How Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies Can Help Doctors and Patients

We've mentioned Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies before and learned that people belong in the following personality categories: UpholderObliger, Questioner, and Rebel.

During her most recent Happier podcast, Elizabeth Craft, Rubin's sister who co-hosts the podcast, read an email from a listener who is a doctor. The listener wrote how the four tendencies have been helpful when approaching her patients:

I’m a family physician who practices something called functional medicine, which prioritizes lifestyle interventions. I had a patient who is very resistant to my recommendations to help with the goal of weight reduction and treat pre-diabetes/insulin resistance. In the course of my interaction with her, “Rebel” popped into my head. I ended up switching gears, making a list of possible suggestions she could try if she wanted to rather than a more directive style, which I find works best with most people. This patient ended up coming back at a later visit having taken one of my suggestions and her weight was down and she was feeling much better. I do not think the result would have been the same had I been directive, which helps with Upholders/Obligers. The Questioners are also covered in a more directive approach as I always give a detailed explanation of my recommendation and try to link it with something I know that is important to them, but for the Rebel, as you point out, that strategy just does not work.”

Which of Rubin's Four Tendencies do you identify with the most? Do you relate to the Rebel patient?

For a description of each personality, click on the categories listed above. You can also take Rubin's quiz here. Here is a recap her latest podcast on her blog