What to Know About the Choleric Temperament

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The choleric temperament is one of four distinct temperaments identified by the ancient Greeks. It is characterized by a quick-tempered or irritable disposition, along with being highly energetic and ambitious.

People with choleric personalities have an outgoing nature and generally prefer to be in control of their environment or the situation they are in. They are confident and decisive but may come off as domineering or aggressive at times.

What Is a Choleric Personality?

In short, choleric personalities are driven and motivated individuals. They strive for excellence and have a strong need to make an impact. This ambition makes them successful at what they do, yet they often come off as arrogant or overbearing to those around them.

People with the choleric temperament may focus on results rather than feelings, which can be seen both positively and negatively depending on the situation.

Traits of a Choleric Temperament

Choleric people are natural-born leaders, driven, and goal-oriented. They tend to be decisive, assertive, and impatient with those who do not keep up. Cholerics have a need for control and power that can sometimes border on dominance. They are also often highly creative and innovative thinkers who thrive in challenging situations.

Despite their quick temperaments, they are honest, reliable, and hardworking individuals when given the right motivation. Socially speaking, cholerics like to be around people who can help them achieve their goals or challenge them intellectually. When it comes to relationships they may struggle at times with intimate ones, as they tend to be dominating and focus more on results than feelings.

Below is a list of common traits that are associated with the Choleric temperament type:

How to Deal With People Who Have a Choleric Personality

People with choleric personalities can be challenging to deal with due to their direct and often blunt nature. It is important to remember that these people are driven by results, so try not to take any perceived criticism or aggressiveness too personally.

Instead, stay focused on the task at hand and use positive reinforcement when possible. If a discussion gets out of hand, it is best to politely excuse yourself from the situation until both parties have had time to cool down.

Below are some tips for how to deal with someone who has a choleric temperament:

  • Appreciate their drive and ambition
  • Acknowledge their need for control
  • Be patient and diplomatic in interactions
  • Respect their need for independence
  • Give them the space they need to cool down

What Do Cholerics Like?

Cholerics tend to enjoy being in control of their environment and value results over feelings. As such, they often like activities that give them a sense of accomplishment or mastery. These people also generally enjoy socializing, challenging conversations, engaging in competitive activities, and making an impact on their world.

They may have a particular passion for success which drives them to excel at everything they do. Overall, some with a choleric temperament can thrive when given the chance to be independent and make an impact in their own unique way.

Below are some activities that a choleric temperament may enjoy:

  • Setting and achieving ambitious goals
  • Engaging in competitive team sports or games
  • Exploring new places or ideas
  • Innovative problem-solving tasks
  • Conversations that challenge their thinking
  • Being independent and in control of their environment

Is Being Choleric Good?

The choleric temperament can be seen as both beneficial and problematic depending on the situation. On one hand, cholerics are extremely driven and motivated which makes them successful in their endeavors. They also tend to be quick decision-makers who can confidently lead others in times of difficulty or uncertainty.

On the other hand, this type of personality may come off as domineering or overbearing at times, making it difficult for those around them to feel comfortable expressing themselves. Ultimately, being choleric isn’t good or bad; like all temperaments, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this temperament for optimal interactions.

Who Is a Choleric Attracted To?

Choleric individuals tend to be attracted to people who can match their ambition and hunger for success. They also value intelligence, loyalty, and directness in a potential partner. People with mellow or phlegmatic personalities often make good companions as they provide a sense of balance that cholerics need in order to stay grounded and focused on achieving their goals.

Ultimately, the best way to find out who a choleric is attracted to is by getting to know them better and understanding their unique needs and desires.

What Are the 4 Types of Temperament? 

The four temperaments are choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholic. Below are brief descriptions of each:

  • Choleric: Dominating, task-oriented, competitive, ambitious
  • Sanguine: Social, cheerful, upbeat, talkative
  • Phlegmatic: Relaxed and peaceful, contemplative, and shy
  • Melancholic: Sensitive, soulful, and introspective

Temperaments are just one potential framework for understanding personality and behavior, but knowing them can help people better relate to each other.

Being aware of how a choleric personality affects a person’s behavior and outlook on life can be vital to effectively managing relationships with those who possess this temperament. With patience, compassion, and an understanding of the particular needs of individuals with different personality types, it is possible to form strong bonds with most people.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Fariba KA, Gupta V, Kass E. Personality Disorder. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; April 21, 2022.

  2. University of California at Berkeley. Types and Traits.

  3. Portland State University. Choleric.

By Arlin Cuncic, MA
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.