I've heard people identify with the 4 elements, like that person is a more earthly soul or fire or water. But is there any discussion in any seforim anywhere that identifies traits with different types of people and how they aren't necessarily a bad thing but can be used in life.
Yes it is spoken about at length by numerous Rabbonim throughout the ages.
A recent, excellent, English sefer produced by Artscroll entitled Mastering Relationships by R' Mordechai Weinberger LCSW discusses these four elements in the context of relationships, drawing on numerous sources from Chazal and Jewish throught.
The blurb there reads as follows:
Fire. Water. Wind. Earth. Understand the four elements - and you will better understand others, and yourself. Master their secrets - and you will master your relationships.
Rav Chaim Vital, Rambam, the Gaon of Vilna, the Aruch Hashulchan and the Baal HaTanya are just a few of the many Torah Sages who discuss the four elements that compose all matter - including all of humanity: fire, wind, water and earth. These elements represent different traits that make up our personalities.
By better understanding these elements, and the way they play out in human behavior, we can better understand ourselves and the people around us. And by achieving that understanding, we can vastly improve our relationships.
Rabbi Mordechai Weinberger LCSW is a master therapist, acclaimed public speaker, and popular radio show host who has helped thousands of people build better, more satisfying, and happier lives. Using fascinating case studies, and a considerable dose of humor, Rabbi Weinberger shows us how to identify our own "elements" as well as those of others; how to capitalize on our traits so they lead to success and not disaster; how to balance our natures and complement our strengths, making them even more effective; and how to interpret people’s behavior so we can deal properly with them. He explains how a husband with a "fiery" temperament can understand his wife, whose nature is dominated by "wind."Â”A businessman characterized by the traits of "earth" will be afraid of risk; perhaps he needs to strengthen his attitude of “"water" in order to succeed.
Yes, it's fun to take Rabbi Weinberger's quizzes and figure out which traits dominate in your personality, and in that of your spouse, your child, your mother-in-law, your boss. And it's fun to read about the various case studies, and see how people can understand, and misunderstand, each other. Indeed, this book is a lot of fun.
And it's also life-changing. For the better. Much better.
It goes through each of the four types of elements/souls and showcases how it exhibited in their characteristics and attributes. A good read!