The Traditionalist

The Traditionalist (phlegmatic) Temperament

The Traditionalist type prefers: belonging, support, tradition, security, commerce, comfortableness, order, peacefulness, inactivity, silence, agreement, friendliness, moderation, submissiveness, homeliness, reciprocity, duty.

David Keirsey reconfigured the typology created by Isabel Briggs Myers to a scheme of four groups of four types that corresponds to the classic four temperaments. In Please Understand Me (1984), he defined Guardian (phlegmatic) temperament:

Traditionalists want to belong, to do their duty, to be useful, to be givers, to take care of others, especially the young and the old, and those in positions of authority, to be responsible, to do what they are “supposed to do,” to be bound and obligated, to support the work ethic and the rules and hierarchies of society, to establish and conserve the institutions of society, to become an official of some kind, to gain a title and entitlement, to be reverent of elders, to preserve heritage and heritability, to earn status in whatever social units they belong to, to be prepared for the worst.

Positive attributes: accepting, accountable, adaptable, agreeable, amiable, balanced, belonging, calm, caring, concerned, considerate, consistent, contented, controlled, dedicated, dependable, dignified, diplomatic, dry humoured, easy-going, empathetic, even-tempered, faithful, friendly, gentle, good-listener, helpful, inoffensive, kind, loyal, mediator, obliging, order-setting, organized, patient, peaceful, pleasant, prepared, prosperous, punctual, responsible, satisfied, sensible, serious, shy, solemn, stable, steadfast, submissive, supportive, sympathetic, thorough, tolerant, traditional, trusting, willing.

Negative attributes: aimless, ambivalent, awkward, blank, boring, cautious, compromising, conforming, dependent, depressed, directionless, dispirited, doubtful, downcast, dull, fatalistic, fearful, hesitant, indecisive, indifferent, lazy, leery, masochistic, monotonous, mumbles, nonchalant, passive, permissive, pessimistic, plain, reluctant, reticent, self-deprecating, self-righteous, shy, silently stubborn, slow, sluggish, timid, uncreative, unenthusiastic, uninvolved, unmotivated, unsure, waxy, worrier.

Leisurely Personality Type

Dr. John M. Oldham has defined the Leisurely personality style. The following seven characteristic traits and behaviours are listed in his The New Personality Self-Portrait.

  • Inalienable rights. Leisurely men and women believe in their right to enjoy themselves on their own terms in their own time. They value and protect their comfort, their free time, and their individual pursuit of happiness.
  • Enough is enough. They agree to play by the rules. They deliver what is expected of them and no more. They expect others to recognize and respect that limit.
  • The right to resist. Leisurely individuals cannot be exploited. They can comfortably resist acceding to demands that they deem unreasonable or above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Relaxed. Leisurely men and women are relaxed about time. They are not obsessed by urgency or the demands of the clock. To these individuals, haste makes waste and unnecessary anxiety. They are easygoing and optimistic that whatever needs to get done will eventually get done.
  • Wheel of fortune. Leisurely people believe that they are just as good as everyone else and as entitled to the best things in life.
  • Mixed feelings. Although they feel impelled to proceed in their own direction, when their choices put them in conflict with the people they care for, Leisurely people are often of two minds about how to proceed. They do not like to risk important relationships, yet they need to feel free.

Character Strengths

  • Autonomy, independence, separateness.
  • Rule-following, able to set limits, responsible, obliging, dutiful, upstanding, productive, cooperative, good-worker.
  • Resistant to exploitation; fulfil obligations, stand up for themselves, aware of their rights, don’t let others make excessive demands, work slowly and comfortably; placid, patient, slow-moving, steady, not likely to get upset, mellow, not worrisome, comfort- and pleasure-seeking, emotionally even.
  • Leisurely, relaxed, deliberate, easy-going, optimistic; accommodating, slow easy, self-controlled, not driven to excess; sensibility, humility, modesty.
  • Self-acceptance, self-assurance.
  • Self-belief, self-respect.
  • Self-determined, family-oriented, companionable, relational; generous, appreciative, grateful, kind, fun loving, passionate.

Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder

  • passively resists fulfilling routine social and occupational tasks,
  • complains of being misunderstood and unappreciated by others,
  • is sullen and argumentative,
  • unreasonably criticizes and scorns authority,
  • expresses envy and resentment toward those apparently more fortunate,
  • has exaggerated and persistent complaints of personal misfortune,
  • alternate between hostile defiance and regret.

Character Weaknesses

  • procrastination
  • argumentativeness
  • dilatoriness at work
  • querulousness
  • obstructionistic behavior
  • scornful of authority
  • resentful of suggestions
  • “forgets” obligations
  • unaware of being incompetent

passive-aggressiveness, passiveness, uncooperativeness, resentfulness, hostility, angriness, irritableness, argumentativeness, scornfulness, obstructionism, procrastination, blamefulness, capriciousness, contrariness, sulkiness, indecisiveness, stubbornness, negativism;

idleness, inactiveness, indolence, laziness, sluggishness, clumsiness, dilatoriness, dullness, heaviness, inertness, slowness, delaying, drowsiness, laggardness, lingering, slackness, carelessness, negligence, forgetfulness, tardiness, apathy, immobility, indifference, insensibility, lethargy, submissiveness, unassertiveness, unconcern, unfeelingness, oppositionalism.
Compulsive beliefs

  • I am self-sufficient, but I do need others to help me reach my goals.
  • The only way I can preserve my self-respect is by asserting myself indirectly, by not carrying out instructions exactly.
  • I like to be attached to people but I am unwilling to pay the price of being dominated.
  • Authority figures tend to be intrusive, demanding, interfering, and controlling.
  • I have to resist the domination of authorities but at the same time maintain their approval and acceptance.
  • Being controlled or dominated by others is intolerable.
  • Making deadlines, complying with demands, and conforming are direct blows to my pride and self-sufficiency.
  • If I follow the rules the way people expect, it will inhibit my freedom of action.
  • It is best not to express my anger directly but to show my displeasure by not conforming.
  • I know what’s best for me and other people shouldn’t tell me what to do.
  • Rules are arbitrary and stifle me.
  • Other people are often too demanding.
  • If I regard people as too bossy, I have a right to disregard their demands.

Galina Toktalieva

Kyrgyzstan-born author residing in Graz, Austria

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