A person of sanguine temperament has quick and strong reactions to just about anything, although they’re short in duration and easily forgotten. This is one of the extroverted temperaments.
The good qualities of the sanguine temperament include: friendliness, cheerfulness, generosity, sincerity, sensitive to others’ suffering, docility, and spontaneity.
Sanguines are usually optimists and possess a practical approach to life. They also have a great deal of common sense. Since they are affectionate by nature, they make friends easily and with great intensity. Others are usually drawn to their goodness of heart and contagious enthusiasm.
They possess active intellects and are quick learners, though usually without a lot of depth. They tend to think about pleasant and optimistic things and have a creative and active imagination. With all their gifts, they usually make for great actors, speakers, sales people, politicians, etc.
The main weaknesses of the sanguine temperament are superficiality, inconstancy, and sensuality.
Superficiality – This is mainly due to their immediate perception of situations and ideas and their creative and active imagination. Even though they are quick to grasp difficult problems, they sometimes only see a part of it or just the surface of it. This sometimes causes them to make hasty judgments, acting without thinking first, and coming to the wrong conclusions. They don’t care so much about depth of knowledge, but are more interested in amount of knowledge.
Inconstancy – This is due to the short duration that impressions leave on them when they react to things. They change very quickly from happy to sad. They might be quick to repent of their sins, but then fall back into them as soon as they are tempted. In general, if something requires effort for a long time, they don’t persist. They also have a hard time keeping custody over their external senses (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling) and their imagination. As far as their prayer life goes, they are easily distracted and easily discouraged when they don’t experience consolation or “feel” like praying.
Sensuality – The biggest fight for them is in the area of the flesh. They are often victims of gluttony and lust. They may be truly sorry after they have fallen, but often lack the perseverance and energy necessary to fight against their evil inclinations. They are quickly and strongly drawn to sensual pleasure. Their tendency to sensuality also makes it difficult for them to control their imagination.
HOW TO FIGHT
If sanguines want to overcome their defects and weaknesses, they should put to use their good qualities, but take special care to direct them towards good things. As St. Augustine says, “Choose wisely and then love with all your heart.”
To overcome sensuality, they should get into the habit of reflecting and thinking things through before acting. They should practice constant vigilance and immediately flee from near occasions of sin. They will need to be especially careful and keep their external senses under control as well as their imagination. It would help them to get into the practice of meditation and mortification.
In fighting against inconstancy, they will need to strengthen their will by following through with their resolutions and being faithful to their prayer practices and commitments, even in moments of dryness or desolation.
SAINTS WITH THE SANGUINE TEMPERAMENT
The following saints are examples of the sanguine temperament: St. Peter, St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier and St. Rose of Lima.
A person of sanguine temperament reacts quickly and strongly to almost anything, but the reaction usually does not last long and are quickly forgotten.
• friendly and cheerful
• understanding and generous toward others
• sensitive and compassionate towards the sufferings of others
• docility and obedient
• sincere and spontaneous
• learns quickly
• possesses an active and creative imagination
What to do:
Use your good qualities but make sure they’re directed to objects that are good and wholesome.
Fight against your evil inclinations:
Superficiality: acquire the habit of reflection and of thinking a matter through before you act.
Inconstancy: strengthen your will through resolutions and be faithful. It helps to follow a plan of life, make a daily examination of conscience to pin point weak areas and work against them.
Sensuality: be vigilant and keep fighting. Flee immediately from the occasions of sin and be especially careful with what you look at.
The sanguine temperament - “Let’s do things the fun way.”
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