Struggling to get along with someone? Take a step in the right direction by using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to improve relationships!

Last week, we kicked off our series on The Personalities with a look at why The Personalities are the EASIEST tool for improving relationships. One of those reasons is that The Personalities are DESIGNED to be relationship-focused. The meat and potatoes of this tool is using The Personalities and emotional needs to improve relationships. 

If you’re not sure what The Personalities ARE or you aren’t sure which type is a best fit for YOU, be sure to hope over and check out this overview of The Personalities!Have you ever screamed in frustration, "I just don't UNDERSTAND them!" If so, it's time to learn about The Personalities -- the easiest to use personality typing system, designed to improve your relationships!

If you’re one who likes to jump around within a series (I won’t point fingers at which Personalities are likely to do that! 😜), go ahead a take a look at the rest of the posts in this series:

Now, let’s dive into those all-important Emotional Needs I promised to tell you about!

Struggling to get along with someone? Make a positive step in the right direction by using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to improve relationships!

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The Vital Pieces: Emotional Needs

Because The Personalities is so user-friendly, there are only four main emotional needs for each Personality. It’s simple and easy to remember! Here are the four top emotional needs for each of the four Personalities:

Keep in mind: ALL of the Personalities have ALL of these emotional needs. We’re simply highlighting here which ones are absolutely VITAL to each Personality. 

Popular Sanguine

The Popular Sanguine, above all, needs your attention, affection, approval, and acceptance. All ‘A’ words — hooray memory tricks!


Sanguines LOVE people and want everyone to love them, too. The best way you can improve your relationships with Sanguines is to simply give them your undivided attention.

I once had a college freshman in my hall follow me through the entire building as I went on rounds, talking my ear off the entire time. I finally stopped what I was doing, turned around to be face to face with her, and asked, “Can I help you with something?”

She responded, “No, I just wanted to tell you that story. See ya later!” And off she went.

All she needed was for me to give her two seconds of undivided attention, and she was good. How much time and frustration would I have saved myself (and probably her!) if I had just taken a quick break from my work to listen to her story? Lessoned learned! (It’s a great tactic to use with your children, too — regardless of type!)


Sanguines tend to be the touchy-feely, love and hug on everyone types. Most Sanguines I know actually have a personal “hug quota” they need to meet each day in order to feel normal. If you are not a Sanguine and not having your personal space invaded, the affection piece can take some getting used to. But it’s worth it to keep our Sanguine relationships happy!


Knowing they meet your approval is another huge emotional need for Sanguines. Constant criticism beats down their spirits like little else can, especially if the critique is of something in their personhood or something they do naturally — like talking loudly or wanting to hug everyone.

Be sure to always couch criticism in an “affirmation sandwich” for Sanguines. Start the conversation with what you appreciate about them or what they’re doing well, give the critique about whatever it is (and make sure it’s focused on a behavior, not the person!), then follow up with another affirmation of your love and care for him or her. It’s a good technique to use with anyone, but it’s especially effective in difficult conversations with Sanguines.


Remember that “affirmation sandwich” above? The “bun” is rooted in making sure the Sanguines know they are approved of and ACCEPTED. Who they are is enough. Be sure they know that fact!

I'm a Popular Sanguine! My top 4 emotional needs are Attention, Affection, Acceptance, & Approval. What Personality are YOU? Click To Tweet

Perfect Melancholy

The Perfect Melancholy in your life NEEDS sensitivity, support, space, and silence. All ‘S’ words this time!


Melancholies are sensitive souls, and they need those around them to be sensitive to their moods and time. If your Melancholy is neck-deep in a project and focused in his work, before just barging in with your question or funny story, ASK if now is a good time for him to talk or if you should come back in 10 minutes. It shows Mr. Melancholy that you are sensitive to his needing to work, and aren’t just going to pop in and commandeer his time and attention. You’re allowing HIM to choose when the best time to break would be and not adding stress to his day.


The Melancholies in your world need to know you support them in whatever they’re doing. Whether it’s attending their sporting events, ballet recitals, theater productions, book signings, business launches, or whatever else is important to them, be sure you are THERE. If you cannot be physically present, at the very least send a card, note, flowers, or whatever makes sense in your relationship to let them know you wish you could be there and are cheering them on from afar.


When I (speaking as a Melancholy here!) don’t feel well — whether emotionally or physically, my first instinct is to hole up in my room, avoid everybody, and not come out until I feel better. I just need that SPACE to heal, sleep, and not have to worry about anything else for the moment.

Your Melancholies need you to give them that space to process information, heal wounds, and work on what is important to them. Having physical space that is wholly theirs is a big deal for Melancholies. Physical space also includes that nice no-touch boundary most Melancholies tend to have around them. Always ASK before trying to hug a Melancholy — or you might just feel like you’re hugging a 2×4!


Oh, the sweet, sweet sound of silence in a home with littles… Can I get an amen, mamas? (Wait a minute… What exactly ARE they doing when I can’t hear any noise… Better go check… 😜) Being able to sit and think and process in SILENCE is wonderful for all of us, but it is VITAL for Melancholies.

My husband takes our daughter to church every Wednesday evening, and it is the ONE time during the week I get to have the house entirely to myself. I can work, read, or do whatever in COMPLETE. SILENCE. It might be my favorite day of the week. ❤️

I'm a Perfect Melancholy! My top 4 emotional needs are Sensitivity, Support, Space, & Silence. What Personality are YOU? Click To Tweet

Powerful Choleric

Choleric emotional needs all center around leading and work. Not as easy as a single letter to remember, but still, there’s only four of them!


As natural-born leaders, Cholerics NEED to know their “people” are loyal and are not going to mutiny! It’s REALLY hard for them to get over cheating, abandonment, or rejection, and they can hold a grudge like none other. Whatever it takes to show your loyalty to your Cholerics, do it. If you want to improve a relationship with your Choleric, take powerful steps to show them you’re WITH them 100%. It makes a HUGE difference!

Sense of Control

When life is out of their control, Cholerics are NOT happy people to be around. But when they can find even one little thing over which they have control, it changes everything for them. If you want to live at peace with your Cholerics, make sure you allow them to have control over SOMETHING in their world, if it is at all within your power to do so.

I see this concept play out not only in myself (Choleric is my secondary Personality type), but also in my young daughter. When you’re little, there isn’t much that is actually within your control — which is probably why there are so many blog posts and articles about “how to deal with a strong-willed child.” They act out when they can’t be in control!

In order to combat this tendency, since I KNOW my daughter is Choleric, we make sure to give her LOTS of choices. (Love & Logic is our BEST parenting tool, btw!) We also give her a lot of jobs that only hers — like getting forks for everyone at mealtimes, putting laundry in the washing machine, cleaning up her own spills, putting away all her toys, sorting her dirty clothes into the right baskets, turning her clean clothes right-side-out, matching socks, and putting her folded clothes away. Knowing something is HER job and getting to be in control of that small section of her world makes her a MUCH happier child!


Praise them, praise them! Sanguines like to be ACCEPTED for who they ARE, but Cholerics need to be APPRECIATED for what they DO. Work is a BIG deal for Cholerics (hence the whole “sense of control” emotional need), and if they do something for you, but you give them zero response or appreciation for it, they will probably not want to do anything for you ever again.

Especially for Choleric husbands and Choleric moms (whether they are SAHMs, WAHMs, or working moms — moms of any variety rarely receive verbal appreciation!), ALWAYS and FREQUENTLY express your gratitude for all they do. From bringing home the bacon to frying it up in the pan to scrubbing the dirty dishes, let them know you appreciate their efforts and NEVER take them for granted!

Credit for Work

Along the same lines as appreciation is the Choleric’s need to receive credit for their work. Cholerics and their work are so tightly fused together, it’s really hard for them to separate the two. (This aspect of their Personality makes transitioning from being a working professional to a Stay-at-Home parent ESPECIALLY difficult for Cholerics. Their entire basis for their self-worth has shifted dramatically!)

Recognizing the value in their work is, in their eyes, equivalent to acknowledging their worth as an individual. As I said above, praise them, praise them!

I'm a Powerful Choleric! My top 4 emotional needs are Loyalty, Sense of Control, Appreciation, and Credit for Work. What Personality are YOU? Click To Tweet

Peaceful Phlegmatic

Peace & Quiet

While Melancholies simply need silence on a regular basis, Phlegmatics need that silence to also be filled with PEACE. Several years ago, back in my single days, I lived in a rent house with two friends in the middle of a working cattle and grain farm, settled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With a huge picture frame window in the living room lending views of the cow pastures, corn, and nearby mountains, it was the epitome of picturesque natural beauty and the peaceful, quiet life our small group of friends loved.

In fact, most Sunday afternoons you could find 5-6 of our guy friends lounged out on our various living room furniture (or the floor!), fast asleep in the sunshine streaming in through the windows. If you guessed ALL those young men were at least partially Phlegmatic, you would be correct! There’s just something about peace and quiet that allows the Phlegmatic to relax and regroup after a busy week.

For the Phlegmatics in your world, find ways to provide that restful haven for them. It may mean minimizing clutter in the home, setting aside time to just relax and be in nature together, or giving them the freedom to go find peace and quiet somewhere by themselves.

Lack of Stress

As with most of the emotional needs, they’re all interconnected. Phlegmatics NEED peace and quiet to deal with the STRESS of daily living, and they NEED help reducing the amount of overall stress in their lives.

Phlegmatics can get overwhelmed by lengthy to-do lists, so if there is a LOT to do, break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. For Cholerics who are used to tackling lists the length of a football field, it may seem silly or like you’re spoon-feeding your Phlegmatics. But if you want to improve your relationships with them, help them do whatever is necessary to keep their stress levels to a minimum.

Feeling of Worth

Where Cholerics need to be appreciated for what they DO, Phlegmatics need to feel valued for who they ARE. Phlegmatics are not the most productive of the Personalities. Production and “doing” are not nearly as important to them as people and peace, which is a needed balance in this go-go-go world! When we appreciate them solely on what they DO, we’re not valuing them nearly as much as they deserve.

Help your Phlegmatics see the awesomeness they bring to the world through their own unique strengths, so they can establish a feeling of self-worth in a world that rarely values “being” over “doing.”


Phlegmatics need that internal feeling of worth, and they also need to know that others respect them for who they ARE. It’s that concept of “being” vs. “doing” again. If we only extend our respect to those who DO, our Phlegmatics will always be left out. Find ways to express your respect for the person your Phlegmatic is and the traits s/he has that brings out the best in you.

My Phlegmatics are generally the only ones who can peel me off the ceiling when I’m completely stressed out. I GREATLY appreciate their calm, peaceful natures in those moments, and I need to make sure to tell them so!

I'm a Peaceful Phlegmatic! My top 4 emotional needs are Peace & Quiet, Lack of Stress, a Feeling of Worth, and Respect. What Personality are YOU? Click To Tweet

Struggling to get along with someone? Make a positive step in the right direction by using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to improve relationships!

How will YOU use The Personalities & Emotional Needs to improve your relationships this week?

As we’ve been walking through each Personality and their corresponding emotional needs, I’m sure you’ve come up with at least one person in your world with whom you could try out this theory. Maybe it’s someone at work, your spouse, one of your kids, or an extended family member. Take some time to consider what that person’s Personality and emotional needs might be and decide what steps you will take this week to meet those needs and improve your relationship.

While you’re pondering your IRL relationships, don’t forget to tweet out YOUR Personality type & emotional need using the Click to Tweet boxes above. Let your people know what you need — and find out what THEY need! Even internet communities can benefit from understanding The Personalities! 😃

Then keep learning about The Personalities in the rest of this series:

Also, be sure to snag your FREE Personalities Simplified Cheatsheet to help you remember all the Emotional Needs of those around you!

Learn More!

If you like learning about The Personalities in this series, you’re going to LOVE the other resources out there:


Struggling to get along with someone? Make a positive step in the right direction by using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to improve relationships!






As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

2 thoughts on “Using The Personalities & Emotional Needs to Improve Relationships

  1. This is so interesting! To be honest, I didn’t know the 4 different types of personality types! I can’t wait to read all of your articles about The Personalities and use tips to better my relationships with my boys! Thank you for sharing!

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