The Phlegmatic Personality/Temperament (The Complete Guide)

Phlegmatic personality

The phlegmatic personality is one of the four temperaments highlighted by Tim Lahaye. Do you identify as a phlegmatic? If you do, you’re going to love this article.

It talks about everything you should know about the phlegmatic temperament. Let’s dive in.

What are Phlegmatics Like?

Phlegmatics are easy-going people. They are laid back and can be very understanding. Most people would consider the phlegmatic’s life to be calm and even boring. However, that’s just how they want it.

While they take life easy, they still have a lot of friends. This might be because they hardly take things too seriously. They also do not overtask others. This makes them popular and likable.

While they might seem calm and smooth on the outside, there’s a whole world of emotions and beliefs beneath the surface. Phlegs might have strong beliefs or convictions. They might also be very sensitive to criticism. However, these traits will not be evident. In fact, they will try to avoid expressing how they feel.

The implication of this is that they often shy away from leadership positions. While they are not ideal leaders like cholerics, they are good at it when it falls on them.

Compared to the enneagram, most phlegmatics identify as type 9 or type 4. ISFP, ISFJs, INFJs, and INFPs are more likely to identify as phlegmatics.

While this is true, other MBTI and enneagram types can also be phlegmatics. A lot of factors influence the final outcome.

Strengths of the Phlegmatic Personality

1.   Cautious

Phlegmatics are cautious people. Unlike sanguines, this personality type is very aware of the consequences of their actions. Thus, they carefully consider all factors before making a decision.

Because of this trait, they usually avoid making disastrous mistakes. This affects their career, relationship, and money choices.

Their need for cautiousness can be a lifesaver.

2.   Diplomats

Phlegmatics are chill people. This trait makes them natural peacemakers. People are willing to listen to them. Thus, diplomacy comes naturally.

This fact also broadens their career options. Phlegs can succeed as ambassadors, diplomats, or arbitrators. Their ability to counsel people without seeming judgemental is a valuable asset.

3.   Easy Going/Calm

Phlegmatics are friendly people. Easygoing is the word that describes them best. They hardly confront others about issues and prefer to go with the flow.

They are also less likely to get agitated over minor issues. The only exception might be if they have a more volatile wing, such as the choleric.

Their friendly and often cheerful nature allows people to be comfortable around them.

4.   Laid Back

This follows the last point. Phlegs have a laid-back lifestyle. They try not to get overly involved in any activity, even their passions.

This allows them to enjoy life in a lazy pleasurable manner. Big decisions such as finding a romantic partner or choosing a career path take extra effort on their part.

5.   Dependable

Phlegmatics might seem unexcited and laid back. Yet, they come alive when there’s a lot of pressure. While they do not search for such situations, they understand the need to react.

Thus, when responsibilities are placed on them, phlegmatics often react reasonably well. However, this is limited to high-pressure situations.

Responsibilities with lengthy timelines might have a different outcome.

6.   Resilient

This follows the last point. Their dependability usually brings out their resilience. Phlegs can thrive in very difficult situations or circumstances.

While true, don’t mistake this for a willingness to be resilient. If given a chance, phlegmatics will always choose the easy way out, even when it’s detrimental to them.

7.   Loyal

Like melancholics, phlegmatics are loyal. They stick to their friends and try to help out when they can. Depending on their variant, they can either do the maximum or the minimum.

Besides, loyalty to a friend is easier than double-crossing them. Phlegmatics really do not want the stress.

8.   Good With Routine

Routine is something that comes easily to them. What they eat, wear, or where they work are things that can stay constant for long periods.

Having these routines allows them to maintain their laid-back lifestyle. While this is true, rest or doing nothing might come first before any routine.

Weaknesses of the Phlegmatic Personality

1.   Lack of Ambition

As stated earlier, phlegs want a slow and unexciting life. With this need comes several problems. The biggest is that phlegs often lack drive or ambition.

Thus, they might have little or no future plans. A good number of phlegs go through the motions for most parts of their life.

As you’ve probably guessed, this doesn’t help their career or relationships. Phlegmatics often have to be pushed to achieve much in life.

2.   Procrastination

We said earlier that phlegs could be amazing when dealing with pressure. However, the problem is when there’s no pressure at all. They can easily become serial procrastinators, never getting anything done.

This might make them seem lazy or unreliable.

3.   Plays it Safe A Bit Too Much

Avoiding being overly involved in activities can lead to other problems. When this combines with their need to be cautious, it makes them extremely risk averse.

Thus, phlegmatics might choose the safer option far too many times. This is true even when there’s a good chance of succeeding. Why push the limit if you’re already comfortable?

4.   Stubborn

While phlegs are not confrontational as chlors or expressive as sans, they are still very stubborn. They are masters of passive aggression and can drag their feet when needed.

Their stubbornness normally shows when their values are pushed or if they are being attacked. Phlegmatics will perform tasks their way and will resist any attempt to be controlled.

5.   Self-Centered

Phlegmatics might have an issue with selfishness. This stems from their need to do the bare minimum. Most times, that means only doing things necessary for their survival. Putting other people’s needs into consideration might not appeal to them.

Their actions or inactions can send the wrong signals to others.

6.   Anxious/Fearful

One of the main reasons why phlegmatics might refuse to get overly involved is fear. Depending on their background, they might fear rejection, failure, or incompetence.

Thus, they prefer to stay away from extra responsibilities. They might also be anxious about how others might see their efforts.

Phlegmatics and Love

Are you dating or married to a phlegmatic? Here are some things you should know.

1.   Love Languages

Love languages refer to the way most people prefer to receive and give love. For phlegmatics, acts of service and gifts might appeal to them more.

However, people are different. Thus, the best way to know your significant other’s love language is by simply asking them.

2.   Idealistic Dreams

Phlegmatics are usually idealists in their relationships. They hold their partners in high esteem and often want their relationships to be perfect. The problem is relationships aren’t perfect.

Thus, phlegs are left disillusioned when their partner’s flaws are exposed. If not handled properly, your phleg might fall out of love because of failed expectations.

3.   All in For the Romance

Phlegmatics, just like melancholics, enjoy romance. They want dates, surprises, and kisses. They want pure intimacy with their partners.

If this is missing in their relationship, they might feel like their relationship is out of touch. Because of how laid back they can be, there’s a possibility that they might slowly give up on the relationship.

4.   Prefers Committed Relationships

When phlegs are in a relationship, they are all in. Thus, they prefer committed relationships to casual ones. They want to know that their partner is besotted with them.

Phlegmatics are more likely to have long-term partners than other temperaments.

5.   Initial Indecision

While phlegmatics want a long-term relationship, they might initially be hesitant. Here’s why. Phlegmatics are idealists. Thus, they want the very best in their relationships.

Choosing a partner that gives them that feeling can be difficult. Thus, they might hesitate before committing completely.

If you’re dating a phlegmatic, patience is needed.

The Phlegmatic Personality and Handling Finances

Phlegmatics tend to be content with what they have. They spend and live within their budget. However, this does not make them expert savers. They might still be messy with their finances.

However, because they also have a frugal lifestyle, they usually never find themselves in debt. They are also not impulsive spenders like the Sanguines.

Variants of the Phlegmatic Temperament


The presence of choleric reduces the laid-back lifestyle of the phlegmatic. Phlegchlors are more disciplined, action-oriented, and dogged.

Phlegchlors combine the cautiousness of the phlegmatic and the determination of the cholerics.


The presence of sanguine makes the phlegmatic more expressive. In a way, they become extroverted introverts. This also makes them more charismatic.

Phlegsans combine the calmness of the phlegs with the expressiveness of the sanguines.


The presence of the melancholic makes them more creative, sensitive, and perfectionistic. It also makes them more detached and introverted. In a way, phlegmels become super introverts.

Best Careers for the Phlegmatic Personality

  • Writer
  • Freelancer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Nurse
  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Arbitrator
  • Diplomat
  • Counselor
  • Religious Leader

Worst Careers for the Phlegmatic Temperament

  • Lawyer
  • Auditor
  • Judge
  • Financial Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Doctor
  • Entrepreneur

This can all change depending on their wing.

Fictional/Famous/Anime Characters that are Phlegmatics

  • Armin Arlert (Attack on Titan)- (Phleg-mel)
  • Carl Jung (Phleg-Mel)
  • Kim Kardashian (Phleg-mel)
  • Kang Sae-byeok (Squid Game)- (Phleg-chlor)
  • Harry Potter (Phleg-chlor)
  • Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) -(Phleg-chlor)
  • Ali Abdul (Squid Game)- (Phleg-san)
  • Cassie Howard (Euphoria)- (Phleg-san)
  • Kylie Jenner (Phleg-san)

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