The Melancholic Personality (The Complete Guide)


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The melancholic personality is one for the ages. If you identify as melancholic, this article is for you.

This article discusses this temperament and what you can expect from them. Here we go.

What is a Melancholic Person Like?

Melancholics are perfectionists with loads of creativity. This temperament is blessed with a wide range of gifts and talents. If healthy, they usually become geniuses in whatever industry they find themselves in.

When considered on the introversion/extroversion spectrum, melancholics are usually introverts. This means that while they have a lot of potentials, they do not like social interactions. Thus, this temperament might struggle to connect with others.

This is made worse by their communication challenges. Melancholics struggle to communicate their true feelings. Thus, people might think of them as aloof or cold. However, that is usually the opposite.

Melancholics have strong feelings about their loved ones and careers. Their emotional nature also means they want to be loved and reassured by others.

When compared to the enneagram, most melancholics are type 4 and type 1.

Melancholics are usually associated with the MBTI’s feeling (F) and intuitive (N) functions. Thus, INFJs, ENFJs, ENFPs, and INFPs are more likely to be melancholics.

While this is true, other MBTI types can also be melancholics. For example, ISFP 4w5s might identify with this temperament.

Strengths of the Melancholic Personality

1.   Creative

Melancholics might not be the most expressive, but they are extremely creative. This is not hindered by any industry they are in.

They are more likely to be inventors and writers. Their work is truly exceptional and usually stands out.

Of course, this is usually noticeable when they are healthy and take time to hone their skills.

2.   Emotionally Aware

While the cholerics detest emotions, melancholics are acutely aware of their emotions. This makes them more self-aware.

The pro is that melancholics usually know what they stand for. This allows them to identify and stick to their values.

Being emotionally aware also allows them to be more romantic.

3.   High Standards

As earlier stated, mels are perfectionists. Thus, they set really high standards for themselves and others.

The pro is that it makes them more effective. It also allows them to maintain a higher quality or standard.

While this is true, being a perfectionist also has its disadvantages, as we shall see.

4.   Interested in Humanitarian Causes

One of the major strengths of melancholics is their self-sacrificing spirit. They are always looking to make sacrifices for others.

Thus, humanitarian tasks and events appeal to them. Melancholics might also find volunteering or charity activities appealing.

Giving back to better people’s lives makes them happy.

5.   Ethical

Melancholics strive to do the right thing. This makes them a bit more ethical. This might also be why most melancholics are conscious of their spirituality.

While this is true, background and other external factors play a significant role in how they turn out. However, what’s sure is that they usually have high morals.

6.   Humble/Modest

This follows the last point. Because of how ethical and self-sacrificing they are, they are usually modest.

They are not arrogant like cholerics. Instead, they simply want to do the right thing. This, combined with how reserved they are, can be a breath of fresh air.

7.   Reliable

As earlier stated, mels have high standards that they want to meet. Thus, this makes them more reliable. People usually feel comfortable with them and trust their output.

This helps them in their careers and other aspects of life.

8.   Loyal

Melancholics are faithful and loyal friends. As earlier stated, they are in touch with their feelings. So, when they feel you’re a friend, they treasure and take that relationship seriously.

They are also willing to help in any way they can. If you have a mel as a friend or partner, you can be sure they adore you.

9.   Good with Details

Because of their need for perfection, melancholics are detail-oriented. They can spot tiny errors or omissions. While this is amazing, the drawback is that they might spend more time reviewing projects or documents.

Because of this trait, melancholics make good doctors, auditors, and accountants.

10.                Intuitive

Finally, melancholics are intuitive. Thus, their decisions are primarily based on gut feelings and emotions.

Their intuitive nature makes them future-oriented. This, in turn, ensures they have a very vivid imagination.

Weaknesses of the Melancholic Personality

1.   Too Sensitive

The problems of melancholics start from their emotions. They are extremely sensitive to negative criticisms or events.

So, they struggle with feedback or challenges in life. Their sensitivity also means their emotions can be volatile.

Melancholics are more vulnerable to mental health issues than any other temperament.

2.   Lower Energy Levels

While they are often reliable, they also have low energy levels. This means that melancholics usually have a limit they can do. Once that limit is passed, they cannot go any further.

This is one of the reasons why people might think they are lazy. They just have lower energy levels.

3.   Difficulty Expressing Themselves

For a temperament that suffers from extreme sensitivity, they often struggle to express themselves. Except for mel-sans, melancholics are not great at communicating their feelings.

This causes both hidden and obvious problems. First, melancholics are often misunderstood in their relationships or among friends.

They are likely to be seen as aloof or cold. In reality, that is far from the truth.

4.   Self-Critical

Their high standards also make them more critical of themselves. They want to live up to these standards. However, perfection is unattainable.

Thus, they beat themselves up when things go wrong, believing they should do better.

They can also be critical of others. This can make them seem judgemental.

5.   Pessimistic

Negativism is ever-present among melancholics. They prefer to believe and prepare for the worst.

They are also skeptical of new plans and events. Because of how pessimistic they are, they can miss amazing opportunities.

The key is staying realistic, not pessimistic.

6.   Inferiority Complex

Despite how talented they might seem, most mels struggle with an inferiority complex. This leads to other problems, such as constantly comparing themselves to others.

Thus, melancholics find it difficult to be content or satisfied with their achievements. They need to understand that everyone is different. They need to know that they are good enough.

7.   Stuck Up on their Values

Because of how ethical they are, mels often have strong values. Changing their minds or staying open-minded to other values is difficult for them.

Thus, they can stay stuck in their values even when things change. This can also make them miss the bandwagon when it’s about to take off.

8.   Self-Absorbed

As you’ve probably noticed, mels are usually lost in their world or feelings. This usually makes them self-absorbed.

Thus, they might feel their situation is different or worse. When this happens, they neglect the needs of others.

This can strain their relationship with their loved ones.

Melancholics and Love

Are you dating or married to a melancholic? If you are, here are some things you should know about this temperament and love.

Love Languages

Melancholics find words of affirmation and quality time to be more appealing. However, this could change depending on external factors.

Make sure to give your melancholic a lot of affirmation and reassurance. Just letting them know they are enough can give them a boost.

Extremely Loyal

Loyalty comes easily to the melancholic. So, they expect their partners to be loyal to them. If you’re dating a melancholic, try to understand what loyalty means to them.

Ensuring they know you’re faithful and loyal can increase their trust in you. This can make them more comfortable.

Struggle with Communication

As earlier stated, mels struggle with expressing their thoughts. This comes back to haunt them in their relationships.

If you’re dating a melancholic, be patient with them. Always encourage them to open up to you. Make sure the atmosphere is just right. This will make them more comfortable.

Can Easily Detach Themselves

Despite being emotional, mels find it easy to detach themselves from others. This usually happens when they are engrossed in a project or chasing their latest passion.

This might make their partners feel lonely and left out. As with most things in life, striking a balance is crucial.

The Melancholic Temperament and Handling Money

Melancholics are detailed people. This shows in how they handle their finances. They are more likely to take note of how they spent their money and make a budget.

While this is true, melancholics are prone to making emotional purchases. These purchases can hinder them from reaching their financial goals.

Variants of the Melancholic Personality


The presence of the choleric reduces the sensitivity of the core melancholic. However, this variant is even harder to please and can have burning resentment.

Mel-chlors combine the creativity of the melancholic and the grit of the choleric to devastating effect.


The presence of the sanguine makes the melancholic less uptight and more extroverted. Thus, this variant is better at interactions and has higher energy levels.

Mel-sans are usually better at expressing themselves.


The presence of the phlegmatic reduces their self-critical nature. Thus, this variant is more laid-back and has lower standards.

Mel-phlegs find it easier to forgive themselves when their high standards are not met.

Best Careers for Melancholics

  • Writer
  • Auditor
  • Accountant
  • Graphic Designer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Doctor
  • Attorney
  • Economist
  • Financial Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Professor
  • Missionary
  • Musician

Worst Careers for Melancholics

  • HR manager
  • Entrepreneur (except mel-chlor)
  • Paralegal
  • Law enforcement
  • Military

Fictional/Famous Characters that are Melancholics

  • Johnny Depp (Mel-san)
  • Osamu Dazai (Bungou stray dogs) Mel-San
  • Billie Eilish (Mel-san)
  • Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan) Mel-Chlor
  • Daenerys Targaryen (GOT) Mel-Chlor
  • No. 218 (Squid Game) Mel-Chlor
  • Lady Gaga (Mel-Phleg)
  • Joe Goldberg (You) Mel-Phleg
  • Jon Snow (GOT) Mel-Phleg


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