By Joey and Carla Link
December 8, 2021
Have you ever heard the expression “they see the cup half full?” This would be referring to those with the optimistic Sanguine temperament. Those that see the cup half empty are primarily those with the negative Melancholy temperament.
No one wants to hear they would be described as negative. The Melancholy temperament, however, is critical and judgmental. Before taking on an assignment they tend to think through all the “what if’s” first and their “what if’s” have more to do with what could go wrong than with what could possibly go right.
Since they tend to be perfectionists, they set impossibly high standards for themselves and for others too. When you don’t meet their standard, they will let you know it in a way that lets you know in no uncertain terms you have failed.Kids with the Melancholy temperament are over-sensitive. While they will dish critical words out, they don’t like to be on the receiving end of them because any negative coming their way makes them feel unloved and rejected, and they hold on to these feelings for a long time. Holding on to these kinds of feelings for a long time is where they get the reputation for holding grudges. Their grudges often turn into roots of bitterness that damage relationships in ways that all too often turn into one-way streets. God tells us to love others before ourselves. In fact, this is one of His most important commandments, coming after the most important one which is to love God first and foremost.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Those with the Melancholy temperament are self-focused. Another way of saying this is to say they are self-centered. Everything is run through the lens of how they feel about it, and feelings always come back to focusing on self.So how do you teach your child with the Melancholy temperament to elevate the good in life instead of always looking at what did or could go wrong?1. Think of the positive before the negative. When we shared our days around the dinner table at night, everyone had to start with 3 positive comments before they shared a negative.2. Share what can go right before sharing what can go wrong. Work with your child to think of things that can go right with a task or project before your child lists all the things that can go wrong.3. Work with all your kids to become each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Teach them how to encourage each other when their siblings are working on a project whether it be academic, musical, athletic, chores and so on.4. When they should be focused on others, ask them “Who are you thinking of right now?” Follow this with “Who should you be thinking of right now?” Ask your Melancholy child what he/she can do to show this person he is thinking of him/her.Encouragement is the life-blood for those with the Melancholy temperament to effectively function. So what are the positive traits of one with the Melancholy temperament? They are faithful and loyal, committed to finishing what they say they will do. To-do lists are their best friends! They are creative, artistic and most musical geniuses have the Melancholy temperament. They are intelligent and deep thinkers. Although they don’t need a lot of friends, they are the best friend you could ever have. The world would function on a very surface level without those with the Melancholy temperament in our lives.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”I Thessalonians 5:11
We hope you can see through the last few weeks’ podcasts, blogs, Facebook and Instagram posts how much perspective and insight understanding your children’s temperaments can give you. Have you gotten our new 4-part video series and/or book, “How Temperaments Impact You, Your Spouse & Your Kids” yet?