The impulsive individual must be rushed. His emotions are very responsive, easily aroused, and, as, a rule, when aroused take a strong hold upon him. It is the impulsive person’s tendency always to act quickly and to act in response to his strong feelings. The impulsive man discharges his feelings with speed in action, and they rapidly evaporate. Therefore, desire, when aroused, must be quickly ripened into decision and action or it soon cools, and it is too late. As a general rule, the impulsive person is well supplied with fears, and if he is given time to think the matter over his lack of courage begins to assert itself. Fears of possible or impossible disaster begin to take form until the feelings of fear and apprehension entirely overshadow the desires which have been created.
Mark Twain’s story of his attendance at a missionary meeting is typical. After the speaker had been talking for half an hour, Mark was in such hearty sympathy with him and the cause for which he plead that he decided to put one dollar in the collection box when it came around—but the man kept on talking. At the end of three-quarters of an hour, Mark decided he would give only fifty cents. At the end of an hour, he decided that he would give nothing, and when, at the end of an hour and a half, the collection box finally did come around, Mark took out a dollar to pay himself for his pains.
Here are some of the indications of impulsiveness: blonde coloring, especially if accompanied by a florid skin; small, round, retreating chin; small size; fineness of texture; elasticity of consistency; short head; short, smooth fingers, with tapering tips; a keen, alert, intense expression. The impulsive person’s movements are also impulsive. He walks with a quick step, sometimes almost jerky. His gestures are quick, and if he is very impulsive, he always has the air of starting to do things before he has properly considered what he is going to do.
The deliberate individual is the opposite of the impulsive. His feelings may be strong, but he has them well under control. He may think slowly or he may think quickly, but he always acts with deliberation and always after he has thought very carefully. Once he has determined to act, he may act far more energetically, and certainly more persistently, than the impulsive person. The thing to remember about him is that he is constitutionally opposed to hasty decision and action. Even when his mind is made up and his desires are strong, he is very likely to postpone action until his resolution has had an opportunity to harden. Oftentimes these deliberate people are, or seem to be, incorrigible procrastinators. It is useless to try to rush them. Give them time to think and consider.