The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

I just finished reading The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. (You may know Rubin from her hit book The Happiness Project.) The Four Tendencies is one of the rare books that I recommend everyone read! Rubin details the four tendencies of people: rebels, questioners, upholders, and obligers.

The Four Tendencies

Gretchen Rubin begins by explaining her reasons for writing the book and then provides a quiz that allows you to determine your tendency. Then, each tendency is broken down into its positive and negative traits.

Upholders are both externally and internally motivated. Obligers are externally motivated, but lack internal motivation. Questioners are internally motivated, but lack external motivation. Meanwhile, rebels struggle to find either internal or external motivation.

I discovered that I am an upholder. Because of this, both external and internal motivation works for me. I am thorough, self-motivated, and reliable, but I also struggle with defensiveness, change in schedules, and can become anxious about obeying rules (even when they don’t exist).

After detailing the traits of each tendency, Rubin writes what I believe is the most helpful part of the book. She goes in-depth on how to work with, be in a relationship with, and/or parent someone who falls into each tendency. I found Rubin’s thoughts on how to interact with each tendency extremely insightful. She provides tips and tricks that I think everyone should have in their toolbox. The Four Tendencies was introduced to me at a teacher training, but I believe this book is a must for anyone trying to lean more about how people operate.

Which tendency are you? How does this affect your interactions with others?

To find my other book reviews go here.

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