The word temperament suggests emotion to most people. Some would even insist that temperament is emotion. When we describe a person as having a strong temperament, we mean someone who is forceful, determined, emotional, or maybe even angry. All of these word descriptors are emotions that we are identifying as a person’s temperament. Certainly, we identify a person’s dominant emotions as their temperament’s strengths. That is because we can see the emotion more readily than we can see their inner urges or strengths. However, we are not altogether right because the emotion with which we power our strengths is not the same thing as our strengths. No. Emotions drive our strengths.
We Have a “Correct Mixture” of Strengths
The meaning of the Latin word temperamentum suggests temperament is a “correct mixture,” adding a new thought to our definition of temperament. The Latin definition is correct. Each of us is given a correct mixture of strengths.
Wrong Emotion or Wrong Amount of the Right Emotion Creates Weakness
Temperament is our strengths. Temperament is not the emotions that energize them. To energize is emotion’s role in temperament. It is, therefore, important to know what strengths we have and to use the correct emotion to drive each strength intelligently. We can disturb our correct mixture by using negative or inappropriately matched emotions. Or, we can employ the wrong amount of emotion. The result? We live in self-made weaknesses.
Each of Us Is a Different Mixture
Here’s another mixture we find in temperament. When Briggs (the mother) and Myers (the daughter) created the first temperament questionnaire, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), they sought to find out what mixture of extroversion and introversion we have. They sought as well to determine the mixture for each of the other three areas of personality they were examining: sensing and intuition, thinking and feeling, and the two lifestyles (J and P). The results are seen in the pairs of numbers we have for each of the four categories after completing a temperament assessment.
For the extrovert/introvert category, we may have almost even numbers. While for sensing and intuition, the numbers may widely diverge. These numbers indicate the mixture of each variant we have in our temperament. All of this is valuable information about who we are. We are not fully extroverted or fully introverted. Each person is a different mixture.
What Causes the Difference in the Numbers?
So, are close numbers or divergent numbers the correct mixture? What causes the mixture to be close or divergent is not our preferences. It is the result of the degree to which emotions drive each of them under each circumstance. In some people, the driving force behind their preferences is strong, and in others it is weaker. It can also be a damaging emotion or a helpful one that is driving the strength of, say, supervision.
There Is No “Right” or “Wrong” Mixture
Whatever the mixture or numbers, it is a “correct mixture” because the mixture forms the temperament of the person and stamps them with their own wonderful uniqueness. However, we can modify our numbers if we choose for various reasons, such as to relate to someone more effectively. This is why we see people change somewhat as they age or when they are under new circumstances.
Can We Change Our Temperament?
We can never change our letter from a dominant E to a dominant I or from dominant S to dominant N, for example, because our temperament remains hard-wired. But we can act toward an extrovert as an extrovert, even if we are introverted. This accommodation is something we can become more adept at doing through practice. It is a temporary adjustment that enables us to be all things to all people.
How Your Emotions Drive You Makes You Unique
In the next several articles, we will examine how some emotions drive the strengths represented by each letter. The letters will be E or I, S or N, T or F, and J or P. You will need your four-letter profile from completing the InnerKinetics Temperament Key. Focusing on your letters and understanding the contrasting letter in each category will give you the best introduction to understanding the mixture that is uniquely you.
Viewing how some emotions drive each of the eight energy centers (letters) and then viewing the emotions that form the core of each temperament will add yet more information and understanding to the complex world of your innerkinetics. It’s your inner world and the interaction of your emotions that shape your innerkinetics positively or negatively.
Each of the letters report, as I have indicated, on energy centers in our lives. Think of each of your letters that way. Our inner life (or life itself for that matter) is more than energy. But it must have energy to motivate and move it forward. Emotion is a form of energy. Emotion drives each of the eight preferences to lead us in the direction our lives are intended to go.
Jacob’s Example of How Emotion Drives Our Energy Centers
Many people who come to me are worried about the feelings that seem to control them. For example, Jacob’s problem was a persistent puzzle to him.
“Why can’t I make decisions?” he asked. “People tell me I am a procrastinator because I have to think about the decision and let it settle overnight before I can bring myself to decide. I keep thinking the right decision is obvious. But I hesitate and think of how it affects others and how I feel about it. and, honestly, it’s a real struggle to decide. Am I a procrastinator? Or what is this? Am I somehow twisted or something?”
Emotion drives us. And it was driving Jacob. He was tormented by its interference in his life. His experience is normal for all Fs. That piece of information was a relief to Jacob. When he understood emotion’s role in what appeared to be procrastination, he realized his emotions were also aids in making better decisions. And it was that information that showed him how he might be more intelligently emotional.
My hope is that this book will lead you, as its content has led many others, to be intelligently emotional. If it helps you to develop the intelligent use of your emotions and a rewarding lifestyle, my labor will not have been in vain. You can access it HERE. If you are subscribed to our weekly updates, our next issue will provide a link to purchase it with a 15% discount and free shipping.
Lean into the whole truth. Discover the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are. Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth. INNERKINETICS, Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness, is a great resource.
Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide that help, too. If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation. An InnerKinetics consultant will call you to answer questions and schedule your meeting. Schedule an Initial Consultation. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.