Sunday, September 4, 2011

4 Humors

Happy Labor Day weekend. I am in a holiday humor, as Shakespeare would say. Specifically, as Rosalind would say in As You Like It.

By coincidence, 1) I am (still) reading The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Brown, in which a character, Rose, has been named for Rosalind, and 2) I have been looking into the four humours, or humors, as in the four main bodily fluids connected to personality types (now) and physical health (in ancient Greek and Roman times), dating back to the famous Dr. Hippocrates.

Based on the looks of these guys, and the bodily fluids connected to them, I so do not want to be melancholic, but I probably am. And phlegmatic, too. Sigh....

I am looking into the 4 humors again, a concept I encountered several times during my formal education, thanks to a wonderful essay assignment in my daughter's honors English course. Yes, they have to determine their main personality type using characteristics related to the four humors. I went to the school open house on September 1, so I know my daughter is supposed to read her draft aloud to me this weekend! Yay! And her retired English teacher grandmother will be here to listen, too!

Reading aloud is such a great composition and revision strategy!

We did some "prewriting" together, by way of a conversation about how she perceives herself--easygoing, responsive--and how I perceive her: those two, yes, and sociable. She is clearly of a sanguine humor--the happy guy under the phlegmatically happy guy.

So her main bodily fluid is the blood, a good fluid to have. Mine is black bile (ew!), for melancholy, or phlegm. Really, who wants to be ruled primarily by black bile and phlegm.
I am OK with being associated with water and earth, though, among the 4 elements. Annoyingly, in the course of this wikipedish 4-humors research, I ran into the Enneagram again, and took the test, the long version and the quickie comparison version, and I am an annoying mix, as usual, of all the things I do and don't want to be. (Sorry, Enneagram Institute. You are cool, I am not.) First encountered this as entertainment with group of friends--fun discussion, etc. At least I am a consistent mix of personality types in the 1-4 range: Reformer, Helper, Achiever, Individualist. But no one clear thing. That riles my black bile. That brings my phlegm nowhere near boiling point.

7 comments:

Emily said...

I am a mixture of personalities on the MBTI, and the enneagram, too. The only thing I get consistently is "introvert" on the MBTI, and I think the numbers I get on the enneagram are bigger than yours.

I don't take them that seriously, to be honest.

Kathleen said...

And it's partly where you are on the day you are taking the test, too, mood-wise, recent experience-wise, etc.

Julie Kistler said...

I am also a mix of things on all these personality analysis things. Although I think I'm always extrovert. But feeler and thinker and judger and perceiver and all the rest, I only get *. E***. Mishmash mix girl, that's me.

The Four Humors test told me I was equal parts black bile and sanguine. Once again, you could call me "conflicted" or "wishywashy" or "balanced," depending on how you want to look at it.

Kathleen said...

Oh, Julie, yes, you are a wonderful mishmash, whatever you are!

Extrovert, yes! I am an introvert, no matter how friendly or sociable or poised in public I can sometimes be. So I am a weird (fated, fateful?) mishmash there.

seana said...

I couldn't find the quiz on humors.But I'm pretty sure you can find me under one of the biles.

seana said...

Oh, by the way, I just found another quiz. This one's called, What is your native plant personality? (I'm a Douglas Iris, which is cool by me!) You can find the quiz HERE.

Kathleen said...

Yay, Seana. I can't remember whee/if I took a 4 humors quiz; I was just studying the chart given to my daughter for her assignment.

I did just find one now, and it told me I was sanguine and tried to sell me some cheese, so I'm not recommending it...