When you’re working with the mindand people’s beliefs, whichhypnotherapy does, you’re workingwith personalities.
Personality is one of thosefundamental things and no amount ofhypnosis is going to change that.
If you have, say, a sanguinepersonality, then you aren’t going tobe able to change to a cholerictemperament, even if you want to, orvice versa.
Each personality type has itsstrengths and each has itsweaknesses.
No one personality type is better thananother, although some types aresuited to certain jobs, roles andpositions than others.
Some people are purely one sort ofpersonality type, while others are amixture of two (or even more!), withthe proportions of the types varyingfrom individual to individual.
It’s unclear how people end up withtheir unique personality type.
Numerous theories have been putforward in the past, withastrology, body chemistry (both usingthe old theory of humours and thenew theory of brain chemistry), birthorder and genetics all beingsuggested as playing a role.
It’s all a bit of a mystery how we endup with our personalities and nobodyreally knows exactly what causes oneperson to have a phlegmatictemperament and another person tohave a melancholic temperament.
You can get siblings – twins, even –with totally different personality typesfrom each other and from theirparents, so who knows?
Different sets of labels have been puton the different types. The traditionallabels were coined in the MiddleAges or in the Renaissance, andwere based on the theory of the fourhumours.
According to this theory (which isn’theld to these days – hormones areheld responsible instead), the fourbasic humours or bodily fluids wereblood, bile, black bile and phlegm.
Whichever predominated in yourbody gave you yourpersonality, giving us the namessanguine, choleric, melancholicand phlegmatic respectively.
These names aren’t veryappealing, so others have beencoined.
One popular one uses animals tosymbolise the different types, such asa lion for the choleric personality, abeaver for the melancholic, anotter for the sanguine and a goldenretriever for the phlegmatic.
Under the four elementsclassification, sanguinecorresponds to air, choleric to fire,melancholic to water andphlegmatic to earth.
Oddly enough, our language seemsto support the use of the fourelements to describe personalities –both the good and the bad side.
We instinctively call melancholicpeople a wet mess or a puddle ofemotion on their bad days, butreflective on their good days.
Similarly, a sanguine person can bean airhead, or they can be bubbly andbreezy.
Phlegmatics are rock-solid or they arestubborn as bricks. Cholerics arehot-tempered and fiery, or they areardent.
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