I took an online personality quiz, and it changed my life.

Said no one ever.

Not even me – the girl who loves discovering and taking new quizzes.  And I’ll admit that when the results page pops up on my screen, I sit and read every word.  I may even reflect for a few minutes.  But after that, it’s basically in one ear and out the other.  Hardly ever do I use what I learn from these “revealing” quizzes.

Of course, there are a couple of exceptions.

The first one is The 5 Love Languages quiz I took, made Vishnu take, and then blogged about a year or so ago.  I still think about this one because it’s so spot on.  The second quiz that really opened my eyes is Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies quiz.  Going into it, I knew exactly which bucket I would fall under (I’m an Upholder through and through).  So that wasn’t exactly revealing.  The “results page” though, that was what got me thinking.  Not that it was super detailed…however, it was simple enough to understand and the concepts can easily be thought about in terms of real life situations/experiences.

I liked the Four Tendencies quiz enough to make Vishnu sit down and take it too.  If you know my husband, you know this is no easy feat.  Anyways, while I knew exactly which tendency I fell under, I had no clue with Vishnu.  All I knew was that an Upholder he is not!  Turns out Vishnu’s an Obliger.

What benefit did I get from taking this quiz and making my husband take it too?

Well for one, it made me feel better about my semi-neurotic ways.  Upholders, by definition, respond to both inner and outer rules and expectations.  This is why I live by my to do lists, am motivated by execution and getting things done, and feel horrible when I make mistakes or fail to follow through.  Even when it’s MY own expectation or rule.  My Upholder tendency is why setting goals (and blogging about them) works so well for me.  Also (this isn’t a good thing), I personally think being an Upholder blindly leads me to hold everyone else up to the same standards, which is why it was so great that Vishnu took the quiz!

Vishnu’s an Obliger, which means that he responds to outer rules and expectations but not inner ones.  He thinks more in terms of the things he must get done and is motivated by accountability and not letting other people down.  The quiz results plus the Happier podcast episode that talks more about Obligers really helped me understand Vishnu in a way that I hadn’t been able to up to this point.  In the podcast, Elizabeth, Grechen’s sister, said that her husband who is also an Obliger doesn’t seem to think of her as an outsider or someone he can’t let down.  This means she’s not a source of motivation for him because she’s “too close.”  Her expectations for him are not part of the outer world…they feel like they’re coming from the inside.  I kid you not, when I heard her say this, I almost fell over.  This is 110% Vishnu!  And up until that point, it would leave me feeling so frustrated.   But now I get that the best thing I can do to help him achieve goals or meet inner expectations is help him figure out a system of outer accountability that doesn’t include me!

Side note: all of this will make sense after you take the quiz and listen to the podcast.  It’s really fascinating and worth the time if you ask me!

Gretchen Rubin Four Tendencies Quiz

Anyways, I tell you all this because I think this is one online quiz everyone should take before setting new goals/habits/resolutions in 2016.  It’ll help you understand how you handle both inner and outer expectations.  This is crucial when sticking to new habits or achieving goals.  For example, an Upholder like me will do whatever her to do list tells her to do because I have to meet the expectations I set for myself.  However, an Obliger like Vishnu is more likely to stay accountable if the expectations come from someone else (other than me!) and not a list he created.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for these kinds of things, but this quiz really made sense to me.  I mean, it wasn’t life changing, but it did help me understand my husband (and myself) a little bit better.  And that’s a HUGE win!

If you love this kind of stuff as much as I do, I highly recommend you check out Gretchen Rubin’s books – The Happiness Project (read this a few years ago) and Better Than Before (this one is on my list).

Have you taken this quiz before?  If so, what tendency are you?  If you take this quiz as a result of my post, come back and tell me what tendency you are!

No portion of this post is sponsored.  However, there are Amazon affiliate links included. There is no extra cost to you, but I do receive a small commission on anything you buy through my links.  Thank you for reading and supporting My Inner Shakti!

By Parita

8 thoughts on “The Four Tendencies Quiz – Take It Before Making Your 2016 Resolutions”
  1. Just took the quiz as a result of your post and the results are you can guess it and it would be correct, “my dominant Tendency is Questioner” yes and which means resist outer expectations but meet inner expectations. Make sense.

    1. I want dad and Aek to take this too! It would be interesting to put all of our results together and analyze. Love you!!

    1. Not sure if every Obliger is that way but Vishnu most definitely is! I think it was more eye opening for me than it was for him. Haha.

  2. I love 5 love languages as well, it changed my relationships so much. I learned to look at people and their needs (for love) differently. Now off to take the quiz on four tendencies.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I just took the quiz and I got “Obliger”. I always want to make sure I’m “aiming to please” and I thrive on accountability from others. Well, in terms of my personal life. I only got into the habit of working out because my friends and I had a group text to keep us accountable. I don’t need the text group now since it’s just routine for me. However, I’m not quite so much an “obliger” in my professional. I thrive on others, sure, but I definitely am more Type A-driven when it comes to my professional life. I like to lead, and think in innovative ways, but I guess I DO seek insights from my peers on things too. Interesting!

    1. I vary a little from my personal to my professional life as well. There’s definitely a thread through both but my Upholder tendency is much more dominant at home!

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