Parents with twin infants

Understanding Inborn Nature

Every human being is made uniquely.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean what comprises each human being is that unique.  In a physical sense, we all have eyes.  Granted our eyes may be of different colors or shapes or sizes.  But nonetheless, we all have eyes.  Every human being is born with skin, albeit a broad range of colors and hues.

The same is true with how we are created in our person, what the Bible refers to as the soul.  Yes, each of our souls is uniquely knit together by God in our mother’s womb.  However, that doesn’t imply that the elements of our soul are unique only to us.  Quite the contrary in fact.  As with our eyes or skin, there is a somewhat finite range of variations that comprise our makeup.  And therefor, those elements can be understood and defined with a high level of accuracy. These characteristics are described what is referred to as “temperament.”

Temperament vs Personality

Temperament describes our inborn, God-given nature.  Personality describes our nature as demonstrated in our relationship with others.  Temperament is permanent and unchanging.  Personality is relative and dependent upon circumstances and expectations of the environment, such as our role at work or our excitement at a party, or sadness at a funeral.  These are all examples of personalities that are chosen in order optimally function in each environment.  Inborn temperament does not change, regardless of environment or circumstances.

Parents with twin infantsOnly Five Temperament Types Exist

When I first learned this it was a lot go wrap my brain around.  Every human being to ever live, regardless of gender, nationality, geography, or point in time, is made up of some combination of only these five elements?  The answer is unequivocally YES.

In this article I’m only going to discuss the five temperaments.  In my next posting I’ll explain how they exist in combinations within the individual.

Each Temperament Type Has One Essential Need

Although every temperament and type has needs that outnumber the human ability to define, all of the needs within each specific temperament are subordinate to one essential need.  Al other needs are merely the means to which we attempt to get the essential need satisfied within our soul.

If this essential need is not satisfied, the individual’s perception of their identity, worth, and value will suffer.  In later posts I’ll be teaching about the means of getting our own needs satisfied so as to not place that responsibility on others.  But for the sake of this article, let’s just understand that there is a direct connection between the satisfaction of temperament needs and the individual’s perception of their worth and value as a human being.

I like to think of these needs from the vantage point of what we as individuals want to “hear” from others.   It can be extremely difficult to attend to another person’s temperament need if I don’t feel like I have what they need.  Basically “I don’t speak that language.”

Our Heart Desires To Hear These Words

In every human interaction, every person is asking us to provide these answers to the deep question of their identity, worth, and value:

  • “You are competent” communicates to the individual that they are seen as being enough.
  • “You are the leader” communicates to the individual that they are respected.
  • “You are highly valued” communicates to the individual that they are approved of.
  • “You are included” communicates to the individual that they are wanted.
  • “You are understood” communicates to the individual that they are considered.

In my next article I will be introducing the three components that comprise the human soul:  mind, will, and emotions.  And then I’ll integrate the essential needs into an understanding of those components.


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