What is Phlegmatic Temperament?

The Phlegmatic temperament is naturally service-oriented with a core drive to avoid conflict. They are passive in both positive and negative environments. They influence their environment by cooperating with others to carry out the task. They’re typically not highly ambitious, and they tend to lack a sense of urgency (both due to their passive nature).

The Phlegmatic is introverted, calm, unemotional, easygoing, patient, and agreeable. They are usually indirect when responding to others. The Phlegmatic is slow to warm up but will be accommodating in the process. The reason the Phlegmatic is accommodating is that they fear conflict. They are agreeable to avoid upsetting someone.

They are by far the easiest people with whom to get along — as long as you do not try to alter their routine or ask them to change.

The Phlegmatic lives a quiet, routine life that is free of the normal anxieties that other temperaments face. They avoid getting too involved with people, and life in general, preferring a private, low-key lifestyle centered around home and family.

Phlegmatic Personality Traits & Characteristics

The Phlegmatic personality type likes routine and strongly resists change. They need time to adjust when change is recommended, especially sudden change. They avoid conflict (which is why they are so accommodating). The Phlegmatic has difficulty making quick decisions.

Other Phlegmatic temperament traits include being practical, concrete, and a traditional thinker. Their stoic expression often hides their true feelings. They can be grudge holders. The Phlegmatic personality can also be patient to the point of paralysis. They are persistent and consistent at whatever they undertake.

Because of their passive nature, the Phlegmatic tends to easily procrastinate. The reason is because they want to avoid conflict and please everyone involved. For example, they may procrastinate because they do not clearly understand a work assignment, but they usually will not ask for clarification because they perceive this may cause conflict.

The Phlegmatic has a calm, well-balanced temperament. Impressions from their surroundings have a far more harmonious effect on the Phlegmatic individual than they have on the other temperaments. No one side of the Phlegmatic’s personality is especially active. They live a quiet, routine life, free of the normal anxieties of the other temperaments.

Best Careers for Phlegmatic Temperament

The Phlegmatic will rarely exert themselves with others or push their way along in their career. They just let it happen. Phlegmatics make good team players. They communicate in a warm, sincere way, showing interest in others.

The Phlegmatic temperament is the most productive in a career that allows for a routine and to be of service to others. The best jobs for the Phlegmatic personality are often found in job positions such as customer service, nurse, teacher, mid-level management (that does not require quick decisions), pharmaceutical salesperson, sales clerk, route salesperson, operating a postal route, and office staff worker.

Phlegmatic Dating & Love

The Phlegmatic builds a limited number of relationships slowly and will usually never let go regardless of what the individual says or does. Once they become your friend, they will be loyal, dependable, and faithful for life.

However, they seldom repair a broken relationship. They do not have a wide social network and prefer to have a few close friends and, of course, their family.

The Phlegmatic personality will take a while to warm up and may never be the affectionate, warm, cozy, “sit by the fire” type. They respond well to a lowkey, peaceful relationship.

In romantic relationships, the Phlegmatic can be affectionate but it takes some time to warm up. They will resist sudden changes in their established routine. The Phlegmatic is loyal to their mate and family, and they like to stay home.

They make good companions because they are patient and tolerant of other people’s shortcomings. They are slow to get upset and rarely show much emotion.

How to Lead, Manage, and Supervise the Phlegmatic Temperament

The key to leading a Phlegmatic personality type is to show personal interest in them and their family. Remove the risk of tension and be calm, warm, practical, and push gently. Allow them time to adjust to change and be very patient. The Phlegmatic temperament usually does not visualize well, so give them concrete instructions to follow, be very specific, and have them write it down.

Conflict is the core fear of the Phlegmatic. To effectively lead the Phlegmatic, help them face this fear and overcome it. Also, let them know how much you appreciate them and be open to their feelings. Do not ask them to do more than one thing at a time. Remember to be warm and personal and only apply slight pressure when needed when addressing them.

Phlegmatic Temperament Combinations

Everyone is a combination of all four temperaments, the Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Melancholy. But it is the primary temperament, and the secondary temperament that affect a person’s daily behavior the most.

The primary temperament will have a stronger influence on behavior than the other three. And the secondary temperament will always modify the tendencies of the primary temperament in some significant way.

The three Phlegmatic temperament combinations are the Phlegmatic-Choleric, Phlegmatic-Sanguine, and Phlegmatic-Melancholy. Here is a brief description of each one.


The Phlegmatic-Choleric combination, also known as the Inspector, has a primary need to be accommodating and a secondary need to get results. Once given a task, they will show dogmatic determination to complete it successfully.


The Phlegmatic-Sanguine combination, also known as the Harmonizer, has a primary need to be accommodating and a secondary need to be accepted socially. They are both routine and friendly when accomplishing a task and work well with a variety of people.


The Phlegmatic-Melancholy combination, also known as the Helper, has a primary need to be accommodating and a secondary need to do things right. They rarely smile but work well with others. They need a quiet environment and a routine to be successful. They will resist activity that interferes with family time.

Phlegmatic Temperament Test: Find Your Personality

In our Temperament Assessment, (which is not a test but a tool to help you find your personality), we help you discover your natural tendencies and strengths, uniqueness, and how you are wired.

When you take the assessment, you will receive a customized report of your specific temperament, how it is expressed, your preferred environments, and practical guidance to help you succeed at work and in life.