I’ve long been curious about the Four Tendencies Framework. This is one developed by Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin together with her sister has a podcast that I listen to everyday. They talk about the Four Tendencies a lot. I do have a hunch already based on their talks what tendency I have. However, it would be nice to confirm it by taking the quiz myself.
Here is an overview of the Four Tendencies based on Gretchen Rubin’s website:
In a nutshell, it distinguishes how people tend to respond to expectations: outer expectations (a deadline, a “request” from a sweetheart) and inner expectations (write a novel in your free time, keep a New Year’s resolution).
Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.
Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)
Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
Based on results, most people are questioners or obligers while only a few people are upholders and rebels.
I took the test today and no surprise that I got Upholder as my dominant tendency!
According to your answers, your dominant Tendency is Upholder.
Upholders respond readily to both outer and inner expectations: they meet deadlines and keep New Year’s resolutions without much struggle or supervision.
Upholders take great satisfaction from moving smoothly through their daily schedule and their to-do lists. They meet others’ expectations—and their expectations for themselves.
However, Upholders may feel uneasy when expectations aren’t clear, when they’re worried that they’re breaking the rules, or when they feel overwhelmed by expectations they seek to meet.
They enjoy habits, and form habits fairly easily.
And this is what I got when I requested for a more detailed description of an Upholder:
Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations.
They wake up and think: “What’s on the schedule and the to-do list for today?” They want to know what’s expected of them, and to meet those expectations. They avoid making mistakes or letting people down— including themselves.
Others can rely on Upholders, and Upholders can rely on themselves. They’re self-directed and have little trouble meeting commitments, keeping resolutions, or hitting deadlines (they often finish early). They want to understand the rules, and often they search for the rules beyond the rules—as in the case of art or ethics.
Because Upholders feel a real obligation to meet their expectations for themselves, they have a strong instinct for self-preservation, and this helps protect them from their tendency to meet others’ expectations.
However, Upholders may struggle in situations where expectations aren’t clear. They may feel compelled to meet expectations, even ones that seem pointless. They may feel uneasy when they know they’re breaking the rules, even unnecessary rules. There’s a relentless quality to Upholder-ness, which can be tiring both to Upholders and the people around them.
Upholders embrace habits, and form them fairly easily, because they find habits gratifying. The fact that even habit-loving Upholders must struggle to foster good habits shows how challenging it is to shape our habits.
Certain strategies tend to have special appeal for Upholders. For instance, if you’re trying to exercise more, you might:
Schedule exercise for a specific time instead of fitting it into your day at some point (Strategy of Scheduling)
Keep a chart where you get a check mark everytime you exercise, or use a pedometer to track your steps (Strategy of Monitoring)
Take advantage of a big life change—new house, new job, or new relationship—to start strong with a new habit (Strategy of the Clean Slate)
As I read through my Four Tendencies results, I resonate with them a lot! It reminded me about a lot of my approach on things and the tools I use to ensure that I meet expectations both inwardly and outwardly.
It’s funny when the result say that Upholders embrace habits and I surely do! I even have an application where I track my daily habits and tick them off whenever I complete one task.
I’m also very keen on monitoring progress on everything I do (it doesn’t even matter if it’s work or personal, I track both!).
Lastly, I embrace big life changes well. I noticed that when I purchased my condo, my car and also when I got through some big life changes. That’s why I consider myself resilient.
It’s really amazing how people like Gretchen Rubin can create such an accurate framework like the Four Tendencies. With just a few questions, they can accurately analyse someone’s unique personality. Somehow, I wished I studied psychology versus pharmacy when I was in college. but what the heck, I’m still learning by taking time in learning about psychology tests like this one. I intend to get myself the Four Tendencies book and read more.
Looks interesting to you? I find that I needed to take the Four Tendencies as I love listening to the Happier podcast. They talk this in almost all episodes so in order for me to relate to what they’re talking about, I figure it’s high time that I take the Four Tendencies quiz. If you want to take the Four Tendencies Quiz yourself, here’s the link 😀