The Temperamental Type: Recognizing Them And Understanding Their Origin

Last updated by Lauren Hart

I’ve never described myself as temperamental. But I’ve never had a problem associating that word with my father. As I get older, I’m afraid of becoming like him, so will I adopt the same behavior as him? In fact, how can we define a temperamental person? How can we recognize one? What are their origins? So many questions that I asked myself and for which I found my answers that I’ll share with you. Let’s explain.

The Temperamental Type: Recognizing Them And Understanding Their Origin

Definition and origin of a temperamental person

“Temperamental – someone who suffers from a behavioral, personality disorder, making it difficult to adapt to their environment.”

This is the definition in the dictionary, but it’s rather vague. More concretely, we say that someone who’s temperamental has a bad temper and that they curse without paying attention to others. So it means that they have a hot-headed and moody side: one moment everything’s fine 😌 and the next an inner anger rises and everything’s bad 😡. Incessant grumbling arises, to the point of exhausting those around them. That’s why I defined my dad as such, he’s a grouch at heart 😅. But where does that come from?

A pattern that repeats itself

Through my research, I discovered that this is a defense mechanism that originates in childhood, as psychologist Patrick Estrade explains. The child is confronted with parental dissatisfaction and reproduces this behavior. They will therefore complain and lose their temper easily, because they haven’t learned how to manage their emotions. Yes, that’s the problem with temperamental people: they don’t know how to deal with their feelings and tend to explode, even if it means creating damage around them 💥!

It’s not only the parental environment during childhood that can lead to this behavioral disorder. According to the therapist, a lack of self-esteem, a generalized anxiety disorder or even depression can contribute to a temperamental personality.

How to recognize a temperamental person?

As this comes from childhood, does it mean that I’m a temperamental person like my father? To check, I did a test according to the descriptions associated with this profile.

👉 I’m temperamental if:

  • ✅ I complain regularly,
  • ✅ Even a minor annoyance can ruin my day,
  • ✅ I have intense and exaggerated, even inappropriate reactions,
  • ✅ I’m selfish and pour out my feelings on others,
  • ✅ I often feel negative emotions like anger,
  • ✅ I never take a step back from my behavior,
  • ✅ I never apologize.

Yes, it’s not easy to answer “yes” to any of these features 😥. I admit I can tick some of them off, but certainly not all. As the psychologist defines it, it’s the accumulation of all these signs that makes someone be defined as temperamental. Phew, this time I got away with it 😅!

>>> I also asked myself the question: Am I a toxic person? Your turn to take the test!

Is being temperamental a problem?

As Patrick Estrade explains, it’s not a pathological disorder, but a behavioral disorder. To compare and understand, it’s the same distinction between being volatile and being bipolar. Nevertheless, even if it’s not a major psychological problem, it’s still a problem, especially for those around you.

Bitter, impatient, negative... None of these words sound good, do they 😶? Yet this is what we transmit to the people around us when we’re temperamental. Talking and listening are almost impossible, as they’re so caught up in their own emotions. As with inflexible people, those around them put up with it, but to what extent 🤕? Even if there’s no open conflict, weariness and bitterness eventually prevail. The climate of injustice and friction caused by a temperamental person can therefore lead to a break-up, whether in love, friendship or family 💔.

You may be interested in this article >>> Why does no one like me?

Is it possible to stop being temperamental?

Nobody wants to find themselves on their own. However, we’ve understood that this is what can happen to a temperamental person. However, fortunately, nothing should be taken as fatal. You can change, even if it’s difficult to question yourself.

Fed up

It’s never easy to take a critical look at ourselves...

Indeed, that’s the whole point, we need to be able to take a step back from our behavior. It generally starts with the reproaches of those around us, who criticize the way we act. We need to ask ourselves questions: did I overreact? Was I unpleasant? Why did I feel that way? 👉 Yes, it’s a real work of introspection and retrospection on our actions that we need to do, but it’s the only way to stop being a temperamental person.

Therapy, a real way to progress

Change is possible, but it’s easier said than done. You don’t wake up one morning a totally different person because you called yourself into question the day before 🤐.

No, it’s work that takes time, and psychotherapy can be of great help. We can understand why we’re temperamental depending on our experiences, if it affects other psychological disorders and above all, that the therapist can help us to change. Cognitive and behavioral therapy is the most suitable way to change how we work and be a better person for ourselves and for others.

How to react to a temperamental person?

If I was able to dismiss the idea that I was temperamental, my father couldn’t. For many years I said nothing, preferring to let the storm pass, until one day I’d had enough. As the psychologist says, you mustn’t put up with it and say stop quite quickly, otherwise, you run the risk of exhaustion and a breakdown. It didn’t go that far for me, I took advantage of a moment of calm to explain what was on my mind about his behavior. It wasn’t an easy moment to go through, because as the therapist points out, the other person is in denial. For them, it’s the others who have a problem, not them.

Nevertheless, love and the desire to stay together have helped my father to look at himself more honestly. Even though sometimes he still has outbursts of anger, we often talk about them to debrief his progress or blunders. Talking about it is still the best solution 🤗!

Editor’s note: You have to work at it!

There you have it, now you know more about temperamental people and why they react the way they do. We hope that this article will help you to understand them better and to help them. Perhaps this is also the case for you? Perhaps you’re temperamental? As Camille said so well, don’t panic, it can be worked on... The hardest thing is becoming aware of it... Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a psychologist in order to take stock and free yourself from what’s preventing you from being perfectly happy.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!


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Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

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