It seems that the good girl, bad boy trope may be more than the plotline to your favorite rom-com. According to Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Four Tendencies, people can be divided into four personality types (otherwise known as tendencies). These include what Rubin calls the obliger, the upholder, the questioner, and the rebel.
In order to categorize people into each of the four personality types, she asks the question, "How do you respond to expectations?" According to her, your specific tendency can be determined by how you respond to both outer and inner expectations.
Personality Types Responding to Expectations
For instance, the obliger will meet outer expectations, but they are not always able to meet the expectations they set for themselves; they require accountability from others. Then there are the upholders who are characterized by their ability to meet both inner and outer expectations; they're able to accomplish what others expect of them and meet their own expectations for themselves. Questioners can meet their inner expectations, but they are unlikely to do something just because someone else wants them to; they only act when it makes sense to them. Finally, there are the rebels, who are resistant to inner and outer expectations.
Who Makes a Great Pair?
The odd thing is that based on anecdotal evidence Rubin gathered from conversations with real couples, rebels and obligers tend to make a great pair. reports Business Insider. This may seem contradictory, but Rubin is able to explain the seemingly unorthodox pairing. "There's a deep affinity between obligers and rebels," she says. "Both have this resistance to inner expectation, and this gives them this feeling that the world is pushing on them and they want to push back."
To give you an example, Rubin explains that a relationship between an obliger and a rebel might go something like this: If the obliger complains about their demanding family, the rebel might remind them how much they do for their family and suggest jetting off for the weekend to do something for themselves. This, she points out, can be reassuring for the obliger.
While it's clear that certain personality types simply work well with one another and others may clash, you and your partner's tendencies aren't the only factors that determine whether or not you belong together. It can be fun (and telling) to think about what both of your personality types are and how they work with one another. But take it all with a grain of salt—only you know what's right for you. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you and your partner's personality types are as long as you're able to make the relationship work and are happy together.
If you're curious about which one of Rubin's tendencies you fall into, take her quiz to find out.
Psych Central. 4 Personality Types: The Upholder, Questioner, Rebel and Obliger. July 8, 2018.
Business Insider. A Habit Expert Says That People Come in 4 Types - And That Two of Them Tend to Make the Best Match. September 14, 2017.