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What are the four tendencies? The four tendencies are different ways people respond to both inner and outer expectations. Jillian is joined by Gretchin Rubin to discuss what each one is, and, specifically, the talk about how to manage expectations as an obliger. 

Listen here at LisbynAppleCastbox, or your favorite player.

Our responses to both inner and outer expectations determine whether we’re an upholder, a questioner, a rebel, or an obliger. 

Upholders are quick to follow through with both inner and out expectations and duties. Other people’s expectations of them are important, but so are their own, personal, inward expectations.

Questioners are more skeptical and often question expectations. They follow through with what makes logical sense for them to do so, and they dismiss expectations that aren’t realistic. Their responses are based on inner expectations.

Obligers are quick to meet outside expectations, but they struggle with inner expectations. Their accountability to meet and fulfil expectations must come from an outside source.

Rebels fight back against both inner and outer expectations alike. They are independent and want things to be done in their own way and time.

Out of all of these, obligers face the most challenge. Society has shaped the idea that we should rely on our inner expectations and avoid outside pressure. Because of this, obligers often carry with them a lot of guilt and shame. They may wonder why they can’t meet goals, challenges, and inner expectations by their own will. 

“There’s a million ways to get outer accountability. That’s what you need; that’s what works; that’s the quick, easy solution.”

However, it’s important to realize that it’s okay to have accountability from the outside. If that’s what works for you, that’s great! Some of the most talented, successful people are obligers. Being an obliger carries with it it’s own unique strengths, and the limitations of being an obliger are actually the easiest to fix and work through! 

Tip number one for obligers is to always have accountability from the outside. That’s how you function best; that’s what works for you. For obligers that have a hard time saying no to outer expectations, it might be helpful to think of this: If you say yes to one person, you’re saying no to another. For example, if you pick work expectations over family expectations, you must pick who you’re to be accountable to: work or family. 

What is going to work for one person, might not work for another. Just because society tells you one thing doesn’t mean it’s for you, and it’s not your fault if it fails. You have to do what works best for you and gets you to where you want to be!