March 21

Why Doesn’t that Person LIKE ME? | WT #82

One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Everybody Loves Raymond. The show revolves around the life of Ray Barone, a successful sports writer living on Long Island with his wife and their three children. Ray’s overbearing parents and jealous brother live directly across the street, leading to a comedic exploration of family dynamics, marriage, and parenthood. The show’s title, Everybody Loves Raymond, is ironic, highlighting Ray’s struggle to balance the demands and criticisms of his family and work life, despite seemingly being the “golden boy” within his familial circle (as his older brother consistently points out).

And one of my favorite episodes is titled, “Somebody Hates Raymond.”

In this story, Ray’s insecurity suffers an all-out assault, as he encounters a local talk radio host who is rumored to just not like him! And it drives Ray crazy in the most hilarious fashion.

It’s worth checking out. But before you do so, it might beg a question here. Can you relate to Ray? I know I can. I know I’m as lovable as they come. But once in a great while, I come across someone from whom I get that vibe.

I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about. But humor me for a moment.

Why does this happen? Just as we asked you in a previous piece, why certain people may rub you the wrong way without any apparent reason, have you ever imagined that you might find yourself on the other side of this cosmic equation?

Believe it or not, just as we continue to emphasize here, the explanation can be traced back to the concept of the Four Temperaments, an idea that originates from ancient Greek philosophy, notably through the works of Hippocrates and Galen. These guys proposed that human behaviors and emotions were influenced by bodily fluids (“humors”). While the fluid aspect has long be dismissed, the premise that our temperaments are biologically ingrained remains valid.

And it also explains (well, in some ways at least), why some people we encounter, as swell as a personality we exhibit, may JUST NOT LIKE US.

It’s a clash of temperaments. Here’s a quick overview of the Four Temperaments:

  • Choleric: Passionate and goal-driven.
  • Melancholic: Thoughtful and introspective.
  • Sanguine: Energetic and social.
  • Phlegmatic: Calm and harmony-seeking.

Your temperament shapes your initial reactions to people, places, and situations. It’s easy to confuse temperament with character, but they’re not the same. Temperament is rooted in biology and remains consistent, whereas character is your moral and ethical compass, which you can develop and refine over time (hint: we can help with that). Alexandre Havard highlights in his book “From Temperament to Character” how working on your character can offset the less desirable aspects of your temperament.

This process involves cultivating “challenge habits” specific to your temperament:

  • For the Choleric, embrace humility.
  • For the Melancholic, seek courage.
  • For the Sanguine, foster perseverance.
  • For the Phlegmatic, encourage decisiveness.

Improving these aspects of your character not only helps in personal growth but also makes interactions with others more harmonious. Interestingly, the idea of nurturing virtues to balance our temperaments is as ancient as the temperaments themselves, emphasizing the timeless wisdom of cultivating VIRTUES to lead a more fulfilling life.

Just don’t expect it to make you more popular.



Emotional Descriptors

Temperament in Action...

Challenge Habit

At Home

At Work

At Work


intense and action-oriented

dynamic & active

organizes household

thrives on opposition

has little need for friends

practice HUMILITY


deep and idea-oriented

serious & purposeful

sets high standards

sees the problems

avoids causing attention

practice AUDACITY


spontaneous and people-oriented

appealing personality

makes home fun

inspires others to join

doesn't hold grudges

practice ENDURANCE


restrained and peace-oriented

low-key personality

doesn't get upset easily

good under pressure

has many friends


About the author 

Keith F. Luscher

Keith F. Luscher is a marketing strategist for the Authentic Leadership Foundation, which includes much of the media and communications work you see on a regular basis. He works as a fractional CMO for several organizations, and lives in Newark, Ohio.


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