• Phyllis Arno

Temperament Corner: May/June

Updated: Jun 4


Special Notes For Counseling Married Couples That Have “Like” Temperaments In The Inclusion Area


By: Dr. Phyllis J. Arno



Dr. Phyllis Arno

As you know, “opposite” temperaments tend to attract each other because of their differences; however, we find that “like” temperaments can also tend to attract each other. And just like the “opposite” temperaments, the “like” temperaments need to learn to live with each other. The “like” temperaments need to understand their likenesses.


In this issue, we will cover a Supine married to a Supine in the Inclusion area.


In review, the Inclusion area is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory relationship with people in the area of surface relationships, association, socialization, and their intellectual energies.


The following are some words that describe a Supine in Inclusion:


gentle spirit sensitive

indirect behavior fear of rejection

servant lonely

hurt feelings (internalized anger) task/relationship oriented



Supine In Inclusion Married To A Supine In Inclusion


In the Inclusion area, there will be no “opposites attracting” since they are both Supines in Inclusion. They will have to learn to work together, not against each other.


When opposites attract, they can bring out the best in each other and they can balance each other out; however, two Supines in Inclusion will have a hard time maintaining balance because of their indirect behaviors and lack of communication skills.


Both will wait for the other to initiate.


Both “feel” that they have “hurt” feelings rather than anger.


Both need personal invitations to social events.


Both need to have time to think and to “slot” their thoughts.


Both want to be with people but tend to be stressed by them.


Both want to do tasks but tend to be stressed by them.


Both tend to be tenderhearted and gentle-spirited.


Both Parties Have The Same Basic Needs


1. To Have The Other Initiate


Both have indirect behaviors; they will wait for the other to initiate. This is because both have a high fear of rejection.


I do not know how this couple met unless they were introduced by a third party. I also do not know how they got married because neither would propose due to their fear of rejection. Since they are both Supines in Inclusion, they may have dated for years, both waiting for the other to bring up the subject of marriage.


Both will probably, after they are married, expect their spouse to “read” their mind. For example, if she wants yellow roses for her birthday, she will not say that she wants them and she will not even mention it; however, if he does not get them for her, she will pout and pull away from him—go into her “turtle” shell. This is because she feels that he “should have known” what she wanted. She feels that if she has to ask for the flowers, then the gift would not be genuine; he only bought them for her because she asked!


Both parties tend to wait for the other to say that they want to go somewhere. This is because they feel that if they initiate, their spouse is only going because they had to ask, and that if they genuinely wanted to go, they would have mentioned it.


Guidelines For Helping This Couple


  1. They must both come to understand that they are both introverts and have indirect behavior.

  2. They need to learn to communicate with each other rather than expecting each other to “know” what the other wants. As a matter of fact, most of time, they would not want their spouse to read their mind.

  3. They need to learn to initiate; otherwise, they are going to spend their whole life waiting for their spouse to initiate. Since neither will initiate, they will both become “hurt” and they will pull farther away from each other. It will be like a cold war, and neither spouse will understand what is going on. They will each nurse their “hurts,”all the while building up resentment which will then cause them to“explode” one day.



2. To Serve


Both will serve the other; even if they both are sick, they will still try to take care of each other. This is because they have a servant’s heart.


Both will also have the need to serve other people in order to feel valuable, and because they genuinely delight in serving others.


Both will take on social obligations without communicating with the other and may often wind up with double commitments. This is because both of them have a hard time saying “no” because they do not want to offend anyone.


She may determine that she wants to stay home Friday evening and clean the house, and he may determine that he wants to fulfill a social obligation at the church. They tend to be upset with each other because each “should have known” what the other was planning for the evening.


Both will be “hurt” (angry) because their spouse did not communicate with them that they obligated both of them to helping out at the church dinner. They will think, “You should have known that I had already accepted another obligation to help at the community center.”


Both will become exhausted as they continue to take on social obligations, all because of their inability to say “no.”


Guidelines For Helping This Couple


  1. They both need to learn that it is all right to say “no,” and they both need to learn when to say “no.”

  2. Since they both have a great need to serve people, they need to learn to sit down and discuss their individual plans in order to lessen the conflict that might arise when they both make a commitment for the same day or evening.

  3. They both must learn to maintain balance when serving each other, as well as when they are serving others; otherwise, they can drain themselves physically, emotionally and/or spiritually.


3. To Say Their Feelings Are Hurt


They both will internalize their anger in the Inclusion area. When one of them has angered the other, they will say “He/She has ‘hurt my feelings.’”


Both will pull away from the other if their feelings are hurt. This is because they do not want to be hurt anymore! They feel immense rejection.


Both, after they pull away, will think about how they were “hurt.” They will, in their mind, want to emotionally and physically run away.


Therefore, because of their “feelings” of intense rejection, both of them may tend to have physical problems such as an upset stomach, headache, etc., after an argument.


Guidelines For Helping This Couple


  1. They both need to learn to admit that they are angry. They need to learn that when they say, “My feelings are hurt,” they are actually saying, “I am angry.”

  2. They must both come to the understanding that it is internalized anger by saying to themselves, “I am angry because….” Then, after they determine why they are angry, they should sit down with each other and talk about their anger.

  3. Many times, it is just because they wanted their spouse to read their mind. In other words, it is a misunderstanding that could have been cleared up immediately if only they had communicated. Internalized anger must not be allowed to grow, since it will result in bitterness and resentment.

  4. They need to learn to sit down and discuss their weekly schedules so that they do not make conflicting commitments.


4. To Alternate Between Doing Tasks And Being With People


Both of them enjoy doing tasks and being with people.


Both of them, after several hours of tasking, will want to be with people since the tasking will start to stress them. This is because, when they are tasking, they feel a pull towards people.


Both of them, after several hours of being with people, will want to do some tasks since being with people will start to stress them. This is because, when they are with people, they feel a pull towards doing tasks.


Both of them can appear preoccupied at times and even a little aloof, because they are thinking about what they need to be doing next. If they are tasking, they are thinking about being with people; if they are socializing, they are thinking about the tasks that need to be done.


They think like the Melancholies, Cholerics and Phlegmatics—almost all the time; however, a Supine will pull away emotionally, and it will be transparent enough that you know that they are not with you when they are thinking.


Both spouses have a conflict because they both want to do tasks and they both want to be with people.


Both of them want to be organized; however, due to their inability to say “no,” they wind up being unorganized because of taking on too many social obligations.


Guidelines For Helping This Couple


  1. They must both come to recognize that they have the same needs regarding doing tasks and being with people. They have a tendency to think so much that they sometimes believe, because they were thinking about something, that their spouse should know what they were thinking.

  2. They both need to do tasks and socialize together; this way, they can be together. When one says they are ready to go home, they usually know the other is, too.


Setting Boundaries For This Couple


They both need to learn to initiate. Expecting their mate to read their mind and know what they want is called ungodly expectations. Temperament information is vital to this couple because it reveals to them that they both have indirect behavior and that they have to learn to express their wants and needs.

Both have a great need to serve each other, as well as friends and those with whom they work; however, they must learn to maintain balance. They must also learn to be considerate of their mate and communicate when they are going to be off serving others—so that their lives are not so conflicted.


Both must learn to say, “I am angry because…,” rather than, “My feelings are hurt.” This internalized anger must be dealt with. It is like a poison in their soul and will kill their relationship.


Both need to recognize the other’s needs for tasking and socializing. They really need to come together on this so that their life is not in total disorder. If they take on tasks and socialize together, it will work for both, since both become stressed from doing tasks and both become stressed from too much socializing.


Communication and maintaining balance is the key!


PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling Like Supines in Inclusion, you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, birth order, learned behavior, and personality.

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