Upholder - How knowing your tendency can help keep the “tightening” at bay

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We’ve been talking about the Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. So far, we’ve talked about the Obliger and the Rebel. I’ve included links in the resources section below to the previous blog posts in this series.

Today, we’re discussing the Upholder. If you haven’t had a chance to take the quiz to see what your tendency is, click here to take The Four Tendencies Quiz.

How do you meet your inner and outer expectations?

Do you accomplish those monthly reports will no problem while simultaneously keeping up with your daily exercise routine even tracking it? Are you that person that determines to write a book or accomplish a new goal and you just make it happen?

You may be the one we all envy who always seems to get it done. That new client proposal–done! Exercise consistently every day, while tracking all your food–check!

You just might be an Upholder. If you’re not for sure, click here to take The Four Tendencies Quiz.

Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The Upholder meets both inner and outer expectations with little fuss. They’re self direct and they keep their promises. These are the kids that wake up on their own, make their bed, get ready for school on their own and get their homework done without continual reminders.

This tendency embraces routine and may struggle to adjust their schedule suddenly. So, they can sometimes appear ridge or judgmental. It may be hard for them to understand why everyone can’t “get it done” like they can without the drama or struggle.

Most tendencies will start an expectation strong and then weaken over time. Upholders however, may experience what is called “tightening.” This is the experience where once you start an expectation, you can’t let it go. In fact, you might even make your “rules” more stringent. It’s on your to-do list and now it’s never coming off.

Here’s an example of “tightening.” Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Four Tendencies, is an Upholder. She’s chosen to live a low carb lifestyle. She said when she started this routine, she was not very strict. But, over time, she has “tightened” up her regimen and now if very strict with it.

Upholders can be very committed to meeting inner expectations, even when it’s inconvenient for someone else. “I know it’s your birthday darling, but we can’t go out until I go for my 12 mile run for that half marathon I’m running in two weeks.” This can make them seem cold even though that’s not how they intent it to sound.

Knowing your loved one is an Upholder can help you navigate situations that you might otherwise bother you. Awareness is half the battle.

Knowing you’re an Upholder, can help you keep from tightening up on yourself too tightly. It can also help you, navigate relationships so you don’t alienate your loved ones.


If you’re an Upholder, what can you do to keep yourself from “tightening” up on your expectations too much?

For the rest of us, knowing a love one is an Upholder, how can this knowledge help you navigate your relationship better?


Four Tendencies Quiz - It’s 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

*affiliate link (I do get a small commission if you should purchase this book using this link)