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Exploring Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies

I was curious to explore this particular framework, especially as I sometimes listen to the Gretchen Rubin podcasts.

Four Tendencies described

There is a dedicated book that makes for interesting reading, however to get started, here is how Gretchen Rubin explore the concept:

By asking the one simple question, “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain exciting insight into ourselves. And when we know how other people respond to expectations, we understand them far more effectively, as well.

We all face two kinds of expectations—outer expectations (meet work deadlines, answer a request from a friend) and inner expectations (keep a New Year’s resolution, start meditating). Our response to expectations determines our “Tendency”—that is, whether we fit into the category of Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.

Knowing our Tendency can help us set up situations in the ways that make it more likely that we’ll achieve our aims. We can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet our promises to ourselves, suffer less stress, and engage more deeply with others.

Taking the quiz and what I got from it

Whilst you do need to provide an email address to complete the short quiz, it is free and has been taken by 3 million users. I always find myself choosing between options and feel a little that none of them really describe me particularly well, but it is not too long and the result feels authentic: My dominant tendency is to be an Upholder (“I do what others expect of me—and what I expect from myself.”) and that rings true to how I see myself.

The report I receive is four pages long and I find it helpful to read through it. It mentions both upsides and challenges of this particular tendency when it comes to communication, work and daily habits.

A new insight I take away from the quiz is that whilst there is a ‘relentlessness’ about this kind of person, which can be tiring for me and those around me (something I AM familiar with) there is also a suggestion that being good at keeping commitments to myself and a strong sense of self preservation helps protect me from burnout.

There are quite a few books by Gretchen Rubin that I haven’t read, including the Happiness Project, and the one that appeals to me the most is about daily habits, called Better Than Before. So that is going on my reading list 🙂

Explore for yourself

If you’d like to explore the quiz for yourself, head to the online quiz page and get started.

One Comment

  1. Miriam Miriam

    Hi Maren- just found your site. I took that test for fun and it said I was a questioner. 🙂 I hope all is well. I’d love to hear from you some time. Hugs, Mimi

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