We are all different, there is no denying that. Have you ever had an experience where you can’t understand why someone does certain things, why they prioritise things or why they just don’t do what you would do? Why am I asking you, of course, you have.
Well, I might have something that will help you understand why and then how you can empathise – well hopefully.
In my blog Motivational or Travelling tip: Podcasts, I mentioned a podcast called Happier with Gretchen Rubin. A podcast on how to be, well, happier really? Now Gretchen is a very intelligent woman, she devotes her time to trying to help people make changes in their life to make them happier. She also helps us accept the things we can’t change or accept that there are some things in this world that make others happy, but not you.
She also developed a framework to help us understand ourselves better, which can also help to understand others. It is called the four tendencies.
So the concept the four tendencies is essentially a personality type that you possess, which explains why you do the things you do and how you think. You can find out your personality type by doing the quiz here.
So, let’s have a look at the different personalities – you might be able to guess yours already:
Questioner – this is what I am. So as a questioner I will meet my own inner expectations, I do things I want to do, I research nearly everything because I always want the answers. To meet outer accountability, I need to know what I’m doing has purpose or meaning (for me this is okay, I feel like I always see a benefit from doing things for other people). My thoughts on being a Questioner? I like it around 95% of the time. I like that I just do things because I know they have a benefit (through research), however, I feel like I can be hard on myself if I don’t do exactly what needs to be done all the time – it is kind of exhausting. Also, I always need to know everything…. like always.
SIDE NOTE – this is why this “yes” challenge is so hard for me! Listen to more on that here: Episode 4 – Yasss queen (woman) challenge.
Upholder – meet both inner and outer expectations. This type is very organised and gets things done for both themselves and others. Downfall, probably like questioners, they are hard on themselves if they don’t get everything done when they feel they need to. Possibly one of the most motivating personality types.
Obliger – meets outer accountability but can struggle with inner. This is the most popular personality trait. After doing it with my friends and family, most were obligers. If you are an obliger and worry about how you will get things done, make someone hold you accountable, get a gym partner or get an accountability partner to check in!
Rebel – don’t really meet inner or outer. However, this isn’t a bad thing! They just do what they want when they are ready and when they see the benefit. If you’re a rebel, don’t stress, you can read Gretchen’s book, The Four Tendencies, to get more insight on how to manage being a rebel and all the other traits.
Knowing these tendencies and knowing what you are, as well as your friends and family will make your life a lot easier! An example Gretchen has used before, “how do I get my partner to apply for a job?” Well if they a rebel, suggest it, tell them they don’t have to do it and then give them time to do it on their own.
If they are an upholder, they have probably already done it, but maybe ask where they are at. An obliger will get it done if you hold them accountable and if you tell a questioner all the benefits or show them a certain job – going in with all the answers – it should be easy!
Knowing your tendency and knowing the tendencies of those around you can go a long way into helping you understand why you and the people you love do things, think things and act on things in a certain way that could be different to you. Then you can use this knowledge to gain more empathy – see that research (aghh questioner).
Gretchen Rubin has more information here, which you can read more about – well rebels if you want to.
So, what’s your tendency? Tell me in the comments!
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