Can You Change Your Temperament/ Personality?

Can You Change Your Temperament/ Personality?
September 26, 2022 No Comments Mental health emmahjoy

In the past blog posts, I have discussed the various temperaments that exist, the

combinations in which they can occur as temperament blends, their outstanding traits, and

how they can flourish in relationships and careers. However, among the questions that tend

to arise is whether one can change their temperament to adopt another.


The absolute answer is you cannot change your temperament but you can learn to change

your personality. The argument from various psychologists indicates that temperaments are

biological meaning that they are in-born. Therefore, you can learn the strengths and the

weaknesses of your temperament and learn how to develop better ways of coping with

them. Learning how to cope with your temperament would require intentionality and a deep

sense of self-awareness.

The traits that the four temperaments can learn to deal with include;

Choleric – Anger management, the need to be right and in control,  inability to sympathize

with others

Sanguine – Procrastination, creating boundaries, learning about priorities, and getting


Phlegmatic – Should learn that they can never please everybody, work on their decision-

making ability, and find motivation that would push them to accomplish their tasks and


Melancholic – Learn to embrace change, know that things would not always be as perfect as

they would want them to.

Psychologists argue that personality can be changed since it is a reflection of the

environment in which we live and operate. It has majorly been built according to the

scientific theories of “nature versus nature”. An individual adopts various traits due to their

upbringing or their environment. This indicates that personality is a learned behavior that

can be unlearned. 

Steps to unlearning a behavior

  • Identifying the behavior that you need to change. In this step one cognitively acknowledges that there is a problem that needs to be changed. It helps deal with defense mechanisms and mental obstacles that might occur.                                                     
  • Identify the factors that strengthen these behaviors. Finding out what promotes the undesired behavior is important because it helps deal with the problem with a clear eye sight. Is it the group of friends, need to belong or ego?                                                              
  • Reinforce desired behavior . Once you accomplish a desired behavior learn to reward yourself such that it would promote the chances of repeating the desired behavior.            
  • Monitor the change and progress. Create a journal and record growth through a period of time. It would help to monitor and know what is working and what isn’t.                        
  • Find someone to be accountable to. We cannot always be our own doctors having someone to walk with in the journey is key. Find a therapist or someone who is willing to walk the journey with you. 



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