Are you a people pleaser? Maybe you’re a rebel? We’ve all heard about the “Type A or Type B” personalities, but there’s more to it than just those two classifications. And, understanding our personal type (tendencies), is a big factor in our overall success in life.
I recently discovered a book by Gretchen Rubin entitled The Four Tendencies. Rubin discovered that people fit into four tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels. As the author points out, understanding these personality types (frameworks), is vital to helping us not only make better decisions, but also to be more effectively engaged in life and, even less stressed.
Rubin explains in her book that people tend to fall into one of four types.
- Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)
- Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
- Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
- Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
From Gretchen Rubin:
During my multibook investigation into human nature, I realized that by asking the suspiciously simple question “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain explosive self-knowledge.
I discovered that people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding this framework lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively. The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act.
The framework holds practical answers if you’ve ever wondered . . .
- People can rely on me, so why can’t I rely on myself?
- Why do people tell me that I ask too many questions?
- How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask—or one who keeps telling me what to do?
- How do I stop my teenager from dropping out of school?
- Why can’t I convince my patients to take their prescriptions?
- How can my team become more effective, with less wasted time and conflict?
One of the big daily challenges of life is: “How do I get people—including myself—to do what I want?” Knowing the Four Tendencies make this task much, much easier.
Rubin provides a quiz to help people determine which personality type they are — but there’s more to it than just knowing your personality type. The next step is understanding what makes you act and react. If you have some time, take the quiz and read the book — part of being more mindful about who we are, how we think, what we think and how we act and react, is knowing the why. The Four Tendencies could very well help you figure that out!
Take the quiz here
Learn more about Gretchen Rubin’s work here
Do you want to make a significant change in your life? Check out Gretchen Rubin’s tips on how to change your personality type habits.
We often try to figure other people out — why they think or act in a particular way. But, knowing our own personality type is probably more important to our own success and may make our lives a whole lot easier.