Choleric Temperament

Choleric Temperament – What Does It Entail?

Been told that you’re choleric? It could be an entrancing observation. Choleric temper is among the four main personalities ancient doctors used to categorize health conditions as well as individuals. Therefore, what does it implicate to be a choleric?

The concept of temperaments was postulated by the Greek philosopher and doctor, Hippocrates. It correlates with the popular notion of the humors. The central underlying thought is that one’s personality and general health are a confluence of humors within the body. Through the temperaments, people’s unique balance of the humors is manifested in their traits.

Hippocrates’s doctrine concerning the temperaments is among the most ancient groupings of human personality dating back to over 2400 years ago. There exist other models on human personalities, but in this article, we shall delve into the four temperaments paying special attention to choleric one.

An Overview of the 4 Temperaments

The concept of the 4 personalities is not very popular in the modern era. They comprise sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic. They are still highly relevant, especially in psychology. Psychologists hold that all humans embody all the temperaments, albeit in different intensities. One of them is usually superior and another inferior. The remaining two are usually of less significance.

An In-Depth View of Choleric Temperament

Choleric individuals are viewed as extroverts, though in a headship-oriented manner. They exercise a lot of logic and are factual.

Moreover, they are well-suited to become team leaders because they exhibit the following qualities:

  • Prideful
  • Effective in influencing others
  • Independent
  • Inborn leaders

They typically use authoritative words, even while attempting to sound friendly. Whenever they speak, they do it with such persuasion that makes them popular leaders. However, one issue with choleric individuals is that they don’t seem to be impacted by criticism. If you criticize or try to oppose them, they will respond with confrontation and even attempt to dominate you. They view criticism as a threat or an insult.

In most cases, they try to win arguments via loudness and threats. Fascinatingly, cholerics seem to thrive in atmospheres where their influence or control is challenged. During such times, they usually rise to the occasion and carry the day.

Upon thinking about a choleric character, your initial thought could be that they are bullies. But it is far from the truth. Not everyone with a choleric temper is a bully. Instead, they desire to coexist with all other people peacefully. Oprah Winfrey is an illustration of that. She’s a highly successful entrepreneur who fought tooth and nail for her accomplishment and remained successful due to her industriousness, determination, independence, as well as confidence in herself.

Cholerics do not view competition as bullying. They are strongly driven to justify themselves in addition to challenging anybody they deem as an antagonist. To them, attesting themselves right is often more desirable than arriving at the truth. Upon experiencing a loss, they greatly feel the pain and resolve to go in harder next time.

Choleric people might sometimes lie or employ dubious tactics to gain victory. However, it doesn’t represent all of them, of course. Furthermore, these people have a general dislike for authority, although they gravitate towards being demanding for themselves. It is always their desire to be in control and feel that they’re better than everybody else in their area of competency.


Individuals with choleric temperament exhibit a lot of pride. As stated earlier, they do not like admitting to their flaws and always insist that they’re correct. A choleric person can prove to be a nice friend if you demonstrate your support to them. More often, they would reciprocate the support.

Nevertheless, trying to argue with a choleric can only make them defensive and challenge you in a domineering manner. They immensely enjoy the challenge. One might get personal and attempt an underhand tactic or a childish maneuver to retaliate against you. But it is usually uncommon.


The choleric bullies tend to humiliate persons they do not like to feel dominant and show the victims that they are in control. Upon committing a blunder, a choleric individual is likely to place the blame on another party if possible. They do it primarily to safeguard their fragile egos.

Additionally, choleric individuals are highly judgmental, and they are fond of defining others. However, they hate being subjected to the same. They practice a double standard crafted to fit them.

One critical fact to note is that the account stated above only applies to choleric people at the end of the spectrum. Most of them do not exhibit such behavior. Just like other extroverted persons, choleric people enjoy obtaining social satisfaction as they derive energy from their interactions with other persons. They exhibit a robust desire to become social, speak out their beliefs, views, and to be visible.

Through conversations or arguments, some people might try to tone it down so as not to offend another person. However, a choleric does not sugarcoat. They say it as it is. They usually give direct opinions without any consideration of what others might feel or think. It is their strongly held belief that anything less isn’t honest.

They Are Born to Be Problem Solvers

Naturally, cholerics tend to be excellent at resolving issues. They prefer a straightforward detail-oriented approach. Most of them are visionary people who get bored when they do not encounter hurdles. They will usually work to see an objective to its full realization. They are excellent leaders who enjoy being in control and taking responsibility for the results of their projects.


Cholerics do not like showcasing their fears, even when their physical response speaks the opposite. Just like admitting to mistakes, they can only admit their worries if there is a potential reward. A choleric will always act fearless, even when they are secretly scared. It is difficult to either certify or disprove a choleric individual’s fear.

Seeming Indifference to Criticism

Upon being offended, cholerics often seem not to be bothered by the criticism. One might think that they have thick skin due to their apparent indifference to criticism. Often, they might ridicule your reproach and attempt to make you feel ashamed of deploring them. They never showcase their hurt even when they are secretly unsettled.

Choleric People in the Past

In ancient times, cholerics were tribe leaders. They directed a team during hunting expeditions and setting up fires. Many a time, they competed against other tribe leaders to determine who was better. What’s more, they never cared who got offended in the process. In the contemporary age, these include team skippers, leaders, administrators, politicians, etc.

Does It Meet Your Description?

Ever been referred to as an individual who exhibits choleric behavior? Does the explanation above suit you? Remember that the other humors balance the choleric temperament. Nobody can exclusively exhibit this temperament. Furthermore, it is important to note that the humors do not represent how your body functions.

Nevertheless, there exists some proof of this ancient categorization of tempers. Many moms claim that their stubborn or attention-seeking babies matured into adults embodying a strong personality. In contrast, calmer kids carried this trait into adulthood. This discussion concerning temperaments provides a basis through which the vital personality types can be understood.

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the different temperaments does not necessarily lead to a permanent change in behaviors. However, it can raise various questions. Here are the commonly asked questions we get from people:

Can I Alter My Temperament?

Scientists claim that an individual’s main temperament is innate. You are born with it. Nevertheless, it is possible to strike a balance in your temperaments by adopting strategies such as altering your diet or changing your surroundings. A more effective method would be to seek an appointment with a counselor or an established therapist.

Though they will not attempt to change your personality, they will help you attain a better understanding of your thought processes and feelings. You will also gain assistance on how you can adapt your character to aid you in leading a joyful and fruitful life. Therapy options include hiring a counselor online.

Can the Myers-Briggs Test Determine My Temper?

The Myers-Briggs test classifies individuals concerning how they make choices, view the world, take in info, and relate with the external environment. Therefore, the test cannot help you know your temperament.

What Makes Up Choleric Personality?

An individual with a choleric nature is determined and extroverted. These qualities make many of them appear like inborn leaders. Conversely, they can lose their temper easily and seem indifferent to criticisms. Also, they tend to use condescending tones to establish superiority.

What Are the Weak Sides of a Choleric?

Cholerics are zealous individuals. Still, they’re hot-tempered, and it can easily get them into stressful circumstances.

Summing Up

Cholerics use authoritative words, even while attempting to sound friendly. Although they’re extroverts, they don’t seem to be affected by criticism. If you criticize a choleric, they will respond with confrontation and attempt to dominate you. Other main attributes include:

  • Overbearing and tending to humiliate persons they do not like as a way of feeling dominant
  • Prideful and do not like admitting to their flaws and always insist that they’re correct
  • Good problem solvers and prefer a straightforward detail-oriented approach to resolve an issue

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Kate Skurat

Kate Skurat

Licensed Mental Health Counselor | Washington, United States

Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach. Read more