17 Benefits And Traits Of A Melancholic Temperament

By Kelly Spears|Updated August 1, 2022

Everyone possesses an innate temperament - a special nature that defines your behavior and explains your general psychological makeup. Your temperament can be determined by evaluating your emotions and behavioral patterns. For an assessment, there are many free online resources to help you discover your temperament, including the popular quiz available on temperamentquiz.com.

It takes many different types to make the world go - 'round, and it’s important to note that no temperament is innately “good” or “bad.” In this article, you’ll be introduced to the four temperament types, and we’ll further explore the traits, strengths, and benefits of a melancholic temperament. While temperament tends to remain consistent from birth, environmental factors activate particular genes, which may influence a person’s temperament.

The four main temperaments are Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholic, and Phlegmatic. Your temperament may be a mishmash of two or more of these categories. The quiz linked above will break down your temperament(s) by percentage and will give you facts, research and reasons about it. Reading about your temperament can help you learn more about yourself. If you need help understanding the results, connect with an online therapist.

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Understanding Each Temperament

In the following sections, we’ll take a deep dive into the melancholic temperament, which is often misunderstood. But first, let’s get acquainted with all four temperaments and how individuals with these temperaments tend to live their lives:

  • People with a choleric temperament are often natural leaders. They are determined, driven, and goal-oriented.
  • Those with a sanguine temperament are lively and enthusiastic. They’re often described as outgoing, fun-loving individuals.
  • Folks with a melancholic temperament or melancholic personality tend to be perfectionists. They are sensitive individuals who are empathetic and often quiet. (More on this temperament later.)
  • Individuals with a phlegmatic temperament are natural peacemakers. They’re known for being calm and easygoing.

If you struggle with certain aspects of your temperament, you are certainly not alone. While each of the four temperaments has its perks, it may also come with some drawbacks. Therapy can help you tap into the strengths and deal with the weaknesses that come along with your unique temperament.

17 Benefits And Traits Of A Melancholic Temperament

A melancholic temperament or melancholic personality often gets a bad rap, but there is plenty to appreciate about this temperament type. Let’s take a closer look at the personality traits melancholic people have in common:

How They Show Love 

If you know individuals with a melancholic temperament, you’ve probably noticed they express themselves with actions rather than words. Individuals with a melancholic temperament are often guarded. Because of this, they are not likely to express love verbally or emotionally. They instead show their love and affection by being dependable and reliable, and by doing thoughtful things for the people they care about.


Melancholic people naturally lean toward being analytical and intellectual. They often foresee the result of a project long before its completion. They can view situations and problems from all sides and see every possible outcome. This makes them very effective at problem-solving, planning, and organizing.

Mood Extremes

Although people with a melancholic temperament generally keep their emotions guarded, they are still emotional individuals. They may be the most emotional of all the temperament types. Their heightened, ever-changing emotions can result in quick shifts in mood. For instance, they might feel a strong sense of elation and energy, quickly replaced by gloom if something negative happens. 


Because people with melancholic temperaments are introverted, they are often task-oriented rather than people-oriented. Individuals with this temperament love having a list of chores to complete. They could never go listless. They prefer to stay busy, and they tackle their daily to-do list with relish. They tend to be extremely efficient and productive in any career. They desire personal success as it is very important to them.


Melancholics are often perfectionists and like to do things a certain way. They have a specific idea of the perfect situation, the perfect way to do things, and the perfect outcome. They tend to set incredibly high standards for themselves and others. They pressure themselves to do very well. When the perfect outcome is not achieved, they can become angered; however, these individuals don’t typically show their anger until it becomes so pent up over time that they reach a breaking point.


The melancholic temperament tends toward a fierce loyalty to friends, family members, coworkers, and employers. For melancholics, romantic relationship and loyalty must be earned, but once it’s earned, individuals with this temperament are loyal for life. They are quick to commit and make promises to individuals they trust and respect. They consistently meet or exceed the expectations of the people they care about most.


Melancholics are highly self-motivated, thanks to their innate perfectionistic tendencies. They are motivated mainly by their high standards, and less so by rewards or the threat of punishment. They prefer having multiple chances to complete similar tasks, as they strive to improve with every attempt. Their motivation is derived from their determination to do their very best and they can become crestfallen when they don't accomplish something.

Understand Their Limitations

Because melancholics are naturally analytical and perfectionistic, they know their limits. You will rarely see a person with a melancholic temperament take on more than they can handle. They know exactly what they can and cannot accomplish. When asked to exceed their limitations, they aren’t afraid to speak up and be honest about their inability to complete a task or assignment. Because of this quality, they’re almost always able to meet reasonable deadlines.

Thought Patterns

Melancholics tend to overanalyze situations, ideas and problems at different levels. For example, they may be quick to interject during a conversation due to their tendency to be emotionally intense. In social situations, they may jump to unfounded conclusions or suspicions. Any negative thought patterns are often exacerbated by their penchant for overthinking. People with a melancholic temperament can become inactive due to excessive self-reflection or regrets about the past. They can feel dispirited, hopeless, mournful, sorry and regretful.

Quiet Personality

A melancholic person is typically very calm and quiet despite his or her powerful internal emotions. These individuals often choose to hide their feelings, preferring to remain calm and quiet even during events that typically elicit extreme joy or anger in others. If melancholics are pushed too far or for too long, however, they may have trouble controlling their anger.

Melancholics generally maintain their composure even when surrounded by frenetic activity. Their demeanor projects a certain level of contentment, even when they may be feeling frazzled or out of control. They have a harmless approach to life.


People with a melancholic temperament tend to be extremely patient, which makes them excellent teachers or parents. They do not become easily frustrated when talking to others. They are also able to wait in long lines without much distress.

Societal Order

People with a melancholic temperament love the societal order of friendships, relatives, and even work relationships. They accept their role in life. They prefer that everyone in their social circle have a purpose. They work well in team environments where each person has specific responsibilities and contributes to a shared goal. They also do well in organizations where there is a definitive hierarchy.

Detail Oriented

People with melancholic temperaments love to keep track of details. They remember every birthday, anniversary, and another special occasion. They easily recall the names and personal details of the people they’ve met. The melancholic individual has an incredible memory.

Comfortable with Routine

Melancholics are most comfortable with set routines, and they aren’t keen on surprises. Unforeseen events or abrupt changes in routine can throw them off balance and may cause emotional outbursts. These folks tend to be content with the repetition of everyday life and cannot imagine living any other way.

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Individuals with a melancholic temperament are almost always goal-oriented. Their analytical skills allow them to see every potential outcome of any given situation, making it easy for them to set and keep long-term goals. They prefer to stick to a plan and accomplish their goals within a predetermined time frame. They are efficient planners and great at meeting deadlines.

Deep Thinkers

A melancholic person is almost always deep in thought. They are serious individuals who aren’t known for being jokesters. They tend to dwell on events and interactions from the past. Melancholics are prone to holding grudges, as they have difficulty letting go of others’ wrongdoings. When a melancholic person is extremely quiet and doesn’t seem to be paying attention, they are probably lost in thought.


Melancholic individuals are often quite creative. They may be artists, musicians, or writers, and they tend to approach problems with a creative mindset. They’re known for thinking outside the box, and their creativity extends to every area of their lives. They come up with creative ways to show people how much they care, and they find innovative processes and ways to tackle complex problems at work.

How BetterHelp Can Help

While the melancholic temperament comes with many benefits, these individuals are prone to developing mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. If you are such a person, you can join the hundreds of thousands of people who have taken advantage of BetterHelp’s online therapy services and receive professional treatment for your condition.

BetterHelp offers convenient, low-cost therapy for individuals struggling to understand the perks and pitfalls of melancholic temperament and the mental health concerns that often accompany it. Their experienced therapists will provide you with coping skills to help deal with the challenges associated with this temperament.

BetterHelp Therapist Reviews

“Shana has helped me tremendously over the past few months. She has assisted me in changing my thought patterns and bad habits. She is very caring, a great listener, and is not judgmental. It is clear how much she cares about her patients. I appreciate her and would recommend her to anyone searching for a counselor.”

“Dr. Okuda is a wonderful counselor who supports me in my thoughts while steering me to a positive and healthy mindset within those thoughts. She wants to make sure I am okay by the end of a session, and even if I am not, she acknowledges that that is okay. She helps me look at thought patterns in a way that’s helpful in my ability to manage them and be at ease with them even in my sadness, and ideally, too, in my happiness.”


Understanding your innate temperament will help you tap into your inner strengths and deal with the downfalls related to your unique temperament. As a melancholic individual, you have so much to offer the world. With the information provided in this article and the help of one of BetterHelp’s online therapists, you’ll gain a better understanding of your true self and how you interact with the world around you.

Commonly Asked Questions About This Topic

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