Questioners - Helping Us Be Efficient In A World Of “Just Do It”

Photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash

Photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash

We’ve been talking about the 4 Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. This is how we meet external and internal expectations. We’ve discussed the Obliger, the Rebel and the Upholder. If you missed them, click here to start with our first post of series.

Let me ask you this. When you were a kid, did you hate it when your mom said, “because I said so”? Were you the kid that your parents, teachers and innocent by-standers got tired of because of your constant barrage of questions.

Now that you’re an adult, do you find that new office policy ludicrous so you’re not doing it? Or, do you get bogged down in the details? Is it hard to make a decision because you just need a little bit more information? And, forget New Year’s Resolutions. January 1 is just an arbitrary date.

If your answer is yes to most of these questions, you just might be a Questioner! If you’re not sure, you can take the 4 Tendencies Quiz right here.

A Questioner is the tendency that might appear to be a Rebel at first blush because they don’t always go with everyone’s expectations. However, what’s really going on is, they need more information. And, if that expectation doesn’t make sense to them, they won’t do it. So, that ridiculous new policy at work, yea, no way a questioner is going to go along willing with that one.

Questioners question ALL expectations. They meet only inner expectations. 🤔 They only meet outer expectations after they've turned them into inner expectations.

Gretchen Rubin says, “a Questioner has a drive for efficiency and justification. A love of research and information. A resistance to anything arbitrary.”

A Questioner will disqualify statements like, “We’ve always done it this way,” or, “the experts say we have to…” Questioners will stand for what they believe in rather than give in because everyone thinks the same thing. They will stick to their convictions even if it conflicts with outer expectations.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Getting past analysis-paralysis:

They always want more information. But, in life sometimes we have to make decisions when we don’t have all the information. At a certain point, it’s no longer efficient to keep gathering information. You could try using deadlines to give yourself a push past analysis-paralysis to make that decisions.

Questioner’s work place environment:

If you’re a Questioner and you work in a place that has a high regard for tradition and rule following, you might find it a difficult place to work. Those arbitrary rules will get under your skin in a hurry.

As a questioners you’re excellent to have around to keep everyone efficient. Because you’re asking, “why are we doing this or why this way?”

If you live with a Questioner:

When making a request of a Questioner, be sure to include lots of explanation such as, “We have to get the car inspected or risk a big fine.” “Because I said so,” or, “because that’s what the they told me we had to do,” will never cut it with a Questioner. They need the “why.”

If you have a child that is a Questioner. You might get tired of all the questions. (And, we’re not talking about the typical kid questions.) Questioner children, like their adult counter-part, need more information to make an informed decision. They too want to be efficient. They don’t do arbitrary.

“Because I said so,” should not be a tool in your parenting tool box for this kiddo. I know they may look like they’re rebelling, but they just need more information to meet your expectations. 😉

As you learn these 4 Tendencies, you’ll begin to understand yourself better. You can give yourself more grace knowing why you think and react the way you do to expectations. You’ll also be able to become your best self, whatever tendency you are.

Not only will you better your own life through the study of these 4 Tendencies, you’ll also be able to learn to “speak another tendency’s language.” This will help your relationships and especially your communication with others because you no longer expect them think or respond like you.


If you’re a Questioner, what advice would you give to use non-questions so we can communicate more efficiently with you?

For us non-Questioners, what’s one thing you can change in how approach a Questioner in your life now?


Four Tendencies Quiz - take the quiz here for free

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

The Four Tendencies – And How Understanding Which You Are Can Change Your Life Blog Post

Obliger - How You Can Finally Accomplish Your Internal Expectations Blog Post

Rebel - How to accomplish your external or internal expectations even when you really just want to do your own thing Blog Post

Upholder - How Knowing Your Tendency Can Help Keep The Tightening At Bay Blog Post