by Ashley Logsdon

Tendencies, Unmet Expectations & Personality Clashes (Episode 137)

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How do you respond to expectations? From your partner, your boss, even your parents? It’s amazing how our behavioral tendencies can shape so much, including our perspectives and our ability to connect with others.

Natural Tendencies can be your Insight into deeper connection

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The Four Tendencies

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I started this out with inspiration from an email I'd gotten on criticism, and as I started digging deeper, I landed on these "Four Tendencies" that so aligned with the personality assessment I love. This is a list inspired by Gretchen Rubin, American speaker and author of books like The Happiness Project and The Four Tendencies.

On her site, she explains it like this:

“How do I respond to expectations?”

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.

 It’s hard to grasp just how differently we can all see the world. When we can see other people’s perspectives, we understand why, from their point of view, their actions make sense.

In a nutshell, remember:

  • Upholders want to know what should be done.
  • Questioners want justifications.
  • Obligers need accountability.
  • Rebels want freedom to do something their own way.

Personality Assessments

In addition to these four tendencies, these go so well into the framework I use, which is DISC. DISC personality assessments have been around for a long, long time.

This idea of behavior driving so much of our actions has been in place throughout history – the famous Greek physician, Hippocrates, believed it was the bile in our bodies that caused us to act in certain ways, yet in the early 1900s psychology was growing by leaps and bounds with leaders like Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and Robert Marston leading the way in their understanding of how it’s truly how our brain works and our behaviors that can shape so much. You can read more about the history here.

So in 1920, Robert Marston wrote “The Emotions of Normal People”, and first introduced the concept that became DISC Personality assessments.

At this point, there are so many out there – the four tendencies quiz, the fear assessment, and then going deeper into StrengthsFinders, Enneagram, the Myer’s Briggs, and DISC.

So let’s do a quick breakdown of DISC, the brain, and why the four quadrants tends to be used time and time again.

DISC Personality "Snapshots"

The DISC Personality System is the universal language of behavior. Research has shown that behavioral characteristics can be grouped together in four major groups. People with similar types tend to exhibit specific behavioral characteristics common to that style. All people share these four styles in varying degrees of intensity. The acronym DISC stands for the four personality types represented by the letters :

D = Dominant, Driver

I = Influencing, Inspiring

S = Steady, Stable

C = Correct, Compliant

Know Yourself

The more you know yourself, you’ll know where your tendencies are. For example, as a D/I, my tendencies are to be more ready-fire-aim, I can get impatient quickly, and I can be at risk of monopolizing a conversation. Since I know this, I can keep that in mind before I dive in to any situation.

Nathan’s tendencies are to really know the ropes well before he leaps. And both of our tendencies to talk forever is a reminder for us that we need to ensure our conversations can be productive and accomplish what we need or want.

Control Yourself

When you know yourself well, then you can better identify how to consciously control your behavior to bring out the best in you. Knowing how you tick is like a big hack into shining your brightest. You'll know better how to stay motivated, what triggers you to go into reaction mode, and even what those reactions will be, and how to shift them to work for you rather than against you.

Know Others

When you know how to identify your own personality tendencies, it brings more awareness in what reactions you see in others. For example, recognizing when you are with someone who may be more like a high I - outgoing, animated, and ready to talk - allows you to better navigate a conversation, understanding their need to be heard, and knowing you need to be clear on the agenda to accomplish any goals.

Appeal To Other's Basic Needs

Before you can appeal to someone's needs, you must first know them. And to really have those deeper conversations and connections, you must first earn the right. Knowing whether the person you're talking to responds to a challenge, needs space or support or gets stressed when there are unknowns can be what gives you that credibility to really connect.

Above all, Grace

More than anything, we need grace for one another as we grow. We are all learning on this journey, and our understanding of ourselves and this life is constantly morphing. 

Clear communication - ensuring you are voicing your needs and expectations - is definitely something you are required to VOICE. Don't expect anyone to read your mind - half the time we aren't quite sure what all we're thinking ourselves, so don't expect someone else to know any better! 

Clearly communicate, and have grace for when you - or another - don't communicate well. 

Your Weekly Challenge:

Find out more about who you are. Download the PDF that popped up on this page.

Get the Namaste personality snapshot.

We are all on this journey together. The more you know yourself, the more you are able to connect with others.

We're all learning and growing and falling and getting back up again, together. Let's have grace for one another as we learn more and more about how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us!

Nathan and Ashley Logsdon

Questions or comments?

Personality styles, marriage/intimacy, parenting, education, minimalism or travel - what is pressing on your mind?

Or, hop on over to the Mama Says Namaste or Unschooling Families FB groups and ask your question there!

*Mama Says Namaste is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

About the author, Ashley Logsdon


Ashley Logsdon is a Family and Personality Styles Coach and Lifelong Learner. She and her husband Nathan are RVing the States and unschooling their 3 girls. Her mission is to shift the mindsets of families from reaction to intention, and guide them in creating the family they love coming home to. Looking deeper than the surface, we assess the strengths, triggers, and simplifying your lifestyle so you truly recognize how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.

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