In both my personal and coaching conversations recently, Gretchen Rubin’s personality framework called “The Four Tendencies” has really seemed to resonate with people.

So, I thought I would take a few minutes to share it with you.

Gretchen Rubin Explains the Four Tendencies

First, here’s a six-minute video of Gretchen herself explaining the Four Tendencies and their relevance to changing one’s habits.

How do you respond to INNER EXPECTATIONS and OUTER EXPECTATIONS?

This is the key question that drives the framework. Here are the possible answers.

If you READILY MEET BOTH INNER AND OUTER EXPECTATIONS, you're an "UPHOLDER"

Here’s Gretchen Rubin specifically talking about Upholders, her own tendency.

If you READILY MEET INNER EXPECTATIONS and RESIST OUTER EXPECTATIONS, you're a "QUESTIONER"

This is what I am. Questioners basically turn all expectations into inner expectations!

Here’s Gretchen talking about Questioners.

If you READILY MEET OUTER EXPECTATIONS and RESIST INNER EXPECTATIONS, you're an "OBLIGER"

Here’s Gretchen talking about Obligers.

If you RESIST BOTH INNER AND OUTER EXPECTATIONS, you're a "REBEL"

Here’s Gretchen talking about Rebels.

So, which tendency are you? If you're not sure, take this free quiz!

Gretchen Rubin has provided a free quiz to tell you which one of the four tendencies you are. In just a few minutes, you can be well on your way to benefiting from Rubin’s framework. Click here to take the quiz!

Here's why I love this personality framework

At first glance, it might seem like the BEST tendency is the Upholder and the WORST tendency is the Rebel.

However, while it might be easier in many circumstances for Upholders to change their habits, each of the four tendencies have their own strengths and weaknesses.

So, for example, if you’re an Obliger, you’re much better off playing to the strengths of that tendency than trying to move heaven and earth to change yourself into an Upholder!

Yes, be aware of your weaknesses. But play to your personality strengths!

Here are Gretchen Rubin’s suggested habit-change strategies for each of the four tendencies.

If you're interested in learning more about the Four Tendencies, check out Gretchen Rubin's book!

You can also check out these free Four Tendencies resources from Gretchen Rubin’s website.


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