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TALK EASY, LISTEN HARD
Real Communication for Two Really Different People
By Nancy Sebastian Meyer
Copyright © 2006
Nancy Sebastian Meyer
All right reserved.
Sally Sanguine felt like she
would burst if Steve didn't
get home from work soon so
she could shore her amazing day. Just then she heard the garage
door begin its ascent. Racing through the kitchen and into the
garage, she scooted out to his car and welcomed Steve with an
endless string of sentences that didn't stop even as he walked into
the house and down the hallway to their bedroom. Her chatter
surrounded him as he tried to escape into their adjoining bathroom,
but Sally sprawled across the bed, propped her head in her
hands and continued regaling him with her escapades ...
Sound like anyone you know?
You might be Sanguine if:
You blurt out spontaneous, instantaneous thoughts
You keep life fresh and interesting for your family
You quickly admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness
You hardly ever hold a grudge-you just don't
remember, you live in the present
You overflow with creative ideas that can crowd out
You enjoy having fun but can sometimes seem to lack
Sanguines tend to be optimists who can drive others crazy with
their irresponsibility, lack of discipline, and incessant talking.
Wired with a need for fun, they also exhibit a desire to please and
impress those around them. How do we figure out and tame this
fun, frivolous, and sometimes frustrating personality?
Happy Sanguines can be quite charming and outgoing, great
conversationalists at social events, and good at creating excitement
and telling stories. They excel at motivating people to action, insuring
fun for everyone, and speaking with humor and a dramatic
flair. Sanguines are spontaneous, exciting, and enthusiastic-which
keeps their relationships fresh. Flexible, compromising, and delightful
could be additional descriptors. Generous to a fault, they can give
outrageously wild gifts and freely volunteer their time and
resources. In order to please you and others, they engage their
playfulness and creativity. Because they often need it themselves,
Sanguines are quick to forgive and show grace.
Sanguines are also known to be flirtatious,
superficial, and inattentive. They generally lack
plans and goals, don't follow through well, and
fail to put down roots. They can come across as
too happy or cute, tend to be poor listeners and
great interrupters, and can forget almost everything
you say-unless it was their idea.
Sanguines may be messy around the house,
poor at managing money, and easily distracted
from routine tasks. Despite these weaknesses and
failures, they still fish around for compliments-their
addiction to applause and approval can
drive family and friends crazy!
Sanguines can be so genuinely happy and
up most of the time, you definitely know when
something is wrong. Depression in a Sanguine
can be caused by a perceived lack of fun in life,
by a sense of no hope for the future, or by feeling
unloved. A troubled Sanguine often binges-overspending
calories, time, money, etc. When
Sanguines are down, they need attention,
encouragement, and personal approval.
If you have Sanguine personality tendencies, you need to share
your frustrations with your partner or someone you trust-even
the simple act of talking through problems and knowing someone
else cares helps tremendously.
If your partner is Sanguine, remember they need you to help
them think through, and out of, the mess-and believe me, we
Sanguines dive right off into the deep end sometimes, even if we
don't know how to swim! If you're like my husband, you rationalize
that you've been the rescuer enough times, and now your partner
needs to learn responsibility the hard way. Just be sure to incorporate
some grace into how you respond!
And sometimes the Sanguine can become depressed for no reason
that makes sense to you. In their moment of panic, the best advice
in the world (worldly advice, that is) comes in the form of four little
magic words, uttered in a soothing tone: "It'll be okay, honey." And
spiritually, praying and praising God with your Sanguine will help
bring back that joyful side again.
Sanguines need fun, adventure, and people! If you build a little
fun into the day and plan times of recreation together you will be
highly rewarded. They like to be surprised and they love to feel
cherished with words of affirmation and admiration.
Remember that a Sanguine enjoys being spontaneous-needs
to be spontaneous. A friend of mine with several children and a
detailed calendar loaded with activities for every family member
grumbled to me that her husband (the Sanguine) kept complaining
because she "never wanted to do anything." She told him she'd be
delighted to go on a date with him if they could put it on the calendar
ahead of time, but he argued that putting it on the calendar
would take all of the fun and excitement out of it. They resolved
their problem by setting aside one "date event" every two weeks.
They would alternate planning the event for each other. This meant
when the husband had the opportunity to surprise and delight his
wife, she could at least plan on the day and time.
Realize that Sanguines genuinely need umpteen times more
verbal affirmation and encouragement than any other personality
type. The compliments don't even need to be specific-just start
praising and watch what happens. Override your natural impulse
to wait until the person is fixed in every area and compliment what
you can now! Since Sanguines thrive on praise, one positive word
can motivate great things while a critical word can take the wind
out of their sails. Try being positive about anything they are doing
well, some inner quality you appreciate, or even something as trivial
as how they look.
A helpful tip: Starting with the Sanguine strengths we've
looked at, begin a list of your partner's general qualities and add
specific examples. This list can serve as a reminder of the things you
can be thankful for and use as compliments. Update it often, and
use it even when you don't feel like praise is deserved. Remember
Paul's words in Philippians 4:8: "Whatever is true, whatever is
noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever
is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think
about such things."
When combined with Choleric tendencies:
* Is an optimistic, outspoken, and influencing leader
* Recharges and is motivated by people
* Has the highest energy of all personality combinations
When combined with Phlegmatic tendencies:
* Is loved by everyone
* Is companionable and fun to be around
* Is easygoing, witty, and laid-back
Gotta Have It!
* To feel loved
* Physical affection
* Applause and approval for good deeds
* Acceptance "as is"
* Frequent verbal affirmation
* Some fun in daily experiences
* Hope-the anticipation that everything will be okay
* Someone with whom to talk out problems
* Accountability for self-discipline
* Help with organization and maintenance
* Help with goal setting and follow-through
The God Factor
Because God reconciled the world to Himself through the death
of His Son, the Sanguine can experience absolute and eternal
acceptance and approval by God as His dearly loved child. Nothing
we do can make God love us more and nothing we do can make
God love us less than He does at this very moment-because His
love is unconditional. We are pleasing to Him just because we are
His. This knowledge has the power to free the Sanguine from the
fear of rejection and brings about a desire to please God no matter
what others think.
As the Sanguine learns to be still and experience a personal
relationship with God (Psalm 46:10), noticeable behavioral
changes occur. A mature Sanguine is motivated by love for God
(2 Corinthians 5:14), is focused on the interests of others
(Philippians 2:3-4), displays a more quiet and gentle spirit (Isaiah
32:17), becomes intentionally disciplined (Hebrews 12:11), stays
the course (James 1:4), and learns to guard his or her tongue
In addition to fortifying areas of weakness, God also brings out
natural strengths He can use in His Kingdom work. A look at the
lists of spiritual gifts suggests God might use Sanguines as teachers,
preachers, evangelists, and encouragers (Romans
12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31; and Ephesians
4:11). Their magnetic personality, entertaining
stories, motivational delivery, enthusiasm, and
talkativeness qualifies them as the mouthpiece of
the Church-when living under the control of the
Other godly strengths naturally wired into
this personality include joy and positive thinking
(Philippians 4:4, 8). In the image of the Creator of
the universe, the Sanguine is inventive and
humorous-after all, God designed hyenas,
anteaters, and other strange but wonderful living
The Sanguine reflects several aspects of God we would do well
to observe and work out in our own lives. Because the Sanguine
regularly makes mistakes, they are good at asking for forgiveness.
Sanguines need personal acceptance-remember to praise personal
qualities, not just actions. Personal acceptance can also be
a tall order when your Sanguine is telling tall tales-they are
known for exaggeration.
When Sanguines get excited about projects that make you
wonder how they're going to pull everything off, they'll probably
forget most of what comes out of their mouth by tomorrow-especially
the really weird ideas. Be patient.
Much of the Sanguine talk is a need to "think out loud." Voicing
thoughts gets them into the open where they can be processed.
Having an audience motivates the Sanguine to keep on task.
Another aspect that motivates a Sanguine tongue is the desire
to entertain and seek applause. Sanguines are memorable speakers
and teachers due to their clever stories and crazy humor, as long as
they work on organization and follow-through. They communicate
well to a class of many types of learners, because they almost automatically
say the same thing several times-each time in a different
way. This quality drives a Choleric partner crazy, because they
want the bottom line-once!
A conversation between two Sanguines can be a lively, back-and-forth
affair. This is not necessarily so with another partner.
Melancholies can feel like they are being driven nuts with the
seemingly incessant, disconnected, and meaningless chatter!
Although it may be a difficult task, when dealing with a
Sanguine, be attentive and don't tune them out. Before you
become too frustrated, affirm the truth that's been spoken and ask
to hear more later.
When you want to keep a Sanguine's attention, give colorful
details and when possible put what you want to say into a story or
illustration approach. If you need to communicate something very
important that needs to be remembered, try writing it down and
putting the note or list in an obvious place where the Sanguine
can't miss it.
You can gauge a Sanguine's mood by
the flow and pitch of their words. When
excited or nervous, words come out in a
torrent. Did you ever witness a nervous
Sanguine embarrassing themselves and
everyone around? Feelings of insecurity
may cause the Sanguine to talk more than
usual, too much, and often inappropriately
at a time when they should definitely put a
lid on it!
Consider a potential argument between
partners. The Sanguine will tend to talk too
much and say things that may be regretted
later, and the partner with the different
personality may bottle up their frustrations without saying a word
Identifying ways of dealing with conflict can help us become mot
aware of our need for understanding and balance. If the Sanguine
can learn to put a rein on their tongue and give the other person
time to collect and process thoughts before sharing, thoughtful
communication can take place.
General Communication Characteristics of a Sanguine:
* Uses dramatic facial expression
* Uses large, flamboyant gestures
* Often comes across as loud and boisterous
* Laughs easily and loudly
* Talks to entertain
* Talks to think through an idea-brainstorm
* Talks to anyone, anywhere, anytime
* Tells stories about their own disasters
* Talks incessantly when very upset, happy, or insecure
Experiencing a Sanguine Man
"Honey!" Your husband's enthusiastic voice catches you by
surprise in the middle of a Friday afternoon.
"I'm in the laundry room," you call, wondering why he's home
You hear quick footsteps coming toward you, and then, "Close
your eyes. I have a surprise for you." You play along, praying this
surprise won't upset the new family budget you just worked out.
"Let me lead you outside." After a bumpy walk out to the front
walkway, he stands behind you, making sure your eyes are still
covered. Theatrically he whispers in your ear, "You (kiss, kiss) are the
(kiss, kiss) proud owner (kiss, kiss) of-are you ready? (kiss, kiss)"
With a flourish, he pulls your hands away from your eyes. You
are now staring at a shiny, candy apple red convertible-with the
top down, of course.
"Don't you just love it? I named it 'Cherry,'" he exclaims as he
walks up and down the length of the sporty car, describing every
attribute. He talks up its benefits like a professional salesman. He
even promises to forego his weekly coffee money to contribute to
its monthly payments. "And I will personally see to its care and
maintenance so it always looks this beautiful."
You resist the urge to glance toward his ever-muddy, rusty
truck. Should you remind him his oil was due to be changed two
weeks ago? Maybe this isn't a good time.
He escorts you to the passenger side of the car and chivalrously
holds open the door. "Allow me to take you for a drive, milady."
Closing your door, he saunters to the driver's side, takes the wheel,
and whisks you into the sunset.
Fifteen minutes later your husband wheels back into the driveway.
As he puts the car in Park, he turns to you in anticipation.
"Well, honey, what do you think?" Your Sanguine husband's self-esteem
hangs in the balance.
You realize that while you can't approve his gift, you do need
to approve him. So you grin and say, "Nobody sweeps me off my
feet like you do, dear. I appreciate your generous heart, your
spontaneity, and your desire to make my life fun." You pat the
dashboard of the car. "I haven't had this much fun on a car ride for
as long as I can remember." You smile tenderly at him. "I love you."
He grins back rather sheepishly and says, "Guess I am a bit
impulsive. Would it help if I told you the dealership lent it to me
for a test drive-we don't have to buy it."
You breathe a sigh of relief. "You are impulsive, dear, but that's
one of the things that keeps our marriage exciting. Maybe we
should take the car back until we can afford a new one-and then
I'd love to go along to pick it out."
"When I get back, can ! take you out for dinner?" He strikes a
gallant pose as he awaits your reply.
"Why I'd be delighted to go out to eat with my favorite person
in all the world."
What makes my Sanguine guy tick?
A man with a strong Sanguine personality may seem like he's
never really grown up. He enjoys having fun and impressing those
around him. He's most likely a ham in front of the camera. And he's
the best (and most lengthy) storyteller you've ever met!
If you look back at the past week or so and analyze your guy's
behavior, you may find that the times when he was most productive
were when an element of fun was present in those situations.
Likewise, when a project was all grunt work with no potential
for play, it probably discouraged him and drained his energy and
The Sanguine often works as a salesman, performer, politician, or
in some other up-front, impressive, influential role. If this person can
just keep organized and follow up on details, he will be an amazing
success story. On the flip side, obligations and responsibilities-especially
dull, repetitive work-can overwhelm this spontaneous,
fun-loving guy. A word to the wise woman: he is highly motivated
by your compliments, praise, and affirmation. He is also motivated by
variety and spontaneity in the things you do together!
Stress relief for a male Sanguine can take many shapes. He
might enjoy hanging out with the boys. He might be recharged by
shopping for tools, sports equipment, or clothes. He might even use
food, drink, and dessert to cheer up and reward himself. Watch out
for binges-as an all-or-nothing type person, he's not known for
Excerpted from TALK EASY, LISTEN HARD
by Nancy Sebastian Meyer
Copyright © 2006 by Nancy Sebastian Meyer.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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