Four Tendencies

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The Four Tendencies describe four different personality types based on response to expectations, both internal (the expectations you have for yourself) and external (the expectations other people have for you).

Expectations are things we act on, or not. An example of an internal expectation would be, “I want to be a famous writer!” or “I need to clean my room.” External expectations would be more like, “My boss really needs this report by Friday,” or “My mother wants me to dress more modestly.”


So what are the Four Tendencies? There are 4 ways people meet expectations, and this determines their “tendency”: there are Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. The way each tendency generally responds to internal and external expectations is:

  • Upholders meet all expectations, internal and external.

  • Questioners meet internal expectations, but not external.

  • Obligers meet external expectations, but not internal.

  • Rebels resist all expectations.


To determine your tendency, you can take a formal quiz here.

Or you can pick a statement that matches you:

  1. Upholder: I love routines, and people think I’m extremely disciplined.

  2. Questioner: I love researching, and people sometimes say that I ask “Why?” too much.

  3. Obliger: I put others ahead of me, and I value harmony in relationships.

  4. Rebel: I value freedom and choice; I do what I want to do, when I want to do it.