Inside Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies

Happiness author to speak at Oct. 18 Go Confidently event

Whether we realize it or not, we all have hidden patterns in the way we behave and how we relate to other people.

These hidden patterns affect your life and relationships, according to Gretchen Rubin, a best-selling author on habits and happiness who will speak Oct. 18 at Norton Healthcare’s next Go Confidently event.

Rubin uncovers the patterns in her book “The Four Tendencies,” which focuses on the hidden personality types that drive everything we do.

She says the goal is to learn more about yourself to improve your relationships.

The four tendencies identify how you weigh your expectations for yourself versus the expectations others have of you. Rubin organizes the tendencies by four personality categories: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and Rebels.

Upholders and Questioners

Upholders readily meet all expectations, Rubin says, while Questioners, well, question all expectations. “They’ll do something if they think it makes sense,” she says. “So they meet inner expectations but resist outer expectations.”

Obligers and Rebels

Obligers are just the opposite. They thrive on meeting outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations.

As for Rebels, they resist all expectations. “Typically, they don’t even like to tell themselves what to do,” Rubin says.

“When you know what you are, and then when you know what some people around you are, you start seeing patterns.

“Why have I consistently felt frustration in an area of my life, or why do I constantly have conflict with this one person, or why is this person just being so annoying for no good reason?” Rubin asked. “When you understand the tendencies, all these things become much clearer.”


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