Tell Me: What Are Famous Fictional Examples of My “Four Tendencies” Framework?

Tell Me: What Are Famous Fictional Examples of My “Four Tendencies” Framework?

I'm collecting examples of my Four Tendencies framework, in fiction. Please send me your examples from books, movies, and TV shows!

If you want to know your own Tendency, to find out whether you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, you can take the quick, free quiz here. (More than 3.2 million people have taken it.) Or read my book The Four Tendencies.

If you want a quick overview of this personality framework, read here.

Here are some examples that I've identified in my own reading and watching:

Game of Thrones (for more discussion, read my post here)

  • Upholder: Brienne, Tywin, Stannis
  • Questioner: Tyrion
  • Obliger: Daenerys, Jon, Jaime
  • Rebel: Cersei, Arya

Brooklyn 99

  • Upholder: Captain Raymond Holt, Sargent Amy Santiago

Parks and Recreation

  • Upholder: Leslie, Chris
  • Questioner: Ron
  • Obliger: Andy, Jerry
  • Rebel: April

Harry Potter

  • Upholder: Hermione
  • Questioner: Fred, George
  • Obliger: Harry
  • Rebel: Sirius

Mad Men

  • Upholder: Joan
  • Questioner: ?
  • Obliger: Betty
  • Rebel: Don

The Office

  • Upholder: Dwight
  • Questioner: ?
  • Obliger: Pam, Ryan
  • Rebel: Creed

Some other notable examples from books:

  • Upholder: William Laurence in His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (Amazon, Bookshop)
  • Questioner: Temeraire in His Majesty's Dragon (Amazon, Bookshop); Jane Eyre in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Amazon, Bookshop)
  • Obliger: Stevens in The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Isiguro (Amazon, Bookshop); Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games (Amazon, Bookshop)
  • Rebel: surely there are dozens of obvious examples, but what are they?

Please send me all the Tendencies you've spotted! I have a long read-and-watch list of suggestions that people have made. For instance, I just checked out the library book Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy (Amazon, Bookshop), because someone told me it contains a spectacular Obliger-rebellion.

And I haven't spent enough time watching The Simpsons! How about the Simpsons characters? Is Bart a Rebel? Is Lisa an Upholder?

If you can think of real-life examples, of actual people, send those along as well. For instance, Picasso was a Rebel.

Do you think that we particularly enjoy seeing depictions of our own Tendency? As an Upholder, I do think that I get special pleasure from seeing my Tendency in action.

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Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.

The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t actOur Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

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