The Four Tendencies

The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too)

New York Times Bestseller

During her multibook investigation into human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the suspiciously simple question “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain explosive self-knowledge.

Rubin 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 Four Tendencies Book Cover

The Four Tendencies 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 your Tendency makes this task much, much easier. 


Discover your Tendency​

Find out whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, and learn how you can harness your Tendency. More than 3.2 million people have taken this free, quick quiz.

The Four Tendencies circle

Dive Deeper with Interviews & More​

Whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, you can learn to harness the strengths and counterbalance the negative aspects of your Tendency to achieve your aims.

Get the Four Tendencies Companion Guide [PDF Download]

The Four Tendencies Companion Guide includes a collection of never-before-published interviews with each Tendency, as well as journal prompts to help you find new ways to harness your Tendency.

Gretchen Rubin Courses

The Four Tendencies Video Course

To learn more strategies and tips, sign up for the Four Tendencies video course.

Read a Sample Chapter​

Read the first chapter of The Four Tendencies.

The Four Tendencies book cover


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