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Expectations and Tendencies

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How expectations define our tendencies.

I love personality quizzes and assessments. I like to take them to check if I can relate to the quiz’s assessment of myself. Recently, I came across Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies. I have not read the book yet but listened to her interviews and it piqued my curiosity.

She groups people into four tendencies based on how they respond to inner and outer expectations.

Upholders: Meet inner and outer expectations readily. They have not problem keeping their promises to others and themselves. Upholders are a small category.

Questioners: Question all expectations and meet them only if it makes sense to them i.e. if it meets their inner expectations. This is the second most common tendency.

Obligers: Meet outer expectations but have hard time with inner expectations. Eg: People pleasers. Most people are obligers and it is a good thing as they are the backbones of the world.

Rebels: Resist all expectations. They do things their own way and sometimes can come across as selfish. Rebels are the smallest category.

You can read more about the four tendencies and watch the videos here.

Take the quiz here. Be true to yourself and answer honestly. 🙂

Each individual is infinitely more complex and cannot be assigned a certain trait using a quiz of 10-20 questions. But I do think that knowing one’s tendency helps understand the other person and yourself better. For example, in some cases it can explain –

Why does he/she always question every tiny little detail? They are a questioner.

How does he/she always meet their goals or resolutions while others have hard time? One is an upholder while the other is an obliger/rebel.

Why someone always does the opposite of what is asked of them? Because they are rebels. You cannot make them do anything.

And she also gives ideas on how we can approach a person with a particular tendency and persuade them to meet their inner or outer expectations.

For example, an obliger might easily meet obligations to others but has problems sticking to personal goals (they meet outer expectations but not inner expectations). In this case, she suggests signing up for a program for external accountability to make it easier to stick to a certain goal.

So what tendency do I fall into? According to the quiz, I am a Rebel

I took the quiz twice as I was pretty sure I was an upholder… Like I mentioned, a few questions do not define a person’s tendencies. Reading the book in detail about the tendencies might give a better idea about my tendency.

My husband is a questioner and I can tell for certain that he is. Now I know why he incessantly questions anything I do ;). I also know a few people who are definitely obligers. Knowing their tendency might make it easier to understand them better and how to approach them.

I am very interested to know what your tendency is. Take the quiz and let me know!




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Hi there!

I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.

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