Back by popular demand–the four Rubin Tendencies (I keep changing the name of this framework. Any suggestions or comments welcome. Do you like the Rubin Character Index better?)
It’s very important to know ourselves, but self-knowledge is challenging. I’m like a Muggle Sorting Hat! I sort everyone into four categories, which describe 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.
In a nutshell:
- 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 (my husband is a Questioner)
- Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike
- Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
I recently gave a talk at LinkedIn about the Rubin Character Index, so if you’d like to see me discuss each category in a video, you can watch. For Upholders, watch here; Questioners, here; Rebels, here, and Obligers, here.
From my observation, I can say with confidence that Rebel is the smallest category, then Upholder (this was a shock to me). I didn’t realize how few people are Upholders. Many things became clear to me once I realized this. Most people are Questioners or Obligers.
Obligers are the folks who are the most likely to say they wish they were in a different category. They say things like, “I wish I weren’t a people-pleaser” or “I wish I could take time for myself.”
Do you find yourself within this framework? If so, does it help you understand how to manage yourself better? Figuring out the Tendencies helped me understand myself, and it has also made it much easier for me to understand other people’s perspectives. Fact is, most people don’t see things the way we Upholders do.
Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier—and the recently released Happier at Home. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. For more doses of happiness and other happenings, follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.
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*Image courtesy of slimmer_jimmer.