Personality Strengths of the Melancholy
- Deep and thoughtful
- Serious and purposeful
- Genius prone
- Talented and creative
- Artistic or musical
- Appreciative of beauty
- Sensitive to others
- As a parent, sets high standards and wants everything done right.
- As a homemaker, keeps everything in order.
- As an employee, schedule oriented and hard working.
- A list maker and keeper.
Personality Weaknesses of the Melancholy
- Easily offended
- Can get too caught up in details
- Doesn’t do well with change.
- Struggles with insecurity
- Tends towards depression
(I’ll keep the “weakness” list short because the Melancholy may tend to dwell on the negatives.)
Of all the personality types, the Melancholy probably struggles the most with a low self image because they have set such high standards for themselves and others.
I love Melancholy people! They are the most organized people I know. My office at church is torn apart every Sunday. People look for things, take things and do not put them back, leave items on my desk and on the counter, leave drawers hanging open, you name it. Don’t worry though, my Monday office assistant is a Melancholy. Upon arrival, she shakes her head with affectionate disapproval and puts everything back in order in no time. Before you start to wish that you had a Melancholy of your own, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are all this easy going. As a matter of fact, the very same Melancholy would have a completely different reaction if the room in question were her own kitchen. I live with another Melancholy. In the time that we have been sharing a house she has managed to rearrange my bathroom and my kitchen and made several not so delicate suggestions about my many “junk” drawers. As aggravating as Melancholy behavior can be to a Choleric like myself, I have learned to love and appreciate their perfectionism. If I turn a task over to a Melancholy it will be completed neatly and as close to perfect as possible. They make the best proof readers, the best typists and the best bean counters. Words count with a Melancholy. Every word that comes their way will be replayed in their mind and analyzed for meaning. Their feelings are easily hurt. They have to work hard to keep from falling into a spirit of offense. It helps the Melancholy to stop and ask “did they mean to hurt my feelings?” or “could I be reading too much into what they said?” It also helps to simply echo back comments that are potentially hurtful and make sure that you haven’t interpreted them wrong.
Those who have Melancholy people close to them should drop generalizations from their vocabulary. Words like “always” and “never” will not be appreciated. If at all possible, drop the volume of your voice and keep your tone friendly. If you are in a bad mood, take care that you do not drip your negativity on them, they will take it personal and be wondering all day what they did wrong.
A Melancholy can become easily isolated. It’s a good thing to keep in touch and give them a lot of positive feedback and personal affirmation.
Melancholy’s think all the time. When they get quiet, watch out… Don’t be afraid to ask them if everything is alright. Depending on where they are on the road to spiritual maturity, they may not tell you what is really wrong, but be persistent. If you get the feeling that they have been offended by something that you said, just say so. “Did I hurt you when I said…”
Phlegmatic and Sanguine people do not usually have too many problems getting along with the Melancholy. But the Choleric can be a bit rough on them, so they will have to try to tone it down and develop their sensitivity.
The Melancholy is usually an amazing exhorter. When they do give you complements, they mean it. They are also often prayer warriors when they turn their thoughts into prayers for the people around them. They are merciful and sensitive to others, making great confidants and counselors.
Who is the most famous Melancholy in the cartoon world? That’s easy! It’s Eeyore! (Winnie the Poo’s slow taking, self deprecating friend!)
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