How Do You REACT?

The other day, I reached into a bowl of apples, placed on our kitchen counter, and my finger pierced through a rotten apple hidden underneath several perfect ones.  I screamed loudly and jumped backwards – immediately dropping the mushy fruit on the floor! YUCK!


My husband, standing three feet from me, vaulted a foot into the air at the sound of my blood-curdling outburst. He was holding a knife and nearly cut himself reacting to my scream.

Duane has requested, throughout our marriage, that I try and control my dramatic reactions. When such things happen, I apologize and calm down immediately.  It is not intentional, on my part, to  respond unnecessarily over-the-top.

My excuse is valid.

The blame rests on a YELLOW temperament.

YELLOWS don’t plan eruptions ahead of time. Their reactions are truly knee-jerk responses to situations that surprise them!

Of the four different temperaments, YELLOW is the most over-the-top dramatic.  Unexpected traumas, for YELLOWS, are usually viewed as catastrophic!  In their minds, no one has experienced such distress as the YELLOW involved.

In other words, each of the four temperaments experiences life from a totally different perspective.

There was another time, when Duane was backing the car out of our driveway, and I heard an oncoming car’s brakes screeching to avoid hitting us! I screamed a deafening high note as I grabbed the dashboard, holding on for my life! He claims my reaction was equally as upsetting to him as if we had been hit by the car! Try as I may, I cannot extinguish my natural emotions!

Each temperament reacts predictably.

REDS are as loud and vocal as YELLOWS, but react differently. For example, a near miss accident in traffic would probably result in anger from a RED: whereas, YELLOWS are likely to react more hysterically.

BLUES would never react in such a manner.  Their temperament is one of caution and control. BLUES internalize most unpleasant circumstances.

GREENS are quiet, nice people who rarely react negatively to anything.

It helps so much to understand the four temperaments in everyday situations!

One day, an ice cream truck came through our neighborhood. Six of our grandchildren were visiting at the time. Our little YELLOW was screaming, hysterically, as I passed out money for them to purchase a treat from the truck. One would have thought she had never tasted ice cream before in her life!

The other five were happy, but calm, and emotionally stable, as they made their way outside to the curb.

I glanced at my husband and heard him say, “I know. I know.  She is a YELLOW and extremely excited about purchasing ice cream.” She was so excited that she could barely talk as she attempted to tell the ice-cream man her order!

I can SO relate! YELLOWS, by nature, are more excitable.

With summer around the corner, be aware how different temperament reactions in children play out in your home and neighborhood.

YELLOWS and REDS are the vocal kids. You can hear them from blocks away. REDS will be bossing everyone around. YELLOWS want everyone to play with them and like them.

BLUES are rule followers – usually, not trouble makers. They are helpers and want to play fair. They also let you know when someone is not playing according to the rules. GREENS are quiet peacemakers who tend to go along with the crowd until they get tired.

At church last week, I asked a child what she was excited about for summer.  She thought for a moment and said, “Well, I’ll have more time to read and clean my room since I don’t have to go to school during the summer.” Yes, if you guessed BLUE temperament, you guessed correctly. Most RED and YELLOW kids would not be excited about cleaning their rooms.

A GREEN’S reaction to the same question most likely would involve looking forward to sleeping in during the summer.  By the way, his/her room is already clean!

How do you react in unexpected circumstances?







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