The Four Tendencies


Have you heard of Gretchen Rubin’s framework, The Four Tendencies? She groups people into four categories: Upholders (meet internal and external expectations), Obligers (meet external expectations but resist internal ones), Questioners (meet internal expectations but resist external ones), and Rebels (resist all expectations). I’m an Obliger. As I’ve been doing the homework this week that is focused on Actions, I’ve realized that the Positive Actions I have taken have mostly been from feeling obligated to someone or feeling a sense of urgency. The problem is that while sometimes I do feel positive about my obligations (like helping my elderly mom), other times I feel resentful (like helping a snarly teenager). OTOH, looking at the actions that I want to create more of or those I want to eliminate, they are all ones that are fueled by internal expectations (eating healthy vs indulging in sweets, exercising, decluttering the house, etc.). If I’m just doing the action for me, that doesn’t seem to be enough motivation. How do I overcome this tendency to not be internally motivated and how do I overcome feeling resentment about obligations that I don’t really want to fulfill? Or do I just learn to think thoughts that fuel this tendency that I already have…thoughts that create a sense of obligation or urgency? Thanks!