Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sanguine vs. Melancholy

Okay, Beth Moore is always referring to herself and her grandson as "sanguines". Based on what she described as a sanguine, I thought I was one, too, but when someone suggested this week that my daughter, Chloe, who's much quieter and sweeter than me had a bit of a sanguine personality, I decided to look on and find out what a sanguine really is. According to the definition I got and I'm going on memory here, a sanguine is "optimistically enthusiastic, hopeful or confident". Some synonyms are "enthusiastic, buoyant, animated, lively, spirited." Okay, so my depression disqualifies me, but when I'm feeling good I am VERY enthusiastic! I have to temper it a little bit to keep people from being uncomfortable. That's how enthusiastic I am! My friend is right, though, my daughter Chloe is a sanguine. The only objection I have is "a bit" of a sanguine personality?! HELLO! Are you stinkin' kiddin' me!!!! She's a complete sanguine! I always joked that while with my older daughter the sky is always falling, if the sky really were falling, Chloe would look up and say, "Wow, Mommy! The skies so pretty when it's this close to us!" Now I have one word to describe her, sanguine. She always has a smile on her face. She's almost always happy (we all have our moments. Give her a break.). According to my mom I used to be just like her, however I have "friends" who think my enthusiasm is only covering up who I really am. They think I'm really what they call melancholy. The only time I'm melancholy is when I'm depressed. If I go more than an hour without laughing, my closer friends know to worry, because I'm probably having an episode. And especially if I'm quiet. Chloe's an introvert, so she likes to spend time alone, while I'm a little more of an extrovert. It's really difficult to be an extrovert when most people don't like you, but I am. And it's also really difficult to be an extrovert when people scare you, because they've hurt you so many times! Like my "friend" that basically told me that the only part of my personality that I like is a fraud. He also happens to be the leader of Celebrate Recovery. I'm definitely not making Celebrate Recovery a priority anymore. Most of the time I have nobody there who wants to talk to me anyway. My only really good friend doesn't go, because it's at a really inconvenient time for her and her family. I have another pretty good friend who goes there, but I'll see her other places, like the Hope Center. Anyway, my point about my daughter being an introvert is that it tends to make a little quieter than me. But apparently, I just need to shut up and stop being so excited about life. I'm supposed to be depressed. That's my true personality. Please God, tell me it aint so!

I do remember my mom telling me when I was older that she had to humble me because I had one of those personalities that made me think I was better than other people! Um, I think that would be the confidence thing. I think she overdid it, and melancholy was the result. I do realize that other people who get less excited than I do are sometimes very happy, even though they're just melancholy, but when I'm melancholy I'm depressed, so if that's my true personality, I really don't like myself! I'm sorry, if you really don't like my sanguine side! But that's the only side of me I like!


  1. Shellie, there is actually a book that goes with all this called "Personality Plus" by Florence Littauer. It might clarify some of what you're talking about. I haven't read the book but I enjoyed the lectures I heard on this back when Curt and I were engaged. My husband has what you were talking about - a masking personality. He is choleric/phlegmatic. Who knows how that happened?!?! (We think it has to do with his natural personality vs. his spiritual giftedness.) God has fearfully and wonderfully made him and His ways are certainly not limited to fitting in whatever boxes we have created. If this personality thing helps you understand yourself and others better, that is great. But if it discourages you, pay no mind to it. The entirety of your personality and character is not defined by it.
    Your melancholy friend Amanda

  2. And I love my melancholy friend, Amanda. I had no intention of getting into a conversation about personality types with the Pastor of the Celebrate Recovery ministries at Bridge Bible Fellowship and now I wish I hadn't! I was only talking about what a ray of sunshine my darling Chloe is and she's beautiful, too! Doesn't it make you sick! Some people have it all! However, most people seem to be offended by the me that I am when I'm happy (whoever that is). I'm way too loud and way too demonstrative! Drove my melancholy mother insane, drives my husband insane (who I'm not sure he fits in the box either)and apparently drives our CR leader insane as well. The women at my former church hated it (one of many reasons we left). I had no relationsheips for years and I barely have any at the church I'm at now, which is very hard for this extrovert. Of course, you can only imagine how afraid I am of being judged at this point! Love you, Amanda. I hope someday we can meet this side of heaven! Even as loud as I am and as quiet as I'm told you are, I think we'd get along well. I have a fairly quiet friend who's been an incredible blessing to me in my recovery from depression! In fact, I have an appointment with her this week. She's in training to be a Biblical Counselor (lay counselor) and they went over depression at her last training and she says she wants to get my perspective on what she was told. (Personally, I think she has ulterior motives: she wants to practice on me, but only because she loves me, so I'll cooperate!) She's pretty much my only close friend right now, and I think given my situation I think I need a few others, so pray I find some others that make me comfortable enough to trust (as long as they're trustworthy).