, you would probably prefer that the whole dating process did not require so much effort. One lovely phlegmatic young woman joined an online dating service, only to discover that it was really just “too much work”! Nonetheless, once you are involved in a serious relationship, you will be honest and faithful, and not likely to break off an engagement or wander astray.