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Temperament refers to the typical behavioural traits that set us apart from others. It includes a set of relatively stable, innate tendencies and capacities that serve as the basis for the development of one’s personality. Knowing our temperament helps us understand why we are different.

From an early age, temperamental differences are visible between people in things such as:

  • the expression of emotions
  • concentration
  • distractibility
  • activity levels
  • the way we react to new situations and people

Knowing one’s own temperament increases self-awareness and provides the basis for a strong identity and control over one’s life. Knowing your temperament helps you understand why you feel a certain way. For example, while someone may find a thing stressful and scary, someone else may be cool about it. Once we understand that the way we experience things is related to our temperament, it’s easier to make changes:

  • changing the situation to suit us
  • changing our behaviour to suit the situation

Sometimes, it is also important to accept yourself without pressure to change yourself or your life.


Temperamental traits cannot be defined as good or bad per se; their importance always depends on the situation. The same temperamental trait can be called good in one context but bad in another. Sometimes a trait is helpful; other times, it’s a nuisance. Our environment also sets certain expectations, which a particular temperament may or may not fit.

A person’s temperament remains throughout life, but their development, upbringing, and learning can change the way it is expressed. An easily irritated person can’t do anything about their irritation, but they can learn to take it out on something other than their fellow human beings, such as sports.

Knowing our temperament helps us understand why we are different.  It’s good to learn to recognise and understand your temperament better. But don’t hide too much behind your temperament; you can choose how you act on your spontaneous reactions.