Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
The Four Tendencies
Cover of The Four Tendencies
The Four Tendencies
The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)
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 understand 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 that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively.
More than 600,000 people have taken her online quiz, and managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people make significant, lasting change.
The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you've ever thought...
· People can rely on me, but I can't rely on myself.
· How can I help someone to follow good advice?
· People say I ask too many questions.
· How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask—or who keeps telling me what to do?
With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It's far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.
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 understand 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 that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively.
More than 600,000 people have taken her online quiz, and managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people make significant, lasting change.
The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you've ever thought...
· People can rely on me, but I can't rely on myself.
· How can I help someone to follow good advice?
· People say I ask too many questions.
· How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask—or who keeps telling me what to do?
With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It's far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book 1

    The Four Tendencies

    The Origin of the Four Tendencies
  • How the Tendencies Weave Throughout Our Characters
  • Why It's Helpful to Identify Our Own Tendency
  • Why It's Helpful to Identify Others' Tendencies

    I didn't realize it at the time, but when I walked through the door of the Atlantic Grill restaurant one blustery winter afternoon, I was heading to one of the most significant conversations of my life.

    As I bit into my cheeseburger and my friend picked at her salad, she made a comment that would occupy my mind for years. In an offhand way, she mentioned, "I want to get myself in the habit of running, but I can't, and it really bothers me." Then she added, in a crucial observation, "When I was on the high school track team, I never missed track practice, so why can't I go running now?"

    "Why?" I echoed.

    "Well, you know, it's so hard to make time for ourselves."

    "Hmmm," I said.

    We started talking about other things, but even after we'd said good-­bye, I couldn't stop thinking about our exchange. She was the same person she'd been in high school, and she was aiming to do the same activity. She'd been able to go running in the past, but not now. Why? Was it her age, her motivation, her family situation, the location, team spirit, or something else?

    She assumed that we all have trouble "making time for ourselves." But actually I don't have any trouble making time for myself. How were she and I different from each other?

    I would spend the next few years trying to answer these questions.

    The Origin of the Four Tendencies

    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. My great interest is human nature, and I constantly search for patterns to identify what we do and why we do it.

    I've spent years studying happiness and habits, and it has become obvious to me that there's no magic, one-­size-­fits-­all answer for building a happier, healthier, more productive life. Different strategies work for different people—­in fact, what works for one person may be the very opposite of what works for someone else. Some people are morning people; some are night people. Some do better when they abstain from a strong temptation; others, when they indulge in moderation. Some people love simplicity; some thrive in abundance.

    And not only that. As I pondered my friend's observation about her running habit, I sensed that deep below the "night people vs. morning people" sorts of differences, there existed some kind of bedrock distinction that shaped people's natures—­something profound, but also bold and obvious—­that nevertheless eluded my vision.

    To help figure out what I was missing, I posed a number of questions to readers of my website, including: "How do you feel about New Year's resolutions?" "Do you observe traffic regulations—­why or why not?" "Would you ever sign up to take a class for fun?" As readers' responses poured in, I saw that distinct patterns were threaded through the various answers. It was almost weird—­as though groups of people had agreed to answer from the same script.

    For instance, about New Year's resolutions, a subset of people gave virtually identical answers: "I'll keep a resolution if it's useful, but I won't start on New Year's Day, because January 1 is an arbitrary date." They all used that word: "arbitrary." I was intrigued by this specific word choice, because the arbitrariness of the January 1 date had never bothered me. Yet these people were all giving the same...
About the Author-
  • Gretchen Rubin is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on the linked subjects of habits, happiness, and human nature. She's the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. A member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, Rubin has an enormous following, in print and online; her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty-five languages, and on her popular daily blog, gretchenrubin.com, she reports on her adventures in pursuit of habits and happiness. She also has a highly ranked, award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Rubin started her career in law, and was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 3, 2017
    Rubin (The Happiness Project) sorts personalities into four “tendencies”—upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels—according to people’s motivations for undertaking actions in this breezy but unconvincing work of pop psychology. Each tendency gets two separate chapters devoted to understanding and dealing with people with a specific trait. There’s even a Venn diagram and brief, if arbitrary, quiz. The simplicity of the profiles is comforting, but the science is questionable. The author commissioned a survey and uses anecdotal evidence to bolster the framework’s worth, but her attempts to find proof smack of confirmation bias. The author diagnoses her friends and social-media followers using her framework, sometimes sounding wise, at other times smug. Supposedly there’s no hierarchy to the tendencies, but the author, an upholder, can’t quite hide her preference for her own tendency, with her husband’s questioner tendency running a near second. Even the author admits that personality frameworks can’t “capture human nature in all of its depth and variety,” but nevertheless argues for utilizing her ideas to improve one’s life. In its best moments, the book reminds readers that not everyone approaches the world from the same perspective. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher and Co.

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2017
    An exploration of human behavior patterns as viewed through the lens of four specific tendencies.With data garnered from more than 600,000 participants in her online quiz, bestselling self-help author Rubin (Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, 2015, etc.) contends that when individuals were asked the question, "how do I respond to expectations?" their responses aligned within four tendencies: upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels. Upholders desire knowing what should be done and respond well to both outer expectations and inner expectations. Questioners question both outer and inner expectations and avidly seek out justifications before meeting an expectation. Obligers desire accountability and respond more readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations. Rebels, who desire the freedom to do things their own way and on their own schedule, tend to resist all expectations. The author, a self-proclaimed Upholder, lays out plausible examples within sections devoted to each tendency, with consideration given to relationships, workplace dynamics, and family. She offers the lofty assurance, "with wisdom, experience, and self-knowledge from the Four Tendencies, we can use our time more productively, make better decisions, suffer less stress, get healthier, and engage more effectively with other people." Rubin's study provides some interesting food for thought, and readers may find relatable examples from their own lives. Yet her analysis lacks psychological or scientific grounding, and it can lead to questionable conclusions--for instance, her assertion that these tendencies are hard-wired: "They don't change depending on whether we're at home, at work, with friends. And they don't change as we age." Furthermore, the author fails to provide adequate attention to socio-economic influences; the quotes and case examples all seem to come from middle-class white Americans, primarily women. A sometimes-thought-provoking but ultimately insubstantial assessment of human behavior. For devoted followers of this popular author.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from August 1, 2017

    Rubin (The Happiness Project; Better Than Before) here expands on an idea she began exploring in her earlier books, that you gain tremendous self-knowledge by examining how you respond to expectations (both internal and external). Obligers, for instance, respond well to outer expectations but have trouble meeting inner ones. Therefore, people with that tendency benefit from having an exercise partner or building other accountability checks into their routines. After discussion of the different tendencies and why it's helpful to understand them, Rubin explains--with a quiz--how to figure out your tendency and that of others, how to understand and work with people whose tendencies are different from your own, and how to harness strengths in order to accomplish goals. It's a clever system, charmingly and convincingly explained. VERDICT This will be of particular interest to those responsible for motivating others (e.g., managers or parents) but also enjoyed by anyone fascinated by human nature. (See the Q&A with the author on p. 107).--Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    August 1, 2017

    Rubin (The Happiness Project; Better Than Before) here expands on an idea she began exploring in her earlier books, that you gain tremendous self-knowledge by examining how you respond to expectations (both internal and external). Obligers, for instance, respond well to outer expectations but have trouble meeting inner ones. Therefore, people with that tendency benefit from having an exercise partner or building other accountability checks into their routines. After discussion of the different tendencies and why it's helpful to understand them, Rubin explains--with a quiz--how to figure out your tendency and that of others, how to understand and work with people whose tendencies are different from your own, and how to harness strengths in order to accomplish goals. It's a clever system, charmingly and convincingly explained. VERDICT This will be of particular interest to those responsible for motivating others (e.g., managers or parents) but also enjoyed by anyone fascinated by human nature. (See the Q&A with the author on p. 107).--Stephanie Klose, Library Journal

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Four Tendencies
The Four Tendencies
The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)
Gretchen Rubin
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel