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Posts tagged ‘Playful Sanguine’

Mud Slinging or Wallowing in a Mud Hole…

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The Lighter Side of Personality Downfalls

This morning, as I was fixing my daughter’s hair, she started to get frustrated. I could see her emotions were about to erupt. (Yes, she is a combination of Powerful Choleric/Playful Sanguine!) Her brother who was nearby could feel the tension rising as well. Now to many personalities, we would back off, however, being a fellow Powerful Choleric, he thought this was an invitation to go in for the kill! Understanding both personalities, and being a Peaceful Phlegmatic, I decided to try and diffuse them both.

“Now wait a minute,” I said. “You both know that it can be a down fall of your personality to say unkind things before you think. So, take just a minute and stop yourself. OK!?”

“What! You’re saying my personality is a downfall!! How rude!!” My daughter’s emotions continued down the track, full speed ahead into the drama depot!

“No, that’s not what I said. What I said is that saying unkind things before you think can be your personality downfall. Every personality has a down fall. That just happens to be one you both share.” I explained.

“Wait a minute! I don’t do what she does. She makes a big scene, and I don’t!” My Powerful Choleric/Proper Melancholic child quickly defended. “So aren’t we different?”

“You have similarities and differences. You both tend to say things that might be unkind before you think. But she will shout them, and you will mumble them in hopes that we will hear. That my dear is the perfect example of how you are different!” That is the difference between the Powerful Choleric/Playful Sanguine and the Powerful Choleric/Proper Melancholic. I explained them to the kids with the use of the Monkeys from The You Zoo book, since that is easier for them to remember.

“So you and Jackson don’t have any personality downfalls?” My daughter was not putting down her drama card easy!

“Oh sure we do! Every personality has downfalls as well as many strengths! We would just THINK the unkind things in our head!” I quickly admitted.

“What! You think bad things about us in your head!!” My son seemed shocked.

“Yes, sometimes we do. But at least we don’t hurt your heart and make you hear them!” I justified.

“So is that better?” My son quizzed.

“Well, no, neither is kind. Not having unkind thoughts is probably the thing we should all shoot for!” I explained to the kids. Then we all just burst out laughing. Guess it’s like mud slinging or wallowing in a mud hole?! They are both dirty!

It was one of those teaching moments you couldn’t set up any better. You just take the opportunities as they arise. It really has amazed me over the years how well my kids understand the personality information. Even more surprising, how much they love learning about it!


Friendship–Fun and Folly

colorful kids

Watching our children make friends can be an interesting process. From the time they are young, we can see traits emerge in them that make those friendships form or last. Granted, many children go through the same stages of development and learning to play alongside and play interactively with other children, but there are other things that we can watch unfold that are more personality related.

So how do the four personality types look when it comes to friendships? Let’s take a look!

The Playful Sanguine child will make friends easily, and will have lots of friends. They approach strangers and talk easily. It is easy for them to join in with a group and gravitate toward those they want to make friends with. They are not alone long in a new situation, as they open up easily and find someone they can talk and share things with. They are not very selective and are able to have fun with just about anyone that’s willing.

The Powerful Choleric child will be a leader in a group. So there will be those who follow them and interact with them as they lead the way. Those who don’t mind being told what to do, and when, will get along well with this child. For those that like to be in charge, there may be a little battle for the role. Powerful Choleric children don’t feel the necessity to make friends or keep friends.

The Proper Melancholic child will make friends cautiously. They will be very selective about the people that they make friends with. They will favor those who follow the rules and do what is right. Loyalty is a trait they take seriously. They would rather have one or two very quality friends than lots of superficial friends. It will take this child a great deal of trust to open up and share even with their friend.

The Peaceful Phlegmatic child will make friends easily. Encouraging others or trying to make others feel included usually wins a friend or two. It may be hard for them to initiate friendships or strike up conversation with strangers, but if the situation calls for that, they will usually come through. Their peace making trait will keep things calm and comfortable for everyone.

These are the characteristics of the personalities as they happen naturally. But knowing the personalities can also help us encourage our children in ways that might be more healthy and cause them to grow. So how can we help our child stretch and grow?

Playful Sanguine:

  • Teach them to be careful of strangers to not get in a bad situation
  • Help them learn the importance of being selective

Powerful Choleric:

  • Teach them to be considerate of others and not be bossy
  • Help them learn that others can be easily hurt by strong emotion or careless words

Proper Melancholic:

  • Teach them to be willing to take a risk with making friends
  • Help them learn that sharing things about themselves will help others connect with them

Peaceful Phlegmatic:

  • Teach them that sometimes they have to be willing to initiate and not just be a follower
  • Help them learn that it is not their job to work out all the problems other friends have


It can be fun to watch their natural tendencies emerge. And watching them grow and learn about what makes a friendship better can have both joys and challenges. When we take time to help them grow and learn about these traits, we can help them find good friends, enjoy good friends, and be good friends. And that is a trait that can benefit them for life!

OOOOPS!!! I Forgot!!!

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This tends to be a common theme for the Playful Sanguine. While this theme occurs in both child and adult Sanguines, we are going to look at this theme in the adult or parent.

A Playful Sanguine is often uttering those words. While other personalities may be mortified at the thought of admitting that they forgot something, Playful Sanguines don’t really mind. They are so used to it, that it rolls quite easily from their tongue. The following are some other things that tend to be part of their self-talk process.

“I can always have others help me.”

“I can’t remember how I’m supposed to do it.”

“I seriously forgot!”

“I didn’t know I was supposed to do that.”

“I didn’t want to do it. It was boring.”

“It’s not fun.”

“I started it but never finished it.”

Playful Sanguines don’t have much trouble admitting their wrongs. They may laugh it off and act as thought it doesn’t really phase them or even matter. But these very themes can cause some problems in everyday relationships and even in parenting.

How might this play out in a Playful Sanguine Parent? You might see the following:

  • Caught up in moment and lose focus on what needs done.
  • Dismiss undesirable tasks as a parent because they aren’t fun.
  • Distracted easily and forgets to follow through.
  • Play and have fun but can too easily forget role as parent.
  • Provide poor example of appropriate behavior, if they can get a laugh.
  • Competes for center stage and may not take parental role seriously.
  • Swayed from effective discipline by child’s charm or tears.
  • Claims to forget or not understand to avoid responsibility.
  • Appears to be a softy or oblivious, without boundaries.

How can a Playful Sanguine address the self-talk that flutters through their head and causes them to be less effective in life or as a parent?

  • Stop and get some focus. Make yourself slow down, focus and really thing about what’s going on, instead of just going by the seat of your pants all the time.
  • Identify a couple ways you can become more responsible to the tasks at hand. Note not just the thing that needs to happen but the steps it may take to get it to happen.
  • Establish your role as parent and how you might need to take that role more seriously. It is good to have fun with your kids, but it is equally important that they feel your strength as a parent and that you can handle the job.
  • Take the initiative to know what needs done, see it through, and follow through with consequences if need be. No more claiming, “I didn’t know. I forgot. Or I wasn’t sure.”

This post focuses on the inner self-talk of the Playful Sanguine and the downfalls they may experience as a parent. These may not fit your personality. And that’s okay. You might be one of the other personalities. The next two days we will address the other personalities.

Oh the Dramatic Eruptions!!!



Question:  I have a child that is somewhere along the top of the chart, but I can’t decide which one (Playful Sanguine and Powerful Choleric). I only know that their emotions are more than I can handle! What do I do?

Hang on!! That’s my first advice! But truly, this is a real concern of many parents that speak to me after a presentation. They feel overwhelmed with the emotion that this child expels and feel inadequate at knowing how to handle it. I can’t help but share my own personal joke.

Can you imagine for a minute what three extroverts, a 10 year old girl, 5 year old boy, and 43 year old dad have in common with a volcano? Easy, they all erupt!

Personalities along the top of the personality quadrant chart (Playful Sanguine and Powerful Choleric) are extroverts. So everything they think, feel, and want is pretty much out there for all to see. They are in touch with their emotions, express them easily, and don’t hold back. This makes total sense to those who are also extrovert, but what might be hard for them to imagine is that not everyone is like that. Those on the bottom of the chart (Proper Melancholic and Peaceful Phlegmatic) are introverts and tend to hold things in. They tend to evaluate their thoughts and feelings, modify them, and decide what if any is appropriate to share.

The Playful Sanguine is prone to drama. They feel things very deeply. Their emotions can go from 0 to 60 in two seconds flat. They may be very upset, and with just a small change will be extremely happy again. Those emotional highs and lows can be hard for a family to experience.

The Powerful Choleric is prone to anger. They are more in touch with that emotion than any other. They can go from super angry to moving on rather quickly. They let off some steam and decide they feel better. The problem is that those around them may still be recovering from the hit and run effect.

What can you do if you see your child exhibiting the drama that exhausts your family?

  1. Don’t give up on the training. You may feel like you say the same thing over and over, but don’t give up. It is a message they need to hear.
  2. Give them a good example. Kids learn by example. Often times there is a parent in the home that is exhibiting the same lack of control in emotions. Work hard as parents to be a positive example.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Okay, so maybe perfect is a little too high of expectation, but don’t underestimate the power in practicing. Role play situations before they happen. Rehearse how things might be felt and expressed in ways that people can understand and will want to listen.
  4. Do-over or discipline. Give your child a chance to correct what needs to be corrected when they speak or act too quickly out of emotion, or what I refer to as a do-over. Correcting on their own gives them the practice in self control. If you have to intervene or coax them into re-doing the wrong, discipline may be appropriate.
  5. Work to understand their emotional needs. Often, the drama rises when the emotional needs of these kids are not being addressed. So go back to the basics and look at their emotional needs.

Remember that these top two personalities need to be noticed and given credit. They also want some excitement and control. If you can keep a pulse on how those needs are being met, you might be one step closer to diffusing the eruptions of emotion that are tiring your family.

What!? My Child Has A Default Setting?!

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I just don’t get my child! How do I know what they want?!

I have heard numerous weary parents express this sentiment in a variety of ways. It can be hard to think like a child, and especially when that child is worlds different than our natural personality bent. And sometimes, even if they share the same personality, a parent and child can really butt heads, being so similar and wanting things so similar, yet going about it in two very different ways. So how do we anticipate what our kids want? How do we figure out what moves them or motivates them?

We remember the default setting. The what? The default setting. You see, each personality has what we might consider a motto. It is kind of like the core of their personality, sums many things up in just a short little phrase, and functions kind of like their default setting. It’s what they choose or desire or do without even thinking about it. This is easy to remember and can kind of act like a reset button in our own minds when we feel like we’re stuck! It can be a lifesaver in those moments that we just can’t figure out what to do.

So what are the personality mottos?

The Playful Sanguine child’s motto:   “I must have some excitement!”

The Powerful Choleric child’s motto:  “I must have some control!”

The Proper Melancholic child’s motto:  “I must have some order!”

The Peaceful Phlegmatic child’s motto:  “I must have some rest!”

We had a recent example of this in our own home. Our kids were struggling with getting their chores done. I felt like I was putting more effort into getting them to do their jobs then they were putting into doing their jobs. So, I kindly made them chore charts to help them be accountable (and hopefully reduce my amount of nagging and frustration). Despite my best efforts at helping them succeed with my cute charts, we were still struggling! So, I slowed myself up one day and thought about what they might really need to get motivated.

Then, I asked each child to make their own chore chart. It was rather interesting to see what they came up with, but it so beautifully illustrates this point!


Here are some of the key things I noticed:


  • My Powerful Choleric (natural leader) was the first to start the process. He even taught a couple of the others how to use the program and spreadsheet feature.

chore charts1

  • My Playful Sanguine and Peaceful Phlegmatic children (both personalities being relational) placed pictures of them with other people all around their charts to decorate them.


  • My Peaceful Phlegmatic that wants rest was sure to mark his chart with the reminder that Sunday was no jobs, just REST!
  • My Powerful Choleric/Proper Melancholic (being task focused) was sure to point out to the others that there didn’t need to be any designs, as this was a CHORE Chart…it was not supposed to be fun!

We have had much more success with the chore charts. Are we perfect?  No! By no means can I claim we are! But in slowing down, I remembered that I was going to get the best movement and buy-in when I could tap into what really mattered to them or motivated them. My Playful Sanguines needed some excitement, so to see a fun chart that they designed themselves would be far more appealing than my chart that was the same for everybody. My Powerful Choleric needed to have some control. By making his own chart and placing his tasks on it, he was deciding how it would be done. My Peaceful Phlegmatic just needed that little light at the end of the tunnel that REST would come!

Each child now has a chore chart that has the same chores I would have put on them, and they are still required to do the same thing as before. But because I took the time to address the core motivators, I am getting a much better response. Who would guess that such a small little twist could change a home?! That’s what it’s like to function with the default setting!

A Light-Hearted Look at Parent Personalities–You Might Be a Sanguine Parent If…

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You may have figured out what your child is, and now you are left wondering… “What am I?”

Here’s a light-hearted look at what a Sanguine Parent might look like. Hang on, it can be quite a ride!

  • You already have your next fun outfit planned, and aren’t sure where you will wear it.
  • You find yourself continually buying party invites in anticipation for a future party.
  • You end your day still chasing the same idea that you started your day with, but either forgot or got distracted by 52 other things in between!
  • You constantly lose your purse, your keys, your car…what was that other thing you lost?
  • You think a to-do list is a better doodle pad than anything else.
  • You have no problem asking a complete stranger to help you find where you parked your car.
  • You can turn any task into something fun as long as you don’t have to do it alone.
  • You have inadvertently left your child somewhere and had to embarrassingly go back to find them.
  • You still find great joy in playing games from your child hood.
  • That panic button on your car key fob is not really for a panic situation. It’s simply a built in car locator that you put to good use.
  • You truly believe there’s no such thing as too much fun…only not enough fun or enough people to have fun!
  • You find yourself drawn to things that sparkle, shine, or catch attention…even if others aren’t!
  • You use exclamation points in groups and have to remind yourself to use a simple period.
  • You truly think you have a story to match or top just about any story told…and they are good stories!
  • You have no problem sharing your most embarrassing moments; after all, they are funny!! Why waste them?!?!?


If you read this list, laugh hysterically, and think you could add more that are even better…you are probably a Playful Sanguine! If you read this and thought, that’s just dumb! You are probably a Powerful Choleric! If you are still hung up on why someone would want to share their embarrassing moments or even use that panic button on purpose, you are probably a Proper Melancholic. And if you chuckled a little and felt tired by the energy that person in the list must have, you are probably a Peaceful Phlegmatic!

This is just a fun little list. For those interested, you might enjoy getting a copy of The You Zoo. There is a short parent personality assessment, as well as the child assessment in the book. Stay tuned for two more light-hearted entries on the other parent personalities!

Putting the Pieces Together…Personality Blends


After learning about the personality strengths and struggles, you probably have a good idea of what your child might be. You are likely able to decide what personality is not them. You can most likely narrow it down to a couple of the personality options. And that’s great! There is a reason that you have narrowed it down to a couple. Most people are a combination of two personality types. You may be largely one with a touch of another, two relatively equal blends, or some other make up within the combination of the two. And that is precisely why two kids of the same personality can still look different.



People are usually a combination of two squares on the quadrant. The two boxes are generally ones that touch. The reason for this is that opposite squares are typically opposite personalities. We are not naturally born with two conflicting personalities. (Due to some life experiences, family of origin combinations, or traumatic experiences, people may learn to cope and thus have a learned personality that appears to be a combination of two opposites.) Here we will talk about the usual combinations.

personality chartThe personality that is most obvious is considered the primary personality. If a person takes an assessment, such as the one found in The You Zoo book, this would be their highest score. Without an assessment, it is the box/description that has the most traits that resemble them. The second highest score (if taking an assessment) or the box/description that carries the next significant number of similar traits is called the secondary personality.

Thus, the common combinations would be as follows:

Playful-Powerful, Powerful–Proper, Proper-Peaceful, Peaceful-Playful and the flip flop of those…Powerful-Playful, Playful-Peaceful, Peaceful-Proper, and Proper-Powerful.

Tomorrow we will talk about the distinct traits of introvert and extrovert as well as people who are task focused or relationship focused. This may shed some further light on your deciding where your child may fall on the quadrant.

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