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5 Questions for Gretchen Rubin

Headshot of Author Gretchen Rubin

Credit: The Girls Lounge

Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin on her new book and what makes her happy.

In your book, you identify four personality profiles or “Tendencies”: Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. Which one are you? A: Upholder, no question! What are the benefits of knowing your Tendency to create better habits? A: If you know your Tendency, you can set your circumstances to take advantage of its strengths and to offset its limitations. What works for a Questioner won’t necessarily work for a Rebel. Your research showed that the Obliger — who meets outer expectations, yet resists inner expectations — was the largest group. What does this discovery say about people? A: It means that many people will do best in a system that provides outer accountability. Say you’re an Obliger who wants to exercise. Knowing that you’re an Obliger tells you that you shouldn’t just try to “get motivated” — you should sign up for a class, exercise with a friend who gets annoyed if you ditch, think of your duty to be a role model for your children, work out with a trainer, join an accountability group on the Better app. There are hundreds of ways to build accountability, onc …

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