MELANCHOLY IN-DEPTH STUDY...
God did not make a dysfunctional personality type...
All personality types Melancholy, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Sanguine Are Powerful, Loving and Sound minded when operating in the love of God. Please keep in mind when studying scripture which we know is true. If one thing is true. The opposite is also true.
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
Everyone feels powerless when they are afraid, as a result, they don’t feel loved if they don’t feel loved they can’t give love and if they can’t give love they can't think straight (the way they were designed).
God is love, and we are made in His image. The opposite of love is not hate; it is fear. So how do we get rid of fear? Perfect Love Casts Out Fear.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]. 1 John 4:18 (AMP)
The Heart and Soul of Humanity
Conscientious, Respectful and Analytical
The Melancholy is intensely sensitive, emotional and has a tendency to be self-sacrificing. This Personality feels everything at a deep level. Their sensitivity is not only personal; it reaches out to those around them, a Melancholy sees a visible lack and will feel a sense of guilt for not being able to meet the need. Including the needs which have not been spoken but are apparent to the Melancholy. It seems to them that those needs should be evident to everyone, so the Melancholy can be hurt by people they love when the people they love do not respond to the unspoken needs or desires. Still, Melancholy feel a sense of guilt for not being able to meet everyone’s needs, including the need their loved ones have for the Melancholy to be more tolerant and less sensitive so they can get “it right” in the eyes of the Melancholy.
A Biblical example of a Melancholy is The Apostle Thomas
“The Apostle Thomas is a good New Testament example of what God can do with a Spirit-filled melancholy temperament. He is known as the doubting disciple because of his famous statement, ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into his side, I will not believe’ (John 20:25) That is blatant unbelief induced by Thomas’ doubts. Blatant because the words were spoken in spite of the Lord’s often repeated promise to rise again and the ten disciples’ assurance ‘that we have seen the Lord’. Humanly such a man was doomed to failure, but such was not the case with Thomas.” Tim LaHaye. Many have labeled him Thomas, the doubter. I think of him as Thomas the clarifier. His thorough mind could not accept any idea without an exhaustive search of the subject in question. Because of his honest expression of intellectual doubt, we can never be conned into believing that Jesus did not raise from the dead. Jesus even joined Thomas in the (risen from the dead proof) program. "See My hands and My feet, that it is I! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. While [since] they still could not believe it for the sheer joy and marveled, He said to them, "have you anything here to eat?" They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, Luke 24:39-42. After Thomas experienced the Risen Jesus, he went on to do his job of bringing many to the Lord.
The Melancholy Walking in Love
The Melancholy’s disposition under love’s control is very valuable in the body of Christ. Re-read through the Melancholy’s strengths and carefully consider how much of a blessing and asset a Melancholy would be to their family, to the Kingdom of God, the Church, and the community where they live when operating in love.
Introvert, loner, a great thinker, genius-prone, very artistic and creative, often found alone in thought, a perfectionistic, slow-paced, excellent understanding of tasks and systems, a critical and challenging mind. The love of beauty and order makes their life fulfilling.
Melancholy love list, charts, and figures anything that creates order. Sometimes they apply this orderly love to relationships, but not too successfully. Melancholy’s challenge is to learn that people come before plans or the people feel unaccepted.
As a loner, they don’t need a lot of words when a simple answer of yes or no will do. Their personal therapy is peace and quiet and time to think.
The way that a Melancholy demonstrates their love to someone is by being dependable, responsible and in serving others, not necessarily in physical or verbal terms. But they see and observe everything because of their intellectual and analytical brain, and they can see the results of a project before moving forward.
Melancholy has a compassionate emotional nature; feelings dominate their being. When the Melancholy is operating in the love of God, those feelings will lift them and those around them to extreme highs. You can allow yourself to be lifted by the Melancholy’s excitement over what the Lord is doing not only in their lives but in the lives of others and the nature surrounding us all. Pay attention to the Melancholy during their highs they will help you to see beauty and experience peace that may have previously escaped you.
Love of quiet time. The melancholy does not feel at home among a crowd for any length of time; they love silence and solitude. Melancholy’s work best on a one on one situation. Being inclined to introspection, they separate themselves from the crowds, forget their environment, they often get distracted in a group because their thoughts absorb them.
The melancholy is a passive temperament. The person possessing such a personality, therefore, has not the vivacious, quick, progressive, active propensity of the choleric or sanguine, but is slow, pensive and reflective.
If Phlegmatic is their secondary temperament, they are reserved and find it challenging to form new acquaintances and speaks little among strangers. They reveal their innermost thoughts reluctantly and only to those whom they trust.
The Melancholy has a need to learn to communicate their feelings; emotionally they are very protective and guarded. They do not easily find the right word to express and describe their sentiments. However, they do have a need to express themselves to those they trust because when heard they have them a sense of acceptance and closeness.
When operating in love the Melancholy is very faithful, a loyal friend and generous. Their feelings run deep and tender (even though they cannot easily express these feelings). They easily empathize with others and can make deep commitments. They are self-motivated and do not respond to the promise of reward nor the threat of punishment.
Melancholy know their limitations and rarely take on more than they can do. Their thinking easily turns into reflection. Deep and thoughtful they are born with a pessimistic nature, analyzing problems before they happen, and many times their negative thoughts can create the problem. They don’t take things at face value and want to get at the heart of the matter. The thoughts of the melancholy are far-reaching. They dwell with pleasure upon the experiences they have had and often live in the past. When something excites a Melancholy, their soul is fixed on their passion, but often their fear silences them so that their excitement is hardly noticed outwardly. A Melancholy will stick to a dull routine for a long while if they can see the end results.
The melancholy is often a great benefactor to others. They make good counselors in difficulties, and a prudent, trustworthy, and well-meaning friend. They have great sympathy for others and a keen desire to help them. When encouraged to act, Melancholy is willing to make great sacrifices for others and will hold firm to their ideas.
Not wanting to hurt others feelings they find it difficult to correct people. They are uncomfortable at the slightest injustice and feel obliged to correct such disorders, but at the same time, they have little skill or courage in making the correction. They deliberate long on how to express the correction; but when they are about to speak, the words fail them, or they go about it so carefully, so tenderly and reluctantly that it can hardly be called a correction.
The pure Melancholy is more task-oriented as opposed to relationship oriented. They are good at decisions and responsibilities in known areas and have outstanding leadership abilities. They adhere to the rules, and they need very little control over the lives and behavior of others. Melancholy are very loyal people to their family and friends. If they make a promise, the Melancholy will do everything in their power to keep it. They are private people, as well as serious. Melancholy is very creative also they like music, color, philosophy, they love anything in nature that is orderly, sunsets, flowers, rocks, wind, and rain, they brighten the World.
Melancholy has a very sensitive nature for good and bad. The dictionary meaning of sensitive is “easily becoming upset about things that people do or say to you." When other personality types merely get their feelings hurt, Melancholy is devastated. When walking in love, Melancholies try to be more aware of the hurt when it happens so that they can choose to let it go and not let it control them, or to engage in discussion and not to get mad about it. It takes a lot of honesty with yourself and being willing to admit that you are in fact "thin-skinned." It takes work and being on guard daily. Walking in love allows you the option to navigate through the problem. Thinking through the situation helps them make better choices.
There is a great comfort and reward when we submit ourselves to God regardless of what personality we possess. We all need to learn to live out of our strengths in the temperament that He has given us.
Melancholy Walking in Fear
Melancholy need time to think before they speak. If they are called upon to answer quickly or to speak without preparation, or if they feel too much depends on their answer, they become fearful and do not find the right words and consequently often makes a false and unsatisfactory reply. This slow thinking may be the reason why the melancholy often stutters, leaves their sentences incomplete, lower their voice, uses wrong phrases, or searches for the right expression. They are not lazy, but they move carefully and reliably through their work or activities, but only if they have ample time and are not pressed.
It requires great energy on their part to engage in aggressive words, and when they do so, they go about it so awkwardly that they do not feel satisfied and find no rest. Such experiences tend to make the melancholic more reserved.
The pride of the melancholy has its very peculiar side. The melancholy does not seek honor or recognition; on the contrary, they dislike to appear in public and being praised. They often do not speak out which gives the impression of modesty and humility; in reality, they don’t feel comfortable speaking up because they are afraid of disapproval.
It is evident that it can be challenging to deal with melancholy. Because of their peculiarities, they are frequently misjudged and can be taken advantage of easily. Many people in life can talk to a Melancholy easily because they automatically sound like a counselor when they respond. One on one is the Melancholy area of comfort.
When operating in fear the Melancholy is exceptionally moody, suffer from “deep” depressions, rejects people, develops habits that are very hard to break, suffers from suicidal tendencies, low self-esteem and are pessimistic.
Often they are not satisfied with only one chance at accomplishing a task because they feel they could always do better. They tend to take a more realistic viewpoint. They don’t take things at face value, but dig into the inner truths, “how does this affect me.” This causes them (like the Apostle Thomas) to sometimes struggle with accepting unverified statements.
The Melancholy temperament is the most self-centered. They take everything personally. Their compassionate nature causes them to be easily offended or insulted.
They can be suspicious and jump to unfounded conclusions. They tend to self-examine themselves to the degree that they become inactive and unenergetic; over thinking everything can cause a variety of problems such as they often feel people don’t like them
Melancholy may be calm and quiet when operating in love, but when in fear, they are often angry and resentful. They tend to keep those fear feelings to themselves until they build up and eventually the anger (fear) explodes in a fit of rage or some other misbehavior.
When operating in fear they are rigid, inflexible, oversensitive, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, apt to be a rebel and procrastinate.
When walking fear, they rehearse their past with questions like “what if”. For instance, “what if they had (fill in the blank to suite your life), would I feel loved?” Or “what if I were (fill in the blank to suite your life), would they love me more?” Also, they are critical of others, angry, cruel, vengeful, emotional, rarely tell people how they feel, have a low self-image and are sensitive to rejection from deep relationships.
When in fear the melancholy is not quick to make decisions. Too much fear of difficulties and of the possibility that their plans or works may fail keeps the melancholy from reaching a conclusion, and they will often let others make decisions for them. They allow others to speak in their place, even if others are less qualified and not as capable as they are to talk on a subject. However, at the same time, they feel slighted because they are being ignored and not appreciated.
When in depression they can’t seem to get things done, so they keep putting them off to tomorrow this brings about frustration because they never seem to be finished. The melancholy is a person of missed opportunities because their response to problems is deep thinking and difficulties in deciding which thought to act on, they quickly give way to others and do not insist on their own opinion. They consider and reconsider everything until they can form a calm and safe judgment. When in a group, by the time a melancholy form what they want to say the conversation has moved three topics down the road. If there are Sanguine present many Melancholy are exhausted before long.)
When Operating in Fear. They feel that their life is full of sorrow and grief which pushes a melancholy toward desperation, despair, and the resignation of giving up and getting away. (If their secondary temperament is Phlegmatic this balances out.)
When the melancholy gives way to fear, their many faults become a real burden to others. They quickly lose confidence in their fellow-man because of slight defects which they discover in them.
They are very bothered and provoked by disorder or injustice. The cause of their concern is often justified, but rarely to the degree felt.
They can hardly forgive offenses. The first offense they ignore quite easily. But repeated offenses settle deep into the soul and are hard to forget. Fear easily takes root in their heart against persons who have hurt them, or in whom they find fault. The fear becomes so strong they can hardly see the person without reliving the hurt.
They are very suspicious. They rarely trust people and are always afraid that others are judging them. They feel that they are not enough, can’t do enough and can’t be enough. Often the fear of judgment of others does not exist at all but comes from their own insecurity of not measuring up to their own standards.
When in fear they see the glass as half empty instead of half full. They almost always consider offenses and/or mishaps much worse than they are. The consequence is often excessive sadness, unfounded judgments about others, brooding for weeks on account of real or imaginary insults. Melancholy persons who give way to this disposition to look at everything through a negative viewpoint, gradually become pessimists and ends up always expecting a bad result.
If the melancholy tries to master their timidity, they easily fall into the opposite fault of shouting their correction angrily. They are unable to discuss things with others, and this permits many disorders to creep into their thinking. When at last they are forced to take action, the harsh attitude they use can discourage and frighten others instead of encouraging and directing them. So that again their reproach loses its effectiveness.
The Melancholy is often internally stirred up, full of disgust and bitterness, they are overly occupied with the faults of others to hide their own shortcomings.
The negative position above is how the melancholy operates in fear but learning to walk in the power of love changes that. Sometimes they catch themselves easily falling back into the fear setting. A simple prayer at that time “Jesus I Trust You.” can help the Melancholy to stop those self-defeating patterns.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 we have the power to resist every fear, discouragement, or despondency so that these negative thoughts cannot take root in the brain. Melancholy self-talk can take over, especially during attacks of fear, ‘'It is not as bad as I imagine. I see things too darkly," or "I am being pessimistic."
The Melancholy can keep them self continually occupied in hearing from the Lord so that they find no time for negativity. Operating in Perfect love continually will defeat fear.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)
Until they learn to walk in love, the Melancholy temperament and especially their inclination to their internal life must continually struggle against their fears.
Every Day the Melancholy needs to get dressed! Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13 -17 (NIV)
(Understanding and accepting this helps the daily life of a Melancholy immensely.)
How can we Help the Melancholy to move from Fear to Love?
Obvious needs of the Melancholy: Perfection and sensitivity
Greatest underlying need: Creative tenderness
When Melancholy is operating in love, they become a mighty force for the kingdom of compassion and Self Sacrificing
When Melancholy operates in fear, they sink to their weaknesses and become destructive to themselves and those close to them.
The Melancholy hides their own needs because they want to know the people they love can be sensitive too, especially to them. Many times the Melancholy’s position is “If you really love me enough to do the hard work you could figure it out.” “In short read my mind.” The Melancholy may feel if they have to tell us their needs it seems to lessen the gift or service. This is a self-defeating game that Melancholy play resulting in them acquiring a negative attitude toward their mate or others. This can ruin a relationship because judgment and hurt feelings become an underlying attitude. You cannot defeat fear with fear. You conquer fear with Love.
So what if we don’t sense the legitimacy of their need? What if you, the most important person in their life reject their need or turn away from them? Wouldn’t it be safer for the Melancholy to hide their needs? No! Secrets make you sick. No thought is secret, and no attitude goes unnoticed from other people in your life. Your thoughts and attitude show up in your words tone and actions.
That is one of Satan’s favorite tricks. He tries to get our Melancholy to stuff their pain or seek advice from someone who really does not have their best interest at heart, thus separating your Helpmate from you. How do you combat that strategy? By turning to the Lord and asking Him how to assure your Melancholy of your interest and concern for them. Jesus understands your Melancholy best.
This need for melancholy to get people to be more sensitive, causes them to wind up with things they didn't want or need and having others upset because the Melancholy is not appropriately grateful for the gift or service that they didn't want in the first place. Melancholy people, please tell us what you need, we want you to have what you need. Salvation is an excellent example of that, John 3:16 tells us that God knew we needed Salvation before we knew we needed it! But we are not as smart as God, no matter how much we study you we will never know you as well as He does. So until we learn to listen please just tell us what you need.
Melancholy people can become discouraged over things that have little or no importance. If they feel outraged or intimidated, they should ask themselves if they concern themselves too much with the faults of others?
Gentle words of reassurance will go a long way with your melancholy.
When they are loud, you go gentle. When they are in tears, you go gentle. When they are quiet, you go gentle. “Bob that sounds like a lot of hard work.” I know! Being a Sanguine/Choleric, after 44 years of marriage, I am still working on trying not to “fix her” but instead to understand the Wonderful mind and personality of my Melancholy/Phlegmatic.
The melancholy need for their friends and mates to show expressions of creative tenderness. To think that another would remember a particular day, to pick up flowers or a desired item perhaps for a collection, is a thoughtful gesture the melancholy will never forget. Such things as these make an imperfect world far more bearable for our sensitive, melancholy friends or spouses.
Some spouses have whisked the melancholy away for a special secretly planned rendezvous and in the process have given their mate a lifelong tender memory.
Don't try that on your Sanguine/ Choleric mate though, it may cause you frustration about how insensitive your Sanguine/Choleric mate is for having to be in control and not allowing you the time necessary to set up the surprise, until you finally have given up trying to plan a surprise and create an unplanned lifetime barrier. Remember it is harder for the melancholy to forgive than it is for you. Because they feel hurt and fears deeper than you, don’t worry or scare your deep, gentle melancholy, you and your mate may spend the rest of your life trying to get past the hurt. Make an effort to empathize with their lows, and you will be fulfilling Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
The melancholy person often tolerates whatever is happening around them. Their reaction may be passive, but the impression of viewed experiences remains for a long time. So although the Melancholy may not engage in what is happening around them, it is helpful for them to at least process it internally, to be sure that they are seeing it through their Christ-centered viewpoint. Ask yourself, am I seeing what is happening from my love base or through my fear base, are the people involved in the event operating out of love or out of their fear? If they are not doing it Christ’s way, they are deceived? Caution! Am I going to get angry with them because they are deceived?
Similar repeated events grow stronger until the mind accepts those events as true, they become difficult to eradicate especially negative experiences and will affect a Melancholy. Whatever you pay attention to creates how you operate, in Love or Fear.
You must always encourage your Melancholy because they love peace. Rude reproaches, harsh treatment, and hardness of heart cast down and paralyzes their efforts. Friendly advice and patience with their slow actions give them courage and vigor. It is well to keep them always busy, but do not overburden them with work.
Gaining melancholy’s confidence may take a little time. Gaining their trust can be done only by giving them a good example in everything and by manifesting an unselfish and sincere love for your Melancholy. This temperament opens up to kindness and respect. They will show themselves very grateful for the respect of their person and acceptance of their purpose.
One thing I am sure of is that God knew what He was doing when He designed our Melancholy personality to operate in love. Try to get in on their Highs you will learn a new appreciation for the beautiful things of this world. You will be blessed if you take the time to figure them out. The rewards are enormous!