Gretchen Rubin

Podcast 139: Why It’s Good to Be Full of Desire But Easy to Please, Why You Might Not Want to Be an Accountability Partner–and Elizabeth Grills.

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Update: In  episode 134, when our listener Eugenia said she felt bad because her father-in-law often gave her potted plants, and she could never keep them alive. Colleen -- whom I met in person in San Francisco, so fun -- wrote to let us know that in fact, those kinds of potted plants aren't meant to last very long.

Try This at Home: Be full of desire, but easy to please. Inspired by our parents, who are very easy house-guests.

This suggestion is related to this "A Little Happier" episode -- sometimes, being very specific about what we want allow others to revel in the pleasure of giving.

Happiness Hack: When guests come to stay, Claire suggests switching the photos on display in the guest room, to feature them, as a way to make them feel particularly welcomed.

Four Tendencies Tip: We got a question from our listener Shivani:

My roommate is an Obliger, whereas I am a Questioner. We are in the same graduate school program, so we have lots of overlap with classes and spend LOTS of time together. I sometimes find myself questioning why she needs external accountability, why she can't plan for herself, etc. There are times where I can remind myself that "that is just her Tendency and by working with it we can both be happier," but many times I find myself being exhausted by being the external accountability, and don't know why she can't just be her own external accountability. (I suggested putting post-its of reminders wherever she needs.) What do you suggest we do for better communication of expectations without sounding condescending on my end?

If you want to take the Quiz to tell you whether you’re a Questioner like my husband, an Upholder like me, an Obliger like Elizabeth, or a Rebel like Chris Guillebeau of "Side Hustle School," it's here. Or to learn even more, buy The Four Tendencies book.

If you want to use the Better app to join or create an accountability group, search for "Better Gretchen Rubin" in the app store, or go here.

Listener Question: Hillary asks us to explain the process that we use to prepare the "Happier" episodes each week.

Gretchen's Demerit: On my book tour, instead of spending my hotel time in reading, writing, answering emails, or other useful activities, I watched countless hours of HGTV shows. I've seen many episodes of "Property Brothers" and "Fixer Upper."

Elizabeth and I have stumbled on a new idea: when one of us contests the other's demerit. Elizabeth contests this demerit.

Elizabeth's Gold Star: Elizabeth is grilling! It's happening!


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  2. If you want to use the Better app to join or create an accountability group, search for "Better Gretchen Rubin" in the app store, or go here. It's also a great place to join conversations about different aspects of the Tendencies.

Remember, I do a weekly live show on Facebook called: “Ask Gretchen Rubin Live.”  To join the conversation, check the schedule.

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