A Perfect Melancholy’s Guide to Living with a Popular Sanguine

Updated on November 29, 2016

I am a Perfect Melancholy. My husband is a Popular Sanguine. What happens when these two opposing personalities come to live together? Well, it could be like a cat and a dog in the same cage. Fortunately, there are ways for Popular Sanguines and Perfect Melancholies to happily live together in spite of their differences.

First let me show you a brief summary of our personality traits based on Florence Littauer’s Personality Profile in the book "Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself". Divided into two categories - Strengths and Weaknesses - the Personality Profile will give you a quick glance at our temperaments.

My Personality Profile - Strengths

Popular Sanguine
Powerful Choleric
Perfect Melancholy
Peaceful Phlegmatic
 
persuasive
analytical
controlled
 
strong-willed
respectful
friendly
 
self-reliant
planner
consistent
 
 
scheduled
mediator
 
 
orderly
tolerant
 
 
detailed
 
 
 
idealistic
 
 
 
deep
 
 
 
loyal
 
 
 
chartmaker
 
 
 
perfectionist
 
 
 
behaved
 

My Personality Profile - Weaknesses

Popular Sanguine
Powerful Choleric
Perfect Melancholy
Peaceful Phlegmatic
 
bossy
fussy
reticent
 
unsympathetic
unpopular
nonchalant
 
impatient
hard to please
reluctant
 
domineering
pessimistic
 
 
manipulative
alienated
 
 
 
withdrawn
 
 
 
too sensitive
 
 
 
introvert
 
 
 
skeptical
 
 
 
loner
 
 
 
suspicious
 
 
 
critical
 

My Husband's Personality Profile - Strengths

Popular Sanguine
Powerful Choleric
Perfect Melancholy
Peaceful Phlegmatic
playful
 
considerate
adaptable
sociable
 
sensitive
obliging
refreshing
 
loyal
dry humor
promoter
 
 
pleasant
spontaneous
 
 
 
funny
 
 
 
delightful
 
 
 
cheerful
 
 
 
inspiring
 
 
 
mixes easily
 
 
 
talker
 
 
 
cute
 
 
 
bouncy
 
 
 

My Husband's Personality Profile - Weaknesses

Popular Sanguine
Powerful Choleric
Perfect Melancholy
Peaceful Phlegmatic
undisciplined
 
bashful
reticent
forgetful
 
insecure
hesitant
unpredictable
 
moody
timid
permissive
 
 
slow
angered easily
 
 
lazy
naive
 
 
sluggish
wants credit
 
 
 
disorganized
 
 
 
inconsistent
 
 
 
restless
 
 
 
changeable
 
 
 

Looking at our personality profiles, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how different we must be from each other. My dominant temperament is Perfect Melancholy while my husband's is Popular Sanguine. ("Perfect" Melancholy because people with this temperament tend to be perfectionists with high standards. "Popular" Sanguine because people with this temperament tend to be loved by people due to their playful easygoing nature.) These personalities are complete opposites of each other. But for now, let’s just tackle our three major differences and how I deal with them.

Princeton and I are like cat and dog.
Princeton and I are like cat and dog.

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Difference #1:

  • Popular Sanguine is an extrovert, a people-person who gets energized socializing with others in a crowd.
  • Perfect Melancholy is an introvert, a loner who recharges the spirit by spending quiet time with the self.

Oh, you have no idea how much trouble this was during the early stages of our relationship. Princeton loves going out and socializing with a lot of friends, and I prefer staying home and having a deep and meaningful conversation with just him. I used to get hurt because he seemed to prefer spending time with others rather than spending time with me, but I’ve since learned to not take his personality personally. He used to get annoyed because he thought I didn’t want him to have fun, but he’s learned to accept that our ideas of “fun” aren’t always the same.

The thing with Popular Sanguines is that their bubbly personalities and natural charisma draw people to them, and thus they make a lot of friends and get invited to a lot (and I mean a lot) of parties and social events. So where does this leave me, the Perfect Melancholy?

I have three choices: (1) Tie him up so he can’t go out, (2) Force myself to attend the parties with him and come home feeling physically and emotionally drained afterwards (Even if I really enjoy the party, being in a crowd zaps me of energy.) or (3) Let him attend the parties by himself and spend a nice relaxing alone time at home reading manga, watching Japanese shows or playing with my cats. I tend to choose the third option more often because it’s a WIN/WIN solution although I do attend his parties with him once in a while when I feel up to it (so his friends and relatives won't begin to think I'm just an imaginary wife he's dreamed up).

Opposites attract.
Opposites attract.

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Difference #2:

  • Popular Sanguine seeks the excitement of constant change and spur-of-the-moment ideas.
  • Perfect Melancholy finds refuge in routines and premeditated schedules.

To a Perfect Melancholy who gets a feeling of security from a planned, orderly and predictable life, Popular Sanguine’s lack of planning and foresight can knock things off balance. To illustrate, I like knowing ahead of time what I'm going to do, where I'm going to go, and why. It gives me a sense of direction and purpose. So I often ask my husband, "What are we going to do this weekend?" To which the reply is more often than not, "I don't know yet."

So I initiate the plan making myself. Then when the weekend comes, Princeton suddenly announces, "I have to go to the office and work today", totally messing up our plans! That is just one example of how a Popular Sanguine tends to do things spontaneously. A plan to them is never set in stone – it can still change at the last moment. The excuse is always along the lines of "something came up". A Perfect Melancholy would have refused that “something that came up” when he has already committed to other plans!

My choices of action: (1) Whip him into shape until he learns to chart out his life or (2) Let him be and challenge my ability to be flexible. It may seem strange to some, but I've found the second option to be far less stressful. I do make suggestions as to how he can be more organized and systematic, but I have decided to not have a cardiac arrest when he doesn't follow my suggestions.

Popular sanguine is cute and playful.
Popular sanguine is cute and playful.

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Difference #3:

  • Popular Sanguine is bouncy, loud and playful.
  • Perfect Melancholy is deep, quiet and intense.

True to Perfect Melancholy form, I tend to take life seriously. I introspect a lot and enjoy analyzing the deeper matters of life. My Popular Sanguine husband is the bubbly, lively type – quite the opposite of “serious”. According to him, thinking either gives him a headache or makes him sleepy.

Although there are times when I wish he would take things more seriously, this difference isn't really much of an issue. In fact, I like that Princeton makes me laugh with his crazy antics and lightens up my intensity. I, on the other hand, challenge him to think about the important things in life. In short, this is one aspect where we complement each other. Can you imagine what it would be like if we both took life too seriously? Or if both of us didn't take life seriously enough? Either way, the outcome wouldn't be too good.

So I guess it's good to be different sometimes. :)

A Little Bit of Advice

No two people have exactly the same personality traits; each person has his own blend of Popular Sanguine, Powerful Choleric, Perfect Melancholy, and Peaceful Phlegmatic. Likewise, each personality is different with its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and no personality is superior to the other.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of seeing these personality differences between people as problems, but when you really think about it, being different isn't necessarily bad. So my last bit of advice is: Let us respect each other's differences. In a relationship, think of it as getting two flavors of ice cream in one cone.

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