The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)

Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project, Better Than Before) has spent many years analyzing happiness and personality in her writing and on her podcast. In The Four Tendencies, Rubin expounds on her theory of personalities, and the four major groups that people fall into. These she calls Tendencies: Upholder (meets outer expectations and inner expectations), Obliger (meets outer expectations, resists inner), Questioner (meets inner, resists outer) and Rebel (resists both). She then explains how people respond to the pressure and demands that life puts on everyone.

For some people, making a checklist and following through is no problem. Others need accountability partners to make them take action, and still others resist all influence. Rubin explores each of the Tendencies, offering helpful tips on how to understand Questioners or deal with a Rebel spouse, and suggesting good careers for Upholders and Obligers. For each personality type, she analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and breaks down how most successfully to influence each type in personal relationships, in business settings and in terms of health care and parenting.

Readers might nod with recognition as Rubin explains why that stubborn patient refuses the best treatment, or how to convince an uptight spouse that maybe the rules aren't so important all the time. A quick read that nevertheless resonates deeply, The Four Tendencies is sure to be helpful for a variety of people--health-care providers, employers, parents, spouses and friends--who want to improve their social interactions and understand the people around them better. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans

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