The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

The Four Tendencies

In this groundbreaking analysis of personality type, bestselling author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin reveals the one simple question that will transform what you do at home, at work, and in life. During her multibook investigation into understanding human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the seemingly dry question "How do I respond to expectations?" we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered ...

Details The Four Tendencies

TitleThe Four Tendencies
Release DateSep 12th, 2017
PublisherBooks on Tape
GenreNonfiction, Self Help, Personal Development, Audiobook

Reviews The Four Tendencies

  • Cheryl
    Oh. Oh. My. Gosh. Too simple to be so true, and surely not perfect for everyone, but goodness, perfect for me. For the first time in five blinking decades I've realized that I am actually a 'rebel' and not an 'obliger.' I was such a good girl as a child, and I've never done anything truly reckless as one would think of when one thinks of ppl who are rebellious, and I've always taken pretty good care of my household and family... but my personalit...
  • Kelli
    The author profile on the back states that Gretchen Rubin is one of the most influential writers on human nature. Really? According to whom? I’d like to see that data (and also any data at all to support these four personality profiles that stemmed from a weird quiz about resolutions). But that goes with my type though. I’m a Questioner. 2 stars
  • Nicole Burrell
    I do tasks that will only take a minute immediately instead of saving them for later. I open boxes carefully so as not to damage them. I [try to] remove splinters with tape. I occasionally ask myself how future Nicole would feel about choices I am making now. And when I want to eat better, I abstain from garbage food because I know I’m not built for moderation.I do all of these things because of suggestions from Gretchen Rubin. So, needless to ...
  • Robert
    I don't know where to start. I have read a few things claiming Gretchen is an expert, but as far as I can tell she has a law degree and is an author with no other qualifications and none are mentioned in the book. Why does that make her an expert? She has had dinner with some really impressive people and written some other books on improving yourself and happiness, but that still doesn't make her an expert. The book doesn't provide any research o...
  • Donna
    I like this author. She has some great ideas for living happier. In this book, she deals with four different personality types: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. There was a test at the beginning to figure out which one you are. It wasn't that clear at the end of the test, which one was supposed to be my mother ship.....I still didn't know by the end of the book. But, I did like the understanding she offered when dealing with these di...
  • Megan
    I didn't find this to be as revelatory as it seems to be for so many. To use Rubin's own language this book is definitely written by an Upholder. Full of little boxes to sort everyone into, and you must fit into a box. That is Upholder logic, if I understand it correctly. Tidy little rules for everything, and if you follow those rules everything in your life (and everyone else's) will be so much better. Personally, I don't think people are quite ...
  • David
    There are numerous personality tests available, that rate your personality in one or more dimensions. I like the Myers Briggs test, that gauge your personality in four dimensions (I am an INTP type). This book bring to light a totally different dimension; the dimension of expectations. That is to say, do you respond to internal expectations, and do you respond to external expectations. So, there are four basic types:Respond to internal and extern...
  • Postilla
    A very simplistic view, rather poor content, no actual research or evidence is provided for this operation of dividing all mankind in 4 pretty boxes. Sloppy writing also, with parts rehashed from Better than before, the author's previous book. What would you think of somebody who categorizes herself as upholder, and goes on to define 3 other categories, all of whom are missing something (either the ability to answer positively to external motivat...
  • Ness
    I snagged an ARC from my job at a public library. I knew a little bit about the four Tendencies before starting this book—mostly, that I am totally an Upholder—but not too much. I mostly enjoyed this book and the way it helps us both define others and give tips for living, working, and playing with them. Some of the examples didn't resonate with me, but overall, this is a good book for anyone who wants to know more about themselves and how to...
  • Katie
    I really liked this. I read it for my "learning time" at work and have been recommending it to my coworkers. ("Learning time" is a thing at my work in general--it's a library, after all!--and our new department goal is for each of us to get 24 hours of it a quarter. It finally occurred to me I could read for it!)I've always had fun with personality quizzes and have spent hours of my life reading about my MBTI type (INTJ!), but this one was so gre...
  • Meredith
    If you're not at all familiar with Gretchen Rubin's theory of the Four Tendencies, then this book is a great entry point to her framework for how people respond to inner and outer expectations. I am a big fan of Gretchen's and I've read her previous books on happiness and habits, plus I listen to her podcast (and her sister's podcast) and I get her email updates and read her blog. So I already felt pretty immersed in the Four Tendencies before I ...
  • Kelly 💜☕️
    LOVED this book!!! I'm a Gretchen Rubin super fan. I've read all her books & listen to her podcast. I was also lucky enough to meet her on the book tour for this book in September 2017. Thanks to the awesome independent bookstore Warwick's in La Jolla. Gretchen briefly introduced the Four Tendencies in her previous book about habits, BETTER THAN BEFORE. This book takes it to a new level and explains each tendency in detail, analyzes the pros and ...
  • Ashley
    I am a fan of Gretchen Rubin and her podcast. I am sad to say that this book was really disappointing. Her "Four Tendencies" was a cute idea in her book Better Than Before and I was hoping she would do actual research and collect real evidence to validate her theory. Sadly, this book is just a rehashing of her opinions and insights with no evidence or justification. Gretchen Rubin, perhaps, has not heard of confirmation bias? She only uses her ow...
  • Ann
    I have sorta mixed feelings about the author. I have read and liked her other happiness/habit books. She has some good insights and is definitely interesting to read. There's something fulfilling about following someone else's personal journey and choosing tidbits that can help your life. But in this book, I think she goes too far. In her other books, she's kinda been saying, "I did some research and I tried this stuff out myself. Here's how it w...
  • Emmy H. Nathasia
    I feel exasperated by the book, but in a good way. So I did the quiz and I got Questioner. When I read Chapter 1, I kinda have a tendency in my head that best described me, and I am excited about reading about it further to understand my tendencies more. Instead, I got a Questioner. I was aghast to the point that I couldn't continue reading that first night. I really couldn't accept it. Then through out second day, I ponder upon my life and have ...
  • Beth Bonini
    I hesitated about how to categorise this book: the word ‘self-help’ has always made me cringe, and somehow the word ‘psychology’ seems too academic. Many people will describe it as yet another personality test-cum-self-knowledge-cum-positive change type of books, and it is that for sure - but the ‘label’ is a bit unwieldy! Some people love the reductive personality tests, while others don’t find them credible or useful at all. I wil...
  • Jo
    This book does not present solid evidence and I would not recommend as an introduction to psychology of personalities. This is a personality-types book: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, Rebel. The book is a little different than previous Rubin books- Better than Before, Happier at Home, The Happiness Project, Forty Ways to Look at JFK - in that it looks at the psychology of these broad personality types and provides strengths and weaknesses of each...
  • Stephanie Phillips
    Rubin herself says that she was clerking for a Supreme Court justice when she suddenly decided she wanted to be a writer. Not a researcher. A writer. And it shows she didn’t want to be a researcher. That would be fine, unless you decide to come up with four personality types into which all of humanity can be divided, and then come up with a quiz and write a book based around your “framework,” simply after having a self-described revelatory ...
  • Nile Stanley
    Awful book with no scientific merit. A slap in the face to real researchers. Research 101...what evidence for the reliability and validity?
  • Jessica Howard
    Enjoyable, and informative. Not totally groundbreaking if you're familiar with Rubin's work, but I'd still recommend it.
  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    This book explores her concepts of the four tendencies even further than in Better than Before. Where Better than Before focused on how to use knowledge of your tendency to meet goals, this book focuses more on how to deal with a child, partner, boss or employee, or patient of each tendency type. It explains how to motivate or manage each type. Interesting stuff.
  • Cristy Jimenez-Shawcroft
    I found this book and the Four Tendencies framework to be a very helpful tool to understanding people. Great insights that I’m sure I will continue to use. I also like how there are additional resources online.
  • Jay
    Rubin uses observation to try to classify people and comes up with a simple 2x2 matrix that is presented in “The Four Tendencies”. The two criteria she uses are commitment to self and commitment to others, and she simply divides each of those into two measurements, leans that way or doesn’t lean that way. She acknowledges that these are subjective. After defining these four possible personality states, Rubin describes the way that folks fit...
  • Meg
    I love Gretchen, but this one is my least favorite of her books. After reading the book, having my husband read the book, and humming and hawing, I can't peg my tendency or my husband's. Gretchen would say I am a questioner because of that, but that chapter did not resonate with me at all. Oh, then Gretchen would say I am a rebel. Again, didn't feel it. I just can't make this framework do the work.
  • Mireille
    I've been in contact with a lot of "personnality tests" lately, by happenstance - at work and such - and so when the library told me this book had come in for me, I wasn't sure. I didn't really trust it? I'm not Rubin's biggest fan, and it felt to me like putting people in categories based on why they do things was a little dumb - don't we all do things for the same reasons..?No. No we don't.As I read through most parts, I felt like those descrip...
  • Katharine
    This was my first audiobook and it was perfect. As someone who has trouble staying focused, listening to fiction has proven difficult. But the subject matter combined with Rubin's calming voice kept me engaged and interested. Plus, I found this book to be incredibly helpful -- I'm for sure an Obliger who falls prey to rebel tendencies when I reach burnout. I feel like now I'm better equipped to establish systems to help keep me accountable and fr...
  • Colona Public Library
    I really enjoyed this book, and feel everyone should at least take the quiz in the second chapter to see which type of personality type you fall into. There are basically 4 types. Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. Once you take the quiz, there are chapters for each group. I would describe the book as the five love languages type of book. It was very insightful. Each chapter gives you the qualities of each type. What makes them who they ar...
  • NicolleCJ
    I was glad I got to see Gretchen Rubin speak when she came to San Diego. I’m an Obliger and my husband a Questioner (although I first thought Upholder). I mostly skimmed over the Upholder and Rebel sections and the other parts related to dealing with children, etc. It was interesting to read and provide validation for my frustrations of not meeting my inner expectations... although i’m still looking for a way to hold myself accountable for so...
  • Gary Moreau
    The author opens the book with the observation, “They say there are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t… I’m definitely the first kind.”In this case, however, Rubin divides the world into Four Tendencies, which she classifies as Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels, based on how people respond to both inner and outer (external) expectations.The result is a gr...