Blogger Widgets Ender-Chan's Thoughts: Why You Advocate the Way You Do

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Why You Advocate the Way You Do

Tim LaHaye, a Christian counselor, organized the four temperaments (choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, and sanguine) into twelve blends. He is the author of Why You Act the Way You Do, Spirit-Controlled Temperament, and other works. Your LaHaye blend affects the way you advocate, providing the basis for how and why you do it. Disability advocacy is not limited to one temperamental pattern. All twelve can do it, just in different ways. 

LaHaye's blend system works by taking the first syllable of each temperament (with the exception of the choleric temperament in some cases) and affixing the first syllable of another temperament to create portmanteaus of the temperaments. Either "chol" or "chlor" is acceptable in reference to the choleric temperament. (I don't know why Tim LaHaye uses "chlor" rather than "chol".)

Sanguine Blends
  • SanChlor: SanChlors are the most strongly extroverted out of all of the twelve blends. The SanChlor advocate is enthusiastic, people-oriented, and an effective inspirer of people. Always ready to speak out, SanChlors form opinions quickly and tend to dive into situations and take initiative on issues before anyone else, even if said SanChlor did not think the issue through before opening their mouth. This temperament tends to justify their actions whether they are right or wrong and let their ego direct them towards their causes. They tend to waffle between causes that will earn the approval of others rather than loyally holding fast to one. Such is not the nature of disability advocacy, so the SanChlor has a tendency to give up on such things. However, when given the right information and approval from the right people, SanChlors make very effective advocates.
  • SanMel: SanMels are highly emotional people who genuinely feel the plights of others. Seeing as how an empathetic viewpoint is welcome in disability discussion, SanMels are readily welcomed. Due to their emotional nature, the SanMel tends to fall for disability glurge more than other temperaments, so SanMels need to hone their discernment in choosing their sources of inspiration. By doing so, the SanMel advocate can direct others to what is truly inspiring instead of condescending tear-jerkers. As well as being easily misled, SanMels often forget the practical side of advocacy. When a SanMel sees the joy practical things can bring, they will focus on such things. The SanMel can be dramatic in their advocacy method, sometimes leading to the publication of tirades. Though emotional expression is important to the SanMel, this temperament must consider how others will respond to their emotions on a page. SanMels bring the ever-important emotional aspects of the disability community to life, which make their role integral as advocates.
  • SanPhleg: SanPhlegs are the easiest people to like. The happy-go-lucky sanguine blended with the gracious phlegmatic creates a truly nice person. They are carefree, humorous, and are not as susceptible to the effects of stress as other temperaments. A SanPhleg has a naturally kind spirit due to their love for others would never do something with the intent of hurting another person. SanPhleg advocates are happy to break the ice and dissolve awkwardness with a joke or simply by listening. However, the SanPhleg lacks the discipline and aggressiveness that is necessary to advocate. The differing opinions of the disability community may make a SanPhleg advocate burn out before they even start due to their desire to please everyone. However, when a SanPhleg learns how to say "No" to misleading information, this temperament becomes a truly caring and warm advocate. 
Choleric Blends
  • ChlorSan: As the second most extroverted of the LaHaye blends, saying that the ChlorSan is active is an understatement. ChlorSans thrive on challenges, such as a doctor saying "It can't be done" to a patient. That is an invitation for a ChlorSan to say "Well, you just haven't found a way" and then to proceed to find a way. The ChlorSan advocate is almost fearless and a convincing debater; ChlorSans compensate for what they lack in empirical evidence with intuition, bluff and bravado. As an advocate, the ChlorSan can charm the coldest-hearted people. The ChlorSan is impatient with those who do not share their energy and enthusiasm, which leads to them stepping on the more sensitive types in an effort to reach their goal. ChlorSans as advocates tend to use other people to achieve their means because the secondary sanguine nature takes away from the resolution of a choleric. It is not uncommon for a ChlorSan to seem to have one niche one moment and another niche the next. ChlorSans are natural promoters and inspirers. Because ChlorSans are usually the catalysts for action, the disability community would move nowhere without the ChlorSan advocates' energy and motivation. 
  • ChlorMel: ChlorMels are industrious, capable people in anything they do. Their quick, analytical minds lead them to pointing out flaws in systems and objects alike. ChlorMels are dogged researchers and are drawn to the scientific and pragmatic aspects of the disability community rather than the emotional aspects. ChlorMels are forceful in what they do, which is not in and of itself negative, but the ChlorMel advocate must take care that they do not become too autocratic in their methods. ChlorMels tend to argue and debate with others to find a truth or a compromise rather than just for fun. This temperament tends to have one niche because, when a ChlorMel takes up a cause, they put careful consideration into it and slowly become more loyal to it. ChlorMel advocates do not receive the credit they deserve for improving the disability community. It is the ChlorMels' innovations that, figuratively or literally, keep the disability community alive, well, and active. 
  • ChlorPhleg: The ChlorPhleg is an organized, deliberate, and the most subdued of all the extroverts. ChlorPhlegs organize a plan and follow through on it, believing that anything can be better if it is organized. This temperament disguises jabs at ableism and other matters as humor when advocating; one can never be sure if a ChlorPhleg is kidding or ridiculing. Once a ChlorPhleg sets themselves in their ways, they do not budge. With that said, ChlorPhlegs are not easily mislead, but, when a ChlorPhleg goes in the wrong direction with advocacy, the ChlorPhleg will most likely make things right quietly and not admit to their mistake openly. This temperament also has a tendency to excessive pragmatism. ChlorPhlegs will consider a ramp a sign of acceptance, even when no one uses it. The ChlorPhleg can make an excellent advocate if they have concrete goals they can carry into fruition with their organizational skills. ChlorPhlegs provide the much-needed focus on practical issues that prevents us from fumbling around with ideas for too long.
Melancholy Blends:
  • MelSan: The MelSan combines the intellect and sensitivity of the melancholy with the communication skills of the sanguine, an almost ideal advocacy combination. MelSans are highly emotional and prone to tears whether they are due to happiness, sadness, or anger. The MelSan advocate can be unreasonably critical of others and their approaches to advocacy as well as dramatic during their diatribes. MelSans can swing from fantastically ecstatic to woeful and dejected in a heartbeat and stay that way until something else brings them back up. They feel deeply and carry their feelings for long periods of time. It would be safe to say that most disability bloggers are MelSans, though some people tend to feign the temperamental pattern. Without the MelSan advocate's eloquent writings, the disability community would dissolve as this temperament laid the foundation for such a community to exist.
  • MelChlor: MelChlors advocate, not with color and noise, but with efficiency. The MelChlor has a penchant for perfection as well as a desire for dominance. It seems that there is nothing a MelChlor cannot do due to their dedication and strong work ethic. As an advocate, the MelChlor uses their talents to defeat stereotypes and drives their cause forward using their sensitivity combined with forceful bluntness. MelChlors almost always have a goal in mind when they advocate and will go to great lengths to reach that goal. However, the MelChlor's weaknesses can nullify their talents if left unchecked. It is not uncommon for a MelChlor advocate to castigate others for viewpoints that do not match theirs and, when told they are being too forceful, a MelChlor is apt to explode. If not for the MelChlors, we would be too emotional as a community and not complete any of the tasks we dream about.
  • MelPhleg: MelPhlegs are the most introverted of the LaHaye blends. They are kind, sensitive, and not as prone to hostility as the other melancholy blends. MelPhlegs combine the perfection of the melancholy with the reliability of the phlegmatic. As an advocate, the MelPhleg displays a great deal of compassion and loyalty towards their niche. MelPhlegs tend to be outspoken about their passions and keep silent about other things.The MelPhleg tends towards feelings of fear and negativity, leading them to tell of bleak futures when this is not the case. Although the MelPhleg advocate uses their talents to defeat stereotypes, the MelPhleg tends to doubt their own abilities due to their low self-esteem. Their anxiety can get the better of them, sometimes even causing their health to deteriorate. The MelPhleg's natural desire to be conscientious can cause them to take up more and more causes and, thus, overload themselves, leading to their eventual detriment. MelPhlegs are prevalent in the online disability community, which is a good thing because the loyal, compassionate MelPhlegs set the tone for how we are to go about advocating.
Phlegmatic Blends:
  • PhlegSan: PhlegSans are congenial, patient, and mild-mannered people. The PhlegSan is never abrasive and loves their family--both their literal family and their advocate family. PhlegSans tend to follow more intense types; they take active roles if they have a good source of motivation. However, the PhlegSan is more apt to walk away from a problem than address it due to their extreme people-orientedness. PhlegSans tend to shy away from things that are "too much effort" although this temperament has a gift for attracting others that would gladly help a PhlegSan with anything they need. The PhlegSan can be too gentle and good-natured, which can lead to tolerating--and even unknowingly promoting--ableism. A PhlegSan can learn how to lead, though this temperament tends to overlook this facet of advocacy. PhlegSans might even find "advocate" too aggressive a term and deny it. However, when a PhlegSan accepts the label, they make warm, friendly advocates ready to dissolve the rampant tension disability community.
  • PhlegChlor: The PhlegChlor is the most active of the introverted blends, but the PhlegChlor "will never be a ball of fire," as Tim LaHaye says, due to the predominating phlegmatic.  PhlegChlors are objective people who tend to discuss broad topics rather than wasting their energy on emotional matters. PhlegChlors rarely lead or follow, leading them to be individualistic in their methods. This temperament does not blow up at others, but simply (figuratively or literally) digs their heels into the ground and does not budge when asked to move. PhlegChlors rarely go beyond the norm, whatever their norm is, but they will hold fast to it. The PhlegChlor will not write long, rambling posts about their life story, but get to the point with concise, efficient methods. I believe there is a shortage of PhlegChlor disability advocates. PhlegChlors stabilize and bring objectivity to the table in the midst of the almost universal emotional turmoil.
  • PhlegMel: PhlegMels are the most gracious and gentle out of all the LaHaye temperament blends.  They are exact, neat, and organized and never impulsively blurt their opinions as some other blends are prone to doing. PhlegMels are diplomatic and rarely hostile. This leads this temperament to be apologetic, even in situations when they might as well be apologizing for nothing. Other more assertive types are apt to run over PhlegMels in their pursuits. The PhlegMel's lack of aggressiveness and fearful tendencies are their main weaknesses as advocates. They are timid and don't tend to speak out unless they are in dire circumstances. When a PhlegMel overcomes their fearfulness, they retain their pleasant demeanor, but are less likely to be stepped on by people of other temperaments. PhlegMels provide the gentle listening ear/eye/other body part or piece of technology used for communication that is needed when so many of us speak out boldly. 
This is a call for temperamental diversity in the online disability community. I have never seen any disability advocates openly identify with their temperament although many identify with other factors such as their gender or race. I feel that temperament is a heavily overlooked factor in the disability experience and should be considered more often than it already is (or isn't.). This is the "hidden diversity" that influences much of what we do regardless of other factors. I don't want anyone to say "Advocacy is not for me because I don't have the right temperament" or to feign a temperamental pattern thinking it is the only way to advocate. I have yet to hear more about temperament and disability, so, I need your perspectives. Write a blog post about how your temperament affected your experiences with disability, be it your own or someone else's. I am one person with one temperament and one perspective. More people should discuss the connections between disability and temperament in order to truly promote temperamental diversity. We claim to support diversity of various kinds, but temperamental diversity doesn't seem to be one of them.
Disclaimer: All work that is Tim LaHaye's belongs to Tim LaHaye. I had no part in their development or publication. 

I tried to submit this to Two Thirds of the Planet, but it keeps getting rejected as spam.


  1. Wow! There are a lot of temperaments! I enjoy picking out the ones that I think I am! Thanks for sharing at Faith, Hope, and Love! Merry Christmas!

    1. Merry Christmas! I thought you would appreciate this as Tim LaHaye is a Christian author.


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