01 February 2005

A Spiffy (and Catholic) Personality Test

Via Meredith at Basia me, Catholica sum.

You are a "lymphatic" or "pituitous" Phlegmatic, with an abundance of phlegm. Phlegmatics are characterized by the element of Water, the season of Winter, old-aged adulthood, the color green, and the characteristics of "Cold" and "Wet." If you were living in the Age of Faith, the career choice for you would be a copier of manuscripts or a night watchman.

I'm not entirely sure I agree with the assessment. It's correct up to a certain point; I am introverted, I am reserved in unfamiliar situations, I am slothful, but unlikely to give up a project once I've started it, and have been told that I exhibit some constancy of mood (though I often doubt this). However, I am not overly cautious in minor matters, and I certainly am interested in things external to myself--though usually as an observer.

The section on the training of phlegmatic children interests me particularly because it bears no resemblence to my own experience. It claims such children lack internal motives, which I never did, and that things have to be explained to them multiple times, which was only true of me if the explanation happened to have interupted me in the midst of a daydream or reading a story. As long as you got me when my mind wasn't in a fantasy world, I didn't have to be told twice. (This still holds true. Don't try to talk to me when I'm reading. I may nod and make an affirmative noise, but I didn't actually hear you.)

The description of the education of the melancholic child, however, seems to fit my experience very well. I was very timid and shy, sensitive, and too easily discouraged. I only wanted to do work for classes which had teachers that I liked, and invariably, the teachers that I liked were ones who paid me special attention and were kind to me. When punished by teachers I was not fond of, I almost invariably talked back (and got myself in further trouble, of course). I still do that, occasionally, but I am more even-tempered now and less likely to want to anger those in authority over me. Perhaps my temperment has changed. Is is possible that the melancholic child has become a more phlegmatic adult?

Other possible outcomes: Sanguine, Choleric
What's your medieval personality type?

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