Here we are again! Another several months..err.. years… have gone by and I am here ready to write again. So soon. LoL.
I have been listening to a podcast for a couple of months now called Happier, with Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft, and I became really interested in the Four Tendencies, the concept and book by Gretchen Rubin. (My friend Olivia had posted about Power Sheets by Lara Casey back in 2015, and when I searched for the podcast app for “Lara Casey”, the Happier podcast came up! Just thought I’d mention that in case you, like I, need to know how one stumbled upon something, and because Power Sheets are awesome!)
In summary, the Four Tendencies is a framework for categorizing people based on how they react to expectations. I really enjoy personality studies, and while Gretchen explains that the Four Tendencies focus only on this one portion of personality, I feel like I understand myself infinitely more than ever before. In my humble opinion, I believe that I am a pretty self-aware person, and in many circumstances I am able to truly identify the roots of my emotions and behaviors. However, self-aware as I am, Gretchen has given me the framework to understand myself even better, has given a name to people just like me, and has broken down the strengths and weaknesses in the workplace, in friendships, in romantic relationships, and in a parent/relationship for each tendency. It is honestly eye-opening!
The Four Tendencies are Upholder, Obliger, Rebel, and Questioner. Upholders meet inner and outer expectations, Obligers uphold outer expectations and resist inner expectations, Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations, and Questioners uphold inner expectations and resist outer expectations. Got all that?
I am an Obliger all the way. The motto Gretchen chose for Obligers is “I’m counting on you to count on me”. Meaning that Obligers are great at following through and meeting expectations that are presented by something or someone outside of themselves–a job, a spouse, their children, a deadline, etc. Obligers are NOT great at meeting expectations that come from within. I knew from the second that I read the description of obligers that I was one! I can’t count the times that my obligerness has played a part in a decision I’ve made, whether it is career or relationship oriented.
People like me can and should create outer accountability to help us accomplish the things that we say we want to do, yet consistently fail to. This situation has recently played out in my life, so I wanted to share! For years and years, I have loved language. I have a degree in French, understand moderately well and speak the basics of Spanish, and have had a desire to teach ESL for at least half a decade. Throughout my single adulthood, I had plenty of excuses for not getting into ESL. No time, no money, no experience, etc. After we got married, I had yet another nudge from God that I should do this, topped off with several logical reasons to give it a go.
So I signed up for an online certification course that cost about $1000. I thought this would really get me going, you know? I’d be so motivated because I had that outer accountability of having to take a test, plus the fact that we were spending a good chunk of money on it, and Enrique wouldn’t be too impressed with me if I abandoned the plan. Well, turns out that tests for online classes are SUPER EASY, because, well…. you just look at your notes as you take the test. So in true Andrea Fashion, I procrastinated A LOT, passed my tests (still have two more courses to go), and learned some… but overall, let’s just say I’m glad I have all the printouts from the courses, because I can’t recall much off the top of my head. Not to mention that I have never actually TAUGHT ESL. (The certification includes courses for beginner teachers, but most seem geared to teachers with at least a little experience).
Enter Goyo, my husband’s Best Man, BFFE, and the other half of the Mex-Neck Bromance. Goyo’s girlfriend Lauren mentioned to me that he was wanting to go back to the literacy center (where I was considering starting to teach as a volunteer last fall, before the S. hit the F. in our lives, if ya know what I mean), or to get a tutor to help him to practice his English. I thought about it for a couple weeks or so (wouldn’t want to be premature), and told them that I would love to be an English helper! So far, we have had two or three lessons. We had an initial meeting, where we just assessed the goal and I sort-of came up with a plan. We have each had to cancel a session, but guess what happened. Unlike even the online certification course that I paid money for, I got a fire lit under my butt to figure out how to give one-on-one English tutoring/instruction because SOMEONE WAS COUNTING ON ME! Revolutionary I tell ya. I went to the library, checked out $233 worth of books (my receipt provided that fun fact), and spent over an hour planning for our second lesson. And let’s be honest. . . I was also reviewing English grammar and parts of speech. (Enrique always asks me “Why, baby?!” in regards to certain English pronunciation and grammar, and I don’t usually have an answer). This was really exciting to me for two reasons- 1) I am finally taking the itsy-bitsiest step closer to being Ideal Andrea in dipping my toes in the ESL ocean, and 2) It’s OBLIGERNESS IN ACTION!
I could go on, but I won’t. I’ll just say, Five Stars for the Four Tendencies and the Happier Podcast, for personal growth, and for friends providing an opportunity to help each other out. 🙂