Questioners Question All Expectations

At work, at home, and in life, we all confront both outer and inner expectations. Understanding how you respond to expectations is the foundation of my Four Tendencies framework. (Take the quiz here to find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.)

Questioners question all expectations. They meet only inner expectations — and that includes outer expectations that they’ve turned into inner expectations.

Watch this short video to learn more about the Questioner Tendency:

If you’re intrigued by the Four Tendencies, and want to join the lively discussion on the Better app, sign up! It’s free. You can start or join an accountability group (Obligers, I know many of you want to do that), ask questions, have discussions about your own Tendency or dealing with someone else’s Tendency.

If you’re a questioner, have you been called stubborn, obstructionist, or “not a team player”?

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • Kim

    Great video, such true facts! Thanks for the video share, love checking out your blog!

  • Louise O’Malley

    Oh! I have a questioner in my house. My 10 year old has been a questioner since he could speak. Beyond the usual ‘kids and their questions’. He will question every aspect of a task or assignment which, in the past, has caused him issues at school. Whilst he is happy to complete the task, he has an over whelming need to understand why, what, what about etc. I have often questioned him on this (yes I see the irony), his response is that if he understand he is learning skills and may be able to use them for the next task and that it helps him understand the history of why it needs to be done that way. Positive – it sometimes makes me stop and question why. The negative – it can be exhausting, for both of us. I once had him write his genuine questions down for an hour instead of asking them outloud – 27 questions.

    • M.C.

      I have an 8 year old questioner. I really try to step back from my annoyance at all tge questions and remind myself that he is EXACTLY like me. I annoy everyone too with my questions / challenges. Better than my 6 year old rebel!

  • Mimi Gregor

    Oh, yeah — I question EVERYTHING. I’m sure that I was looked upon as borderline insubordinate during my working years, because when something was inefficient or didn’t make sense in some way, I wouldn’t just go along with it because that is how it is done here. When I got a response like that, I would just nod my head — and then do it MY way anyway. Since I am a very organized person, I’ve already figured out the easiest, most practical way to do things from trial and error. I questioned managers who would have no experience in the actual job I was doing, but thought that they knew the best way to do it.

    • gretchenrubin

      SO Questioner!

      Gretchen Rubin

      Visit my blog

      My podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin
      My books: Better Than Before —New York Times bestseller
      The Happiness Project —#1 New York Times bestseller
      Join the discussion on Facebook @gretchenrubin

  • Carol

    While driving around the US Naval Academy, a family friend asked my dad if I was interested in any of the military academies. My dad said, “No, Carol questions too much.”

  • Jeanne

    I have been widely appreciated and praised for my questioning nature. I too am very organized and figure out the easiest, most efficient ways to do things. I learned (by questioning myself) that I hate to waste time. But my idea of wasting time is not necessarily doing nothing, which is sometimes a great thing to do. My definition of wasting time is doing something the hard way, or something that does not need to be done at all. One boss told me that what she liked about working with me (I get that a lot) is that I always tell her the truth. What she really meant is that I give her a well-thought-out and helpful opinion based in reality. One people-pleasing boss, who was always jumping head first off the high dive and then calling me to find out if there’s any water in the pool, loved that I was always wading in from the shallow end, keeping us grounded and making decisions based on thinking rather than impulse. It’s astonishing to me that people just blindly obey or rebel without thinking things through. I can’t imagine living that way. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being a Questioner. Others love it too. And they tell me so. Probably because I’m a Kind Questioner and not a bully.

    • Kind questioner here too. I’m definitely a questioner because I do not arbitrarily except authority or the status quo. I like to do my own research and I like to find the efficient way to do things. I’m a lazy genius. But I don’t exasperate people I guess I can rein in my questioner tendencies.

  • Anna C

    I’m such a questioner. I work as an engineer. I want facts, reasons, calculations. I’m also a satisficer, though, not a maximizer. I find the solution, implement it, and move on. It’s inefficient to get stuck and refuse to decide. I can be wrong and change my mind if argued with effectively. I break rules I can’t see the point in. I follow rules I do see the point in, even if I’m the only one who will ever know.