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

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

We’ve been talking about how we meet expectations. Both external expectations, like that project you promised you’d get done for your boss, and internal expectations, such as finally losing those last 10 pounds you been promising yourself.

If you missed our overview of the Four Tendencies you can check it out here. Last time we went into detail on the Obliger tendency. If you missed it, click here to check it out.

This post I want to dig into a tendency that is close to my heart.

Let me ask you, does someone “telling” you what to do make you want to run the other way? What about when you’re friend insists you should read “such and such” book? Do you purpose to never pick it up if it killed you? If you’re spouse asks you to do something more than once, do you label it nagging?

If you answered yes to any or all of these, you, my friend, just might be a rebel.

Um, and, if you’re thinking, “you can’t called me a rebel!” Well, you’re most likely a rebel. 😉

My husband is a rebel (hence why this tendency is close to my heart 💕). And, I knew it even before he took the Four Tendencies quiz. (If think you might be a rebel, but want to know for sure, you can feel free to take the quiz if you want by clicking here or skip it altogether, you choose).

For anyone else that wants to find out their tendency, click here to take the quiz.

So, let’s talk Rebels. Rebels will rebel against both outer and inner expectations. Yes, I said even inner expectations. I’ve seen this in my husband. He will create all these strategic systems of personal development or follow-up strategies for business. He’ll be going a long just fine and then suddenly say, “forget this!” And, go in a completely different direction. For years he didn’t know why, until enter, the Four Tendencies.

First let me say, if you’re married to a rebel, don’t take their rebel tendency personally. It has nothing to do with you.

Here’s the deal, Rebels need choices. And, if you back them into a corner with, “you should do this,” or worse, constant reminders (aka nagging), they WILL go the opposite way.

Communicating with a Rebel:

1. Rebels need Choices

The key with communicating with a rebel is choices. Again, if they’re presented with a bunch of, “should’s, have to’s and must do’s,” they’ll naturally go the opposite direction.

Here’s a personal example I’ve used for years with my rebel husband. Bob takes the trash out for us. So, if the trash is full, I will ask him to take out the trash this way, “Hey darling, some time today, could you take the trash out?” Then I never mention it again. I mean that.

Notice too, I also did not say now. I said some time today. That gives him a choice on when.

Next, if the trash doesn’t make it out, I pull out another liner and start a new bag, depositing it next to the trash can.

What!? Yes, I do. Reminders are a sure fire way to make sure the trash never makes it out.

Oh, and be sure there is no “attitude” attached when you do this. That’s the same thing as an expectation and a guaranteed way for the rebel to rebel against this request.

Bob will at some point see the trash and take it out. Job gets done and peace remains in the home.

2. Rebels need Consequences > Then left to themselves to Choose

Also, when giving them consequences of their actions, be sure to stat them and then drop it. Let them choose. They’ll decide if the consequence is worth it or not.

Our middle child is also a Rebel. Guaranteed. So, we communicate different with her than we do with her Obliger brother. We employ a lot of “do you want this or do you want that?”

We also, present her with consequences of those choices and then leave it up to her to choose. “Aubrey you can choose “this,” and this is the reward, or you can choose “that,” and this is the consequence. What would do you want?” Then, we must follow through with the consequence if that’s what she decides. If we just tighten the reins, “whoa Nelly!” Watch out!

Here’s another example of communicating consequences with a rebel. I asked my husband if he could give me some examples of how he handles his “flex” calendar so I could use them for this blog post. He actually called me instead.

What I could have said was, “Can you please text me some examples of how you use your flex calendar, or if you’d rather just call because it’s faster than typing all that out, you can do that too. Whatever works for you.” Bingo…choices and consequences are presented to the Rebel here!

Rebel Strengths

Rebels do have a plethora of admirable strengths. They do something because they choose to do it, unlike, say, the Obliger who does something for someone else out of “obligation.”

They’re not afraid of saying, “no.” So, their calendar usually only has on it what they want to have on it. They usually don’t get as overwhelmed with external expectations because of this. They also tend to revel in and enjoy their individuality.

Rebels also gravitate towards challenges and face them head on. They’re the ones that chose that challenge, and they’ll do it in their own unique way.

If you’re a Rebel, how can you make your Rebel Tendency work for you?

1. Give Yourself Choices

Rebels like to choose. Rebels want to express themselves in their own unique way. Rebels need freedom.

My husband will block out time on his calendar for tasks. But, he will give himself choices in the same time block. He might put, “Do Follow-up Calls or Edit a Vlog.” Both need to be done, but he’s free to do whichever he wants in the moment.

2. Remind Yourself of Consequences

Rebels do well when they weigh the consequences to help them make good choices.

You might try listing your head the positives and negatives of a choice.

Try asking yourself, “what pain will each cause me if I don’t do it? What results do I want?”

Another great question you can try is, “Which would be easier?”

An example of this might be, “Do I sleep in and feeling lethargic for the rest of the day, or do I get up early, exercise and then feel fully awake to take on the day?”

An old film saying that my husband uses regularly on himself is: “pain is temporary; film is forever.”

Knowing your tendency can help you accomplish your internal and external expectations more effectively.

Next post, we’ll explore the uniqueness of the Upholder tendency. Gretchen Rubin, the author of the Four Tendencies is actually an Upholder.


Four Tendencies Quiz

If you’re a Rebel, I have a question for you. You can answer it if you want or leave us in the dark, we’re good either way. Just curious, how can non-rebels communicate more effectively with Rebels?

For us Non-Rebels, what is one thing you can try now to better communicate with the Rebel in your life?


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

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 *