Not a Rebel Among Us

In Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies, she explains that people fall into four categories which are defined by how they respond to expectations. Here is the quick and dirty on the four types.

Upholder – meets both inner and out expectations

Obliger – meets outer expectations but not inner expectations

Questioner – resists outer expectations while meeting inner expectations

Rebel – resists both outer and inner expectations.


Throughout her book, Gretchen mentions writers and how the tendencies play out in their lives.

Upholder writers can write well without deadlines. They don’t need an external system of accountablility for thier writing. An upholder is someone who can quit their day job and write a book because they have that internal accountablilty.

Obliger writers do well with deadlines – like say, a weekly critique group, where you should have pages to read each week. An obliger who quits a day job to write a novel, even a novel that is under contract, will have trouble unless there are set deadlines all along the way.

Questioner writers don’t need the external accountability, but they want to know why they are doing what they are doing. It’s unlikely that a questioner writer is going to write what you suggest.

Rebel writers….they might write if they feel like it that day…but they might not…ever…feel like writing.

Of course, I asked The Tuesdays to take the Four Tendencies quiz, and you can to!

Can you guess how we fared?

Here’s a hint – three upholders, two questioners, and one obliger.

Upholders – Faran, Melody, Cathy

Questioners – Jonathan and Stacie

Obliger – Joanne


It’s your turn! Take the quiz and tell us how you did!

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