According to best-selling author, speaker, blogger and podcaster Gretchen Rubin, there are precisely four types of people.
In Rubin’s latest book, The Four Tendencies: The Surprising Truth About the Hidden Personality Types That Drive Everything We Do, which will be released in September of this year, she offers a new framework for personality to help people better understand themselves and influence others.
Rubin’s character index is as follows:
This group, “responds readily to outer and inner expectations”. They hate letting other people down, but they also hate letting themselves down. They are driven by routine, and are able to keep New Years Resolutions. Hermione Granger is the archetypal Upholder.
POST CONTINUES BELOW: Mia Freedman is an Upholder. We discuss the personalities on the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud.
An obliger meets outer expectations but struggles to keep commitments they make to themselves. They are at work on time, and would rarely cancel last minute, because they sincerely do not want to let people down. They’re people pleasers. But if an obliger wanted to, say, go for a 7am run everyday, their best bet would be to enlist a friend. That way they’re motivated by an external pressure. Andre Agassi is the quintessential Obliger.
A Questioner desperately needs a justification for all expectations. They will question everything that’s required of them, and will only fulfil that expectation if it makes sense to them. Being committed to an activity, whether it’s exercise or a social outing, isn’t enough and often they experience ‘decision paralysis’. They will inevitably ask, “But why should I go?” Steve Jobs and Jane Eyre were Questioners.
Rebels are by far the smallest group – but most of us know one. They resist all expectation, and rebel against routine. They might struggle to hold down a job, exercise sporadically, and as soon as something appears to be working for them, spontaneously pull the plug. Picasso was a Rebel.