Search Results for: ta-da quiz

Ta-Da! The Launch of My Quiz on the Four Tendencies. Learn About Yourself!

Of everything I learned about habits and human nature from working on my book Better Than Before, the most challenging thing I figured out — and the insight I’m most proud of — is my Four Tendencies framework. (See below for a quick overview.)

It took me months of rumination to make sense of everything I’d observed, and to fit it into a system that accounted for everything. I’ll never forget the thrill I felt when everything at last fell into place.

I felt like I’d uncovered something like the Periodic Table of the Elements. My framework is balanced, consistent, encompassing, and predictive — if I do say so myself.

For that reason, I wanted to develop a quiz to help people figure out their Tendency. With the help of the extraordinary Mike Courtney and his team at Aperio Insights, it’s ready! (It turns out that it’s a lot harder to make this kind of quiz than you might think.)

At last, it’s finished. Take the quiz here. Your results will give you your Tendency, along with a simple description. If you’d like more information about your Tendency, you’ll get a prompt at the end to request a detailed report.

Remember, be honest! The Quiz is only as accurate as the answers you provide.

When I talk about the Tendencies, people often say, “I’m a mix.”  It’s true that the Tendencies do overlap, so each Tendency shares aspects with other Tendencies — but it’s not really possible to be a mix. To be an Upholder is not to be an Obliger. To be a Questioner is not to be a Rebel.   While Upholders and Obligers both respond readily to outer expectations, it’s how they respond to inner expectations that distinguishes them. Similarly, Questioners and Rebels both resist outer expectations; it’s how they respond to inner expectations that distinguishes them. And so on.

For this reason, part of what made the Quiz tricky was that I had to figure out questions that would really pinpoint the key differences among the Tendencies.

Once you’ve taken the Quiz — did your answer ring true for you?

In Better Than Before, I explore at greater length the nature of the Four Tendencies, and how they affect habits.

In fact, I’m thinking of writing a little book that’s a field guide to the Four Tendencies, one that goes even deeper into this framework. Would you be interested in something like that?

In the meantime, take the Quiz! I’d love to hear what you think.

If you need a quick overview of the Four Tendencies:

In a nutshell, it distinguishes 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.

  • 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–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
  • Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
  • Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike


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.

I hope you find the Quiz useful. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun to do. I’m very curious to hear people’s reaction to it, so please do post a comment to share your thoughts..

Help! Have Ideas for a Four Tendencies Quiz for Kids?

I’m getting geared up for publication of my book The Four Tendencies — planning the book tour, getting ready to launch the major pre-order bonus (stay tuned for that!), thinking about my book talk.

I can’t wait for the book to go out into the world.

One question keeps coming up, over and over, and I want to sit down to figure out the answer before the book hits the shelves: people keep asking me to write a version of the Four Tendencies Quiz aimed at children — so I’m going to try to draft one.

I need to adapt the existing Quiz so that it uses vocabulary that children understand as well as examples that resonate with them. How do I help determine if a child is an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel?

I could really use your suggestions and ideas! What questions should I ask? Related to dealing with school, parents, friends, coaches, classes, pets, anything that’s part of a child’s life.

I asked this question over on my Better appmy free app that’s all about the Four Tendencies — and got such helpful, insightful responses, that I decided to ask here, too.

One difficulty is that an eight-year-old and an eighteen-year-old inhabit very different worlds. I’m not going to write multiple versions of the child test (at least not at this point), so one challenge is to try to be general enough to cover most ages.

For some children, their Tendency is very obvious at a very young age. For other children, it’s much harder to determine. Partly, of course, this is because children aren’t autonomous in the way that adults are. Also, their lives tend to include tremendous amounts of accountability. Nevertheless, in my experience, it’s often possible to see a child’s Tendency.

To spark your thoughts, here are the questions from the adult version:

1. Have you kept a New Year’s resolution where you weren’t accountable to anyone—a resolution like drinking more water or keeping a journal? 

  • Yes. I’m good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, even ones that no one knows about but me.
  • I’m good at keeping resolutions, but I make them whenever the time seems right. I wouldn’t wait for the New Year; January 1 is an arbitrary date.
  • I’ve had trouble with that kind of resolution, so I’m not inclined to make one. When I’m only helping myself, I often struggle.
  • No. I hate to bind myself in any way.


2. Which statement best describes your view about your commitments to yourself?

  • I make a commitment to myself only if I’m convinced that it really makes good sense to do it
  • If someone else is holding me accountable for my commitments, I’ll meet them—but if no one knows except me, I struggle.
  • I bind myself as little as possible.
  • I take my commitments to myself as seriously as my commitments to other people


3. At times, we feel frustrated by ourselves. Are you most likely to feel frustrated because…

  • My constant need for more information exhausts me.
  • As soon as I’m expected to do something, I don’t want to do it.
  • I can take time for other people, but I can’t take time for myself.
  • I can’t take a break from my usual habits, or violate the rules, even when I want to.


4. When you’ve formed a healthy habit in the past, what helped you stick to it?

  • I’m good at sticking to habits, even when no one else cares.
  • Doing a lot of research and customization about why and how I might keep that habit.
  • I could stick to a good habit only when I was answerable to someone else.
  • Usually, I don’t choose to bind myself in advance.


5. If people complain about your behavior, you’d be least surprised to hear them say…

  • You stick to your good habits, ones that matter only to you, even when it’s inconvenient for someone else.
  • You ask too many questions.
  • You’re good at taking the time when others ask you to do something, but you’re not good at taking time for yourself.
  • You only do what you want to do, when you want to do it.


6. Which description suits you best?

  • Puts others—clients, family, neighbors, co-workers—first
  • Disciplined—sometimes, even when it doesn’t make sense
  • Refuses to be bossed by others
  • Asks necessary questions


7. People get frustrated with me, because if they ask me to do something, I’m less likely to do it (even if they’re a boss or client).

  • Tend to agree
  • Neutral
  • Tend to disagree


8. I do what I think makes the most sense, according to my judgment, even if that means ignoring the rules or other people’s expectations.

  • Tend to agree
  • Neutral
  • Tend to disagree


9. Commitments to others should never be broken, but commitments to myself can be broken.

  • Tend to agree
  • Neutral
  • Tend to disagree


10. Sometimes I won’t do something I want to do, because someone wants me to do it.

  • Tend to agree
  • Neutral
  • Tend to disagree


11. I’ve sometimes described myself as a people-pleaser.

  • Tend to agree
  • Neutral
  • Tend to disagree


12. I don’t mind breaking rules or violating convention–I often enjoy it.

  • Tend to agree
  • Neutral
  • Tend to disagree


13. I question the validity of the Four Tendencies framework.

  • Tend to agree
  • Neutral
  • Tend to disagree

But a new question for the kid’s version doesn’t need to inspired by this existing Quiz. It could be something completely different, as long as it shows the differences among the Four Tendencies.

I appreciate any thoughts or examples you might have!

Ta-Da! Announcing My New App, Better — to Understand and Apply the Four Tendencies

I have an exciting announcement.

Ever since I first came up with the Four Tendencies framework, I’ve been more and more interested in it — and more and more people keep asking me questions about it. (Don’t know about the framework? Don’t know if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Go here.)

People want information about the Four Tendencies, and they also want help — they email because they’re eager to join an accountability group, they want to work with a coach who understands the Tendencies, they want to apply the framework with their medical patients or as a manager at work or with their coaching clients. And I hear from a lot of parents who want to use the Tendencies (especially parents of Rebels).

I’m finishing up my book The Four Tendencies (sign up here to hear when it goes on sale in summer 2017), but I also wanted a way for people to exchange ideas and questions. I’ve been staggered by people’s brilliant insights, imaginative solutions, and compelling examples. Henry James couldn’t do better.

So — TA-DA! Presenting my new app Better, an app to help you harness the Four Tendencies framework to create a better life. You can use it as an app on your phone, or you can use it on your desktop.

Why Join?

1. Go deeper into topics related to the Four Tendencies, with access to exclusive conversations, live chats, and the latest research

2. Meet other Obligers, Questioners, Upholders, and Rebels like you to get support, encouragement, and ideas for navigating your Tendency—as well as navigating other people’s Tendencies.

3. Join Accountability Groups tailored to your specific Tendency, one crafted by me and my team. Imagine your own Better Accountability Group—always with you, right in your pocket, where you’ll instantly meet the most relevant members to you and find information about the topics that most interest you — self-management, work, parenting, relationships, health.

4. You may already lead or belong to an Accountability Group — you’re a doctor trying to help your diabetes patients manage their blood sugar, or you’re a trainer trying to help your clients stick to their work-outs, or you’re a dietician trying to help people eat better, or you’ve got a Happiness Project group with your friends. The Better app makes it much easier for that group to connect and to hold each other accountable.

5. The app is easy to use — and fun to use. Really!


It’s entirely FREE!



Mighty Networks is my technology partner. If you have questions about how to use the app, contact the excellent team for Better at [email protected].

You can also check the FAQs for Members.


In the app, you can read about topics such as Work & Career, Love & Relationships, Children & Parenting, Achieving Goals, Productivity, Building Habits, Better Health,  and Guiding Teams, Patient, or Clients.

You can also follow  a topic on each Tendency —  to understand yourself better, if that’s your Tendency, or to understand other people better.

In FAQs, you’ll find common questioners answered.

My favorite topic? Fun with the Four Tendencies. This is where to find fun posts — for instance, I like to posts examples from TV shows and movies of the Four Tendencies, or include signage, or “screw in a light bulb” jokes, and so on. Fun!

Better App Tutorial from Mighty Networks on Vimeo.

Check it out!

I’m really, really excited about this app. We can all learn so much from each other — and the app makes this super-easy, and super-fun to do. I’m so fascinated by the conversation there that it’s actually making it hard for me to get my other work done.

Join, explore — and let me know what you think!

And if you like using the app, I’d so appreciate it if you would rate and review it, and tell your friends about it. That’s a big help.

Do You Love Personality Quizzes? These 10 Books Will Help You Understand Yourself.

They say there are two kinds of people in the world: people who want to divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind of people who don’t.

Well, I’m the kind who does. I love personality frameworks. I believe they can be a great tool for self-knowledge — they help shine a spotlight on patterns of behavior and thinking.

That said, it’s important not to let categories become stifling; they’re not meant to box us in or limit our sense of possibility, but to point the way to helpful understanding or change.

Of course, my favorite personality framework is the one I created, which divides people into Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. Learn more and take the Quiz here.

Since Better Than Before hit the shelves, I’ve been thrilled to hear from readers and podcast listeners how much the Four Tendencies has helped them.

If you love a good personality framework as much as I do, you may be interested in reading other systems:

1. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman.

Argues that people speak different “love languages”: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. I love this book. I’m “Words of Affirmation,” by the way. I still can’t figure out what my husband is! He is a man of mystery.

2. Beyond Time-Out: From Chaos to Calm by Beth Grossman and Janet Burton.

Argues that in families with an imbalance of family power, parents fall into four categories: Pleasers, Pushovers, Forcers, and Outliers.

3. The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso and Ross Hudson.

Divides people into nine categories: Reformer, Helper, Achiever, Individualist, Investigator, Loyalist, Enthusiast, Challenger, and Peacemaker. I’ve heard that Hollywood writers use the Enneagram to help them create rich, believable characters.

4. Why Him, Why Her? How to Find and Keep Lasting Love by Helen Fisher.

Argues that people fall into four relationship types: Explorer, Building, Director, and Negotiator.

5. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabella Briggs Meyers.

Based on the theories of Carl Jung, argues that people fall into sixteen types, in different combinations of four pairs: Extroversion or Introversion; Sensing or Intuition; Thinking or Feeling; Judgment or Perception. This super-popular framework is controversial, but many people swear by it.

6. Please Understand Me by David Keirsey.

Divides people into four temperament groups, with four sub-types per groups: Artisan (Promoter, Crafter, Performer, Composer), Guardian (Supervisor, Inspector, Provider, Protector), Rational (Fieldmarshal, Mastermind, Inventor, Architect), and Idealist (Teacher, Counselor, Champion, Healer).

7. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham.

Discusses the thirty-four “strengths” and helps readers identify and take advantage of their own strengths.

8. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath.

Discusses the thirty-four “strengths” and helps readers identify and take advantage their individual own strengths.

9. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.

Of course, I have to add my own book to the list! Find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, and how you can put that knowledge to use as you work on your habits. Or, even more fun, how you can help other people work on their habits. The Four Tendencies are useful to understand in the context of habits — but also, in many other contexts as well. Right now, in fact, I’m working on a book that explores the Four Tendencies at length. If you want to be notified when it’s available, sign up here.

People often ask me how the Four Tendencies framework correspond to other frameworks — for instance, how it matches up with Myers-Briggs. In my view, all these frameworks have their own nuances, which are lost if we try to map one framework onto another. So I don’t try to do that.

10.The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

Many people have also told me that my book, The Happiness Project was also a meaningful tool for self-knowledge as they embarked on their own Happiness Project. Especially the “Be Gretchen” idea from my personal commandments.

Has one of these frameworks been very helpful to you? What frameworks have I overlooked?

Podcast 13: Stop Reading a Book, a Know-Yourself-Better Quiz, and the Trap of Free Stuff.

Time for the next episode of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Always game to talk about her clutter issues, Elizabeth reports on the status of her closet, in the aftermath of our special clutter-clearing in episode 10. For better and after closet photos, look here. (Boy, I love before-and-afters.)

Also, many listeners responded to tell us how they “treat themselves,” which was the Try This at Home for episode 9. Excellent treats!

This week:

Try This at Home: Stop reading a book if you don’t enjoy it.  (If you want more ideas for reading better than before, check out this one-pager.)

Better Than Before Habit Strategy: This is the “Four Tendencies” Framework, which tells you whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel. Take this Quiz 170,000 people have taken it. I’m an Upholder; Elizabeth is an Obliger. As I mention, if you want to start an accountability group, here’s the starter kit.

Listener Question: “Do you have any tips about staying happy while slogging through dating?”

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth fell prey to the allure of free stuff. Of course, it’s true, that some people would have been thrilled to get those items–and that free stuff is a problem that’s also a luxury. Absolutely. But for Elizabeth, taking the free stuff was a happiness mistake. Here are two photos: what she intended to buy, and what she brought home.


Gretchen’s Gold Star: Having “weekly adventures” with my teenage daughter. I talk about this at some length in my book Happier at Home.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors! Check out The Great Courses for a wide variety of fascinating courses. Special offer for our listeners: go to to order from eight of their bestselling courses, including Practicing Mindfulness: an Introduction to Meditation, and get up to 80% off. Limited time.

Also, thanks to — a terrific way to get your art and photos framed, in a super easy and affordable way. Use the code HAPPIER at checkout to get 20% off your first Framebridge order. This ad includes a fun bonus flashback to the Closet-Clearing episode!

Want to get in touch? Email: [email protected] Twitter: @gretchenrubin and @elizabethcraft. Call: 774-277-9336 (774 HAPPY 336).  Facebook Page. Or comment right here.

And we would love to hear from you — whether you stopped reading a book that didn’t interest you, whether it was helpful to know your “Tendency,” your questions, and any other comments.

To listen to this episode, just zip to the bottom of this post and hit the red “play” button.

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

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