Gretchen Rubin is an author who writes about happiness and habit change. I love to listen to her podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin when I commute. Here is how Gretchen describes one of her favorite ways to help us make a change.
By asking the one simple question, “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain exciting insight into ourselves. And when we know how other people respond to expectations, we understand them far more effectively, as well.
We all face two kinds of expectations—outer expectations (meet work deadlines, answer a request from a friend) and inner expectations (keep a New Year’s resolution, start meditating). Our response to expectations determines our “Tendency”—that is, whether we fit into the category of Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.
Knowing our Tendency can help us set up situations in the ways that make it more likely that we’ll achieve our aims. We can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet our promises to ourselves, suffer less stress, and engage more deeply with others.