The Supine Temperament

For centuries, there had been four generally-accepted human typologies. Amazingly, in 1981, Drs. Richard and Phyllis Arno of the National Christian Counselors Association, the Supine temperament was added to the list and incorporated into the Arno Profile System.

Prior to the discovery of the Supine temperament there were people that didn’t “fit” into any of the existing four categories.  It is important to understand that, as for all types, temperament cannot be accurately assessed just by observation; temperament analysis via the Arno Profile System is necessary to accurately identify a person’s temperament.

The Supine Is A Servant

Young woman serving African child

The dictionary definition of Supine is “lying on the back or with the face turned upward.” Some dictionaries go on to say “having no interest or care, inactive, negligent, listless.” It must be noted that the NCCA’s choice of the name Supine is based ONLY on the first definition of “lying on the back or with the face turned upward.”, like a servant looking up to their master.

Worth repeating… There are three areas of the temperament: Inclusion (social interaction, surface relationships and intellectual energies), Control (decision making abilities, willingness to take on responsibilities, and the need for independence) and Affection (the need for love and affection and for deep personal relationships). Few people are the same temperament in all three areas. Let’s now look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Supine in these three areas.

Strengths of The Supine

Inclusion — Mind
A great capacity for service, liking people, and the desire to serve others. The possess an inborn gentle spirit.

Control — Will
Dependability, ability to enforce “the policies” set by others and to serve those they follow, their caretakers, with absolute loyalty.

Affection — Emotion
The ability to respond to love and to open up emotionally when they feel emotionally “safe.” If treated properly, they are capable of absolute and total commitment to deep personal relationships.

Weaknesses of The Supine

Inclusion — Mind
Indirect behavior that expects others to read their mind, high fear of rejection, and harboring anger viewed as “hurt feelings”.

Control — Will
Aggressive disorders, open dependence, defensive against loss of position, weak willpower, a tendency to feel powerless and at the mercy of others.

Affection — Emotion
The inability to initiate love and affection. They require constant reassurance that they are loved, needed and appreciated

Contact Us To Learn Your God-Given, Inborn Temperament

While this is just a brief overview of the Supine temperament, you can see the importance of learning to live in the strengths of one’s temperament instead of living in the weaknesses. The Supine temperament is a beautiful temperament; it “naturally” has “the servant’s heart.” The Supine just like the other temperaments can be open to abuse, unless they learn to live in the strengths of their temperament under the control of Christ.