Getting Started: The Four Tendencies
Understanding the Four Tendencies Framework
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). Your response to expectations determines your “Tendency”—that is, whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.
- Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations—“Discipline is my freedom”
- Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense; essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations—“I’ll comply—if you convince me why”
- Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves—“You can count on me; and I’m counting on you to count on me”
- Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike—“You can’t make me, and neither can I”
Knowing your Tendency can help you set up situations in ways that make it more likely that you’ll achieve your aims. You can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet your promises to yourself, suffer less stress, and engage more deeply with others.
Discover Your Tendency
More than 3 million people have taken this short, easy quiz and discovered their Tendency.
Whatever Your Tendency, You Can Learn to Harness Its Strengths
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. In these interviews, Gretchen Rubin talks with notable people from each Tendency about the Four Tendencies framework, and how they’ve found success in ways that work for them.
Watch the interviews with the Four Tendencies:
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The Four Tendencies Video Course
To learn more strategies and tips, sign up for the Four Tendencies video course.
Applying the Four Tendencies
Learn more about the Four Tendencies framework and get practical tips to become happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative, in the ways that work for you.