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Upholders of the World Unite (and Yes, That’s an Order)

I took the New York Times quiz on how well I do with forming new habits.  Go over and take it, and then come back and talk to me.

You’re back?  Good.

So I received the grade of Upholder:

Upholders respond readily to both outer and inner expectations: they meet deadlines and keep New Year’s resolutions without much struggle or supervision. Upholders take great satisfaction from moving smoothly through their daily schedule and their to-do lists. They meet others’ expectations—and their expectations for themselves. However, Upholders may feel uneasy when expectations aren’t clear, when they’re worried that they’re breaking the rules, or when they feel overwhelmed by expectations they seek to meet. They enjoy habits, and form habits fairly easily.

Um… that is me.  To a T.

I don’t struggle with resolutions because I love denying myself things.  Dan Ariely has a part in one of his books about how self-control is a “muscle” and how if we deny ourselves things too often, we will overwork the muscle and cause injury to our psyche.  Josh snorted and said, “apparently he hasn’t met you.”  I am the type of person who will bake a batch of cookies just to have something around that I can deny myself.  Upholder to the core.

And I need to know the rules.  If you tell me the rules, I will follow the rules, even if the rules make no sense.  But give me no rules and I become a nervous wreck, wondering if I’m doing something wrong.  And give me no feedback on whether or not I’m correctly following the rules, and I will fall apart completely, baking cookies like mad just to deny myself a little extra.

It was the first time I’ve taken a personality quiz online and actually had it match who I am.  How well did it define you?

P.S. I know I’m annoying in always trying to figure out the rules.  Bear with me.


1 Nicoleandmaggie { 03.31.15 at 8:04 am }

Apparently I’m an obliger, though I would have guessed questioner. I think the difference is that even when I make goals for myself I need external accountability. I can be and am perfectly selfish with my time. I’m also lazy. But Gretchen Rubin doesn’t know everything.

2 Catwoman73 { 03.31.15 at 8:14 am }

I got upholder as well, though I’m not entirely sure I agree. When it comes to expectations I set for myself, I am definitely an upholder. But when it comes to expectations that others set for me, I MIGHT be an upholder, if I don’t think the expectations are ridiculous. Otherwise I would say I am a questioner, and occasionally, a rebel.

3 Karen (River Run Dry) { 03.31.15 at 8:32 am }

I’m a questioner. It’s me – fully.

(The description: “Questioners question all expectations, and will meet an expectation only if they believe it’s justified, so in effect, they meet only inner expectations. Once Questioners believe that a particular habit is worthwhile, they’ll stick to it—but only if they’re satisfied about the habit’s soundness and usefulness. They resist anything arbitrary or ineffective; they accept direction only from people they respect. Questioners may exhaust themselves (and other people) with their relentless questioning, and they sometimes find it hard to act without perfect information.”)

4 Tiara { 03.31.15 at 8:47 am }

I got Obliger & it does fit me to a T. I was surprised because it’s not what I thought I’d get but it does describe me.

5 Peg { 03.31.15 at 8:53 am }

Obliger…totally nailed it.

6 Ana { 03.31.15 at 8:54 am }

Questioner. I thought I was an obliger, and wondered why external accountability still didn’t help me do things I found ridiculous.

7 Working mom of two { 03.31.15 at 9:10 am }

In an upholder too. Although done of the Qs were missing my answer–eg rule about wearing collared shirts–I would have asked if we actually need to do it–same with the meeting that wasn’t relevant–rather than just keep going or stop going without permission.

8 a { 03.31.15 at 9:33 am }

Questioner – I will not do arbitrary things for no good reason. And I see no reason to deny myself anything…as long as there’s a good reason.

9 SuzannaCatherine { 03.31.15 at 9:47 am }

I got Upholder, too. I think I’m more in the Oblieger category. Probably a little of both. I care entirely too much what other people think.

10 Monica { 03.31.15 at 10:23 am }

Totally an Upholder, too!
I once went on a weekend religious retreat with a friend as support for her…and in the small group activities – I took over the leadership of our group because no one else stepped up. (I am a completely different religion than she – but I didn’t care…there was a task to do and we needed to do it!) I don’t do well in chaos and with no rules.

11 loribeth { 03.31.15 at 10:33 am }

Hmmm… I took the quiz a week or so ago, and got Obliger… I took it again today & got Questioner. I think I am more of an Obliger or Upholder — although I do believe I have a bit of Questioner (and even a little Rebel now & then) in me. 😉 As Suzanna Catherine said, I’m afraid I worry entirely too much about other people’s opinions, sometimes to the point of paralysis. :p

12 Rajiv Bakshi { 03.31.15 at 10:53 am }

It’s so difficult to change into new habits .

13 Noemi { 03.31.15 at 11:13 am }

I had a hard time with that quiz. For many of the questions, none of the answers seemed quite right. It said I was a questioner, which is probably what in closest to, but I didn’t feel it described me to a T.

14 earthandink { 03.31.15 at 11:26 am }

Questioner who life has pushed some obliger upon. But my true self is a questioner.

15 deathstar { 03.31.15 at 11:36 am }

Obliger. Yep, that’s me. I’ll commit to you no problem, to myself, not so much.

16 fifi { 03.31.15 at 12:07 pm }

Questioner. I could totally relate to the “analysis paralysis” question.

17 Junebug { 03.31.15 at 1:30 pm }

I’m an upholder too, but I was expecting to be a bit of everything. It depends on the day and how important the goal is.

18 Gille { 03.31.15 at 2:51 pm }

I’m a questioner and I’m not surprised one bit. The description fits me so well.

19 Turia { 03.31.15 at 3:27 pm }

I am in the middle of reading this book! I got Upholder, but I think I have a strong Questioner streak. I don’t mind not living up to expectations if I think those expectations are ridiculous or pointless. But a lot of the description fits.

20 Sharon { 03.31.15 at 3:32 pm }

I got Questioner. I can see the validity of this result for me, at least in some settings.

21 Jill Brockus { 03.31.15 at 4:16 pm }

Mine came up with the term “Rebel”. I don’t think of myself as a rebel, but the description fits. Especially “I get up in the morning and think ‘What do I want to do today?'” I’m retired. That was my goal for retirement!

The thing about meeting commitments and expectations – I fell through on that so many, many times after my daughter died I rarely make a commitment any more. I stick with the few I make, but they are few and far between.

22 Rachel { 03.31.15 at 7:45 pm }

I got upholder and it is me …totally me. I usually don’t find these things truthful but this one hit the nail on the head perfectly!

23 loribeth { 03.31.15 at 8:51 pm }

I keep reading your title & thinking of that Internet meme: “Bad spellers of the world, untie!” lol

24 Mali { 03.31.15 at 9:46 pm }

I got Questioner, but could equally have been Obliger, as I was in two minds about a number of the answers. I wish I was an Upholder – or at least had Upholder tendencies.

25 Cristy { 03.31.15 at 11:19 pm }

I’m an Upholder too, though I tend to identify also with Obligator. Really has me thinking about how I interact with the world and others. Wonder how this quiz relates with writing style?

26 andy { 04.01.15 at 7:45 am }

No surprise… I’m an Obliger!

27 Middle Girl { 04.01.15 at 9:39 pm }

Obliger. Pretty accurate.

28 Justine { 04.01.15 at 10:04 pm }

Another obliger. Try to make everyone happy except for myself. Yep … and interesting question Cristy, that absolutely fits my writing/blogging patterns.

29 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.02.15 at 1:34 pm }

I am completely baffled by this: ” I am the type of person who will bake a batch of cookies just to have something around that I can deny myself.” And I would love to come over on the days you bake and help you with that self-denial.

I’m a Questioner. Yup to this “They resist anything arbitrary or ineffective; they accept direction only from people they respect.” But nope to this (I think): “Questioners may exhaust themselves (and other people) with their relentless questioning.”

It is the best fit for me of the 4.

Speaking of questions, when are you next making cookies?

30 Bronwyn Joy { 04.06.15 at 9:21 am }

Interesting quiz! I’m a questioner. I’m not immediately sure how useful that is to know, but I’m off to do some research to find out…

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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