• Speed: Phlegmatics do not react quickly. While their slow temperament helps them to plan out projects with patience, their calm and slow planning may never leave the planning stage. Taking action in the face of the challenge requires a heroic effort from the phlegmatic.
  • Intensity: This humor does not have intense reactions, which helps them to be serene in the face of challenge, but hurts them when battling with the challenge. Because they do not have the sociability of the sanguine, phlegmatics may seem rigid or cold in conversation. Without the intensity of the choleric or the sanguine, phlegmatics may compare themselves with others more than what's good for them, which often leads to self-pity and a lack of self-confidence.
  • Duration: This temperament does not have enduring reactions. When insulted or injured, they can brush it off without a second thought. Although they are dutiful because emotions tend not to interrupt their thinking process, they may see a problem, make a mental note, and forget about it because the impression does not last long.

Advice for Tempering

  • Virtues to seek
    • Speed: promptness, punctuality, spontaneity, decisiveness, ardor
    • Intensity: zeal, fervor, sympathy, confidence, magnanimity, optimism, bravery, generosity, amiability, sociability, affection
    • Duration: detachment, abandonment, usefulness
  • Vices to avoid
    • Speed: slowness, indecision, procrastination, sloth, fearfulness
    • Intensity: apathy, languor, lethargy, pusillanimity, complaining, stiffness, rigidity
    • Duration: pessimism, second-guessing, worrying, presumption, despair
  • Dominant Passions to Bridle
    • Withdrawal
    • Despair
    • Fear
  • Dormant Passions to Spur
    • Desire
    • Hope
    • Daring

Examples from Western Literature