• Pamela Douglas


What do a lion, an otter, a beaver, and a golden retriever have in common? You most likely will answer that they are all animals and you would be correct.

Although , , , they have a deeper connection . . . temperament types. Temperament is a mixture of inborn traits that affect each person’s attitude, mood or behavior. These traits are based on hereditary factors.

I believe in creation and the specific creation of man (Genesis 1:26-27), and that each person is masterfully created by God. In the Bible, Psalm 139: 14 -16 states . . . “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Amazingly no one person is created exactly alike - even a pair of identical twins that may look exactly alike have about 360 genetic differences due to mutations taking place in the DNA during early fetal development.

Since DNA is so complicated with millions of patterns to create a person, we can conclude that not one person is exactly alike, including temperament, even though there may be similarities in types of temperaments.

A persons temperament is what they are born with, innate or inborn, and personality is "what arises within an individual" from characteristic patterns stemming from behavior, feelings and thoughts. "Temperament is a basic inherited style whereas personality is acquired on top of the temperament," (Prabhat, 2011, p. 1).

Temperament is the natural instinct and emotional activity of a person, and it helps us know our strengths and weaknesses. Write down each of the characteristics that describe you in 4 columns:

Column 1 are you?






purposeful; goal driven

strong willed




a “Lets do it now” type of person?

Column 2 are you?


Takes risks



Very verbal


Fun loving



Group oriented/popular

A “trust me! It’ll work out” type of person?

Column 3 are you?

Sensitive to feelings


Calm; even keeled


Enjoys routine


Avoids confrontations

Warm & relational

Gives in


A “Lets ekkp things the way they are” type of person?

Column 4 are you?











A “how was it done in the past?” type of person?

How did you do? You may have one column that you have a much higher score than the others. Or you may have 2 columns that are much higher than the others. Or you may have a blend of all 4. Everyone will be different and not one pattern is correct. Its all about the perfect you that God created!!

About 400 years before Christ, Hippocrates, the Greek physician and philosopher, created a theory that there are basically the 4 types of temperaments. He thought the 4 types of temperaments resulted from the 4 liquids of the human body:


“choler” or yellow bile

“melancholy” or black bile


He named the temperaments according to the liquids he thought were the cause.

The Sanguine, is from the rich, warm blood;

Choleric is a result of too much yellow bile;

melancholy is a result of the black bile;

and phlegmatic was a result of having thick blood called phlegm.

In other words, the lively was Sanguine;

the active, Choleric;

the black, melancholy;

and the slow, Phlegmatic.

Of course the idea that our temperament is really caused by body liquids is a little ridiculous, but the names to classify the 4 temperaments are still used today.

Now do you see where the animals might fit in to each temperament? Lets look at them again with the use of our animals.

The lion . . . usually thought of as powerful, strong, and controlling the Choleric is column 1.

The otter . . . usually thought of as constantly playing in the water and socially living in groups of other otters is column 2 or commonly known as the Sanguine.

The golden retriever . . . the most loving, loyal dog ever created (I know because I have 3 plus 3 litters of a total 36 puppies featured on my "About" page) is column 3 or commonly known as the Phlegmatic.

And last the beaver. . . . thought of for it’s orderly, detailed construction of the damn is column 4 or known as the melancholy.

Can you see the relationship now? Did you see yourself in one or more of these temperament categories? You should identify primarily with one and most likely will see yourself a little in one or two others. Everyone fits into one of these types because if everyone acted or thought the same that would be really boring, and God wouldn’t be creative. There wouldn’t be any creativity, uniqueness, or originality of people.

So what does temperament have to do with learning and dyslexia? Everything!! You learn according to your temperament, with your strengths and gifts, and your weaknesses

Everyone one was created differently having distinctive gifts and talents.

Some people are natural leaders, some are naturally gifted with people and entertaining, some are smart and artsy, and some are incredibly kind, loyal, and good listeners.

With our uniqueness, we contribute to the world. We put the world into motion with our different attitudes and gifts.

And our weaknesses refine us and can make us stronger.

Dyslexia has many strengths and gifts, as well as definite weaknesses.

When you focus on the combination of temperament and dyslexia strengths and gifts, you will discover the amazing person that God created you to be even amongst the weaknesses and struggles.

This is the foundation for the formation of my business name DELIGHTFULLY DYSLEXIC. My desire is that all dyslexics will understand their uniqueness and that they were "fearfully and wonderfully" (Psalm 139:14) made and can DELIGHT and be a peace with the truth of their beautiful individuality!!


Prabhat, S. (2011, June 13). Temperament and personality. Difference Between. http://www.differencebetween.net/language/words-language/difference-between-temperament-and-personality/


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