On Friday, I came home from the hospital. It was just a short stay (day and a half) and I’m not complaining. It was not Covid, and it was not a heart attack or a stroke. It was, apparently, my gall bladder. A gallstone, in fact. It could have been much worse, in a multitude of ways, so I’m glad that it wasn’t. Also, it’s been a week now and I’m not having Covid symptoms, so that’s encouraging. Looks like my gallbladder will be coming out in the not too distant future, but that’s fine, I think.
Of course, I’m enjoying the nation’s news, the inauguration and the sense of relief in having a caring, empathetic person who’s able to act from reason rather than impulse in the White House. The thrill of having Kamala Harris, a woman of color, as VP. The knowledge that we’ll have a rollback of some of the gratuitous cruelty that’s happened in the last four years.
I see people saying, sometimes, that they don’t want to get political in their blog posts, but if you read here, if you know me at all, you must know that I’m on the side of the inclusive, anti racist, anti fascist, pro-choice, pro-women, radical liberal folks. I mean, if nothing else, I’m pretty sure those other folks are anti-kink. So there’s that.
But none of that is what I really want to talk about today. It’s about this book I read recently called The Four Tendencies. It’s by Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project lady. This brief explanation is from an article in Forbes based on an interview with her. There is a lot more information in the article, if you want to check it out.
“The Four Tendencies distinguishes how people tend to respond to expectations, both:
• outer expectations (going to a doctor’s appointment, answering a request from a friend)
• inner expectations (practicing guitar, going for a daily run)
Your answer determines your “Tendency.”
• “Upholders” respond readily to outer and inner expectations. They keep the work deadline, and the New Year’s resolution, fairly easily.
• “Questioners” question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense and meets their own inner standards — so they follow only inner expectations.
• “Obligers” meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves. An Obliger journalist has no trouble writing when he has an editor, colleagues, and deadlines, but struggles to write a novel in his free time.
• “Rebels” resist all expectations, outer and inner alike. They want to do what they want, in their own way, and if you ask or tell them to do something, they’re likely to resist.
Three guesses which type I am. Yes, definitely an Obliger. One of the cool things about this framework is that it doesn’t align with other ways we classify ourselves. It doesn’t have anything to do with being an introvert or an extrovert, your Myers-Briggs type, your horoscope sign or any of those things. But I started wondering if submissives tend to be Obligers. When I started this post, I was pretty convinced that submissives were obligers (not necessarily that Obligers were submissives.) I’m rethinking that now, but still…
Regardless of whether or not submissives are obligers, this is definitely me.
For instance, if Obligers want to meet inner expectations, they absolutely must have outer accountability. This is the crucial element for Obligers. So if an Obliger wants to exercise, he might sign up for a class, work out with a trainer, exercise with a friend who gets annoyed if he doesn’t show up, think about his future-self, or consider his duty to be a role model for someone else. Obligers respond well to supervision, scheduling, monitoring, deadlines, reminders, and other forms of accountability.
So it makes sense that I wanted a Dom who would monitor my exercise and self-care routines y’all. And to the people who were kind of snooty about that, that’s fine, y’all are probably Upholders and that’s nice. But it makes sense that I want something outside my self to guide me.
I can’t even tell youall how helpful this has been to me. I don’t know that I’ll change anything or do better, but at least I understand more about who I am. Here’s the link to the quiz if you want to see what your type is. Comment or email me and share your type and your thoughts, if you like – I’d love to hear more.