Episode 79, Expectations And Your Family Members

KNOW part 2 – Expectations and Your Family Members, with Leah Davidson

Episode 79 – KNOW part 2, Expectations and Your Family, with Leah Davidson 

This is the 2nd episode in the Know, Love, Grow series.

Have you ever taken a personality test to get to know yourself better? This week’s episode is all about getting to know yourself better through different personality tests. I focus on one test in particular – The 4 Tendencies. I focused on this particular test because the #1 problem I coach people on is their unmet expectations. My clients are not meeting the expectations they have for themselves and their family members are not meeting the expectations my clients have for them. Lots of disappointment shows up in both circumstances. 

The 4 Tendencies test gives us information about ourselves that can be very useful in this area! Knowing our natural tendency in how we keep expectations and having this same information about our family members is powerful. 

Personality tests can be very powerful, but they can open our eyes to things we don’t want to see about ourselves because they expose our weaknesses. Be open to all of it – including the parts you don’t want to see. Allow it to give you information about yourself that you can decide what to do with when you’re ready.

Knowing who you are, what your strengths are, and taking an honest look at the things you don’t like about yourself is how you begin to accept yourself and then grow yourself. 

Are you ready to begin KNOWing yourself better? If you answered “Yes!” you will want to download my free pdf “Coming to KNOW Yourself Better” 

You’ll find 30 journaling questions that will help you begin finding out who you are so that you can become more tethered to yourself and have more confidence in who you are and who you are becoming. 

DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF HERE

Do you want to take one (or all) of the personality tests mentioned in this podcast? Links are below.

Via Strengths Test

The 4 Tendencies Test

Enneagram

Want to contact Leah?

Facebook: Leahdavidsonlifecoaching

Instagram: @leahdavidsonlifecoaching

Website: leahdavidsonlifecoaching.com

Are you wondering if coaching is right for you? I offer a one-time, 50 minute coaching call at a highly discounted price of $25 so you can try it out and see what coaching is all about.

Bring your relationship problem you’re stuck in and work on it with me. We can do a lot of work in 50 minutes. I’ll see you on our call.

CLICK HERE to set up your call


Full Transcript

Tina Gosney 

This is January, the second week of January and I’m continuing the no love growth series. So January is all about know, it’s all about knowing yourself, knowing that people in your life that people in your family so that we can come to love and accept and grow those relationships.

Before I get too far into this episode today. I do want to remind you, I have a free gift for you in the show notes. This free gift is a one page PDF 30 journaling questions that you can download that will help you to start to know yourself better. Super important to start right there. In knowing yourself better knowing who you are, what’s important to you, what you want out of your own life.

Knowing things like this is where you tether yourself. It’s where you increase your confidence. It’s where you don’t feel like you are looking outside of yourself, for other people to tell you that you’re okay. You’re able to give that to yourself, you don’t need someone else to reinforce that you what you’ve done or said is okay, you know how to give that to yourself. We’re not looking outside of ourselves for validation. Because we don’t need it. We already are firm in the knowledge of who we are. But you can’t do that if you don’t know yourself.

And this is what Amy Gianni and I talked about last week, I hope you’ve listened to that episode. That’s a great introduction to this knowing yourself series this month. This week, I’m focusing really on personality tests. Now how many of you, when you see a link online, maybe on social media or a friend shares that with you, but you see a link and it says something like, Hey, take this quiz to find out what flavor of ice cream you are? Or that’s kind of a silly example. Take this quiz to find out what Seinfeld character you are, that you match up with. You’ll there’s so many of those things. They’re so compelling, though, aren’t they? We all want to know like, oh, who do I match up with? What flavor of ice cream am I? They’re kind those are kind of silly. That’s not the kind of personality tests that I’m talking about today. But we love to take a quiz to find out more about ourselves.

Isn’t that strange that we look to other things to tell us about ourselves? Well, we’re so often very blind to who we are. We have so many blind spots that we can’t see other people often see us much better than we see ourselves. It really is important to take these quizzes that I’m going to talk about today. If you want to get to know yourself better, talking about three specifically today.

I often use these personality tests to help my clients know themselves better. Because this is often one of the issues with my clients as they come. So why they’re coming to me is because they feel very untethered in their own life. They’re not sure how to feel better with the things that are going on in their lives. But it really is foundational that we know ourselves for getting the things that we want in this world. That includes having better relationships with our family members, that includes feeling better and happier in our own lives.

You can’t be grounded in who you are, if you don’t really know who you are. And if you don’t know what you want in your life, you become like a kite in the wind blowing whichever way the wind blows. And if the wind is blowing harder, you got to get you get a little bit out of control. Feels a little bit like you’re in a hurricane. It’s so helpful to take these tests so that we can better understand our own inclinations, our own our old tendencies, we can understand things like, why we do what we do, why we think the way that we think, why are we different than that other person? Where are we even different than the other people in our families? Why are certain things harder for you than they are for other people? Why are they easier for you than they are for other people? What do you need to be aware of yourself that you don’t see right now, because of your blind spots? Those are some of the things that these quizzes, these tests can help us do.

The one I’m going to talk with Leah about the one that we had a really great discussion about, by the way, is called the Four tendencies. I think it’s a lesser known one. This is by it’s a concept developed by Gretchen Rubin. She developed it because she was noticing that different people have different ways of handling expectations. So that’s expectations from other people, the ones that other people put on us, and the ones that we put on ourselves, how do we determine if we’re going to live up to those expectations? And what kind of personalities do better with expectations than others?

These are some of the things that we Leah, and I talk about, as we talk about Gretchen Reubens, four tendencies, I reached out and really wanted to talk to Leah about these four tendencies, because we’ve had this discussion before about how valuable this particular test is. And that’s because so often in coaching, we coach people on the unmet expectations of they have in their own life, and that they have of the people in them life in their lives. So how are we disappointing ourselves by not living up to the things that we wish that we were living up to? And how are other people disappointing us by them not doing what we really want, or expect them to be? We really want things to be different, and they’re just not. So we’re suffering a lot in our lives. And we’re suffering a lot in our relationships. And that’s why I wanted to focus on this particular personality test.

When we understand more about ourselves and our family members, we have an easier time being loving and understanding. It’s easier to let expectations go and to work within the framework of what is rather than what we think it’s supposed to be. So that’s why we’re doing I’m doing this four tendencies, personality dive into this episode, I have some more that I’m going to talk to you about on the other side of this discussion with Lia. So enjoy this discussion on the four tendencies with Leah Davidson.

Tina Gosney

Welcome to the podcast. Leah, I’m so glad to have you here.

Leah Davidson

Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here with you.

Tina Gosney

Would you just briefly introduce yourself to the listeners so they know who you are?

Leah Davidson

Sure. So my name is Leah Davidson, and I am a life coach. And I help people overcome and manage stress burnout and compassion fatigue. I am also a speech pathologist. So that’s where the compassion fatigue comes from. Because when you’re a helping professional, there’s sort of a unique hazard of your work that encompasses stress and burnout. I am also a wife and a mom and a stepmom and a mother in law. And I’m from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. And I love talking about the four tendencies. So I’m happy to be here, I always am looking at how can we make things easier? How can we make things easier to communicate, to love to accept. And the fourth tendencies was something that did it for me. So I’m excited to be here to share with you. Thank you so much.

Leah Davidson

And I am excited to have this conversation with you today. Because I know, anytime we get together and we talk, we just go for a long time.

So we’re going to try to say a little bit and not make this one too long. That’s right.

Tina Gosney

Tell me why why are you drawn to the four tendencies in the first place?

Leah Davidson

So you know, just to preface that the four tendencies is based on a book by Gretchen Rubin. So she has written multiple books about happiness, and she spent years studying happiness and and you know, when I read the book, I was looking for tools at trying to understand human behavior like I always do as a life coach. I’m sure you do the same thing. We are a blended family. And I have three biological, sorry, I have two biological son, and three stepkids. And as we were growing up, there’s a lot of dynamics there. And I was always trying to figure out oh, what is it? Is it because they’re my biological kids? Is it because they’re my stepkids? Is it because they’re at this home half the time And another home the other half the time is it their personalities? And then some of it was I started feeling maybe I’m just bad mom, maybe I’m just bad parent, maybe I’m a bad stepmom. So there was a lot of drama in my head. And that drew me to the book because the book explained how people respond differently to different expectations. And that resonated with me because I realized, like, Oh, it’s just not completely random. And it’s certainly not just me. And it helped me to learn a little bit more about myself and about my kids, and how we could then interact and communicate better.

Tina Gosney 

That’s really interesting. And, and I love that you were drawn to find answers to the things that you were thinking like, Maybe I’m just a bad mom. Maybe it’s because they’re over at this other house, or maybe because it’s like, they’re my stepkids. I love how you were drawn to find answers and didn’t just sit in the Oval. That’s the reason why. And I can’t do anything about it. Exactly, exactly. And it wasn’t that also, you know, sometimes you can’t do something about it. And I wanted to know, is this, do I just accept this? Are there things that I can do to influence? Are there things that I can do to to? Yeah, to change or to accept? So looking for answers is, is the way to go? You give the brain something to look for, and it goes on a scavenger hunt, and it will find?

Leah Davidson 

Yes, and let me just clarify for a second, when I said, I can’t do anything about it. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to go then and try to change everybody else. Right? So that I’m gonna feel better. That’s how, what can I do that I can figure things out, and I can find things and answers for myself to understand myself and the people in my life better? Exactly. That’s the hump that you went on. Right? It wasn’t like,

 Well, I could find things that’s obviously going to change other people. And then for me, it’s always like, within 30 seconds, I realized, well, that’s not gonna work. So yeah, the only person I can control really is me. And it’s all about how I respond.

And then I think once you have a couple experiences, where you see oh, it really is all about me. It just becomes my natural place. whenever something comes up with somebody, whether it be my husband, my kids, or clients or even neighbors, I’m always, you know, my instinct is like, what’s wrong with them? And then I turn around, and I’m like, okay, what can I do? What, what am I can? How am I contributing to this issue? How am I contributing this problem? How can I resolve it? How can I get to a better place of peace with myself? How can I have more connection with these people? And that’s all about me. That’s all that inside job. I love that.

And I think that by the act of doing that, like focusing on yourself, saying, What can I do to change this situation, or to change my experience of the situation? We just learned as human beings, we just learned by watching each other. And there’s no way that doesn’t have an effect on the people that in your lives, and you’re telling, just teaching your family members and the people that are in your world, like it is possible, to focus on yourself and to change your experience without having to change things outside of you. And which is the best news because that’s where you actually have the most ability to Exactly, yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Tina Gosney

Okay, with that introduction, let’s get into the tendencies. Let’s just go one by one.

Leah Davidson

Okay. So just I think, for starters, what she went on a hunt for was she was curious, like, why do people do what they do? And why do some people like find it easy to and she uses the examples of like to keep New Year’s resolutions? Why does some people find it easier to commit to an exercise routine? And then she’s determined, it comes down to the simple like question of how do you respond to expectations, inner expectations, so the things that you put on yourself, and outer expectations, the things that other people put on you? So she went on this, this hunt, and, and she, she doesn’t say that they’re hardwired. And that’s why I love the word tendency, because it’s tendency doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. It just means you sort of like lean one way or lean the other way. And so she came up with four tendencies. And each one has a way that they respond to the outer tend to the outer expectation and the inner expectation. So the first one is she calls the upholder and as I share some of these you, you’ll probably be running through your mind saying, okay, is that means that not me? And just You know, the book is great. She also has a quiz that you can go online. It’s called like the four tendencies quiz, ask a bunch of questions, and it will sort of send out what you are, which tendency you happen to be in, right.

Tina Gosney 

So I took the quiz. Yeah, I listened to all of them. Like I’ve, I’ve read it. I’ve listened to YouTube, you know, explanations. We’ve heard other. I knew automatically which one I was. Yeah. So that. There’s also so I see myself in a little bit of the other ones. times. Yeah. But overall, there’s one that I know that I am. And it was just a question. So I went to the quiz. I’m like, Well, of course. Yeah. I like to look at it. Like one is home base. And the other one’s like, my cottage, my vacation home. Yeah.

Leah Davidson 

And she, she does say you’ll, you’ll tend to lean towards one versus the other. And I years ago, when all my kids were living at home, I had them all do the quiz. And you know, it comes out with what their main one was. And each kid I was like, oh, yeah, oh, that’s accurate. And the it was a secondary, it was their vacation home that I was always like, I don’t know if it rolls this way or this way. And I think that’s important to recognize that all of this nothing is set in stone as people grow and develop and change or tendencies can also can also change. And it doesn’t mean that this is putting you in a box and you have to stay in that box because of course, we all will do some of everything. There just happens to be one that we just feel more comfortable in. I’m an Upholder.

Tina Gosney 

When I read it, I saw myself in the upholder too. Maybe that’s why we get along so well.

Leah Davidson 

So some key things about the upholders is they’re people who readily respond to both the outer and the inner expectations. So that means if you make a claim, you they make a commitment to you, they’re going to uphold it, that’s going to happen. But if they also make a commitment to themselves, they’re going to follow through on that as well. Now, they love rules, and they have very clear plans, and they’re self motivated, and they’re disciplined. And if you tell them what to do, they have no problems leading the way. Now, I don’t know if you want me with each expectation or each tangency sorry. There are strengths and there are weaknesses. So it’s not just all rosy and shiny, because sometimes you can look and you think well, that’s great being an upholder. You know, they get things done. They’re self directed, they enjoy routine. But there’s also some weaknesses.

And sort of the weaknesses are, they can be super rigid. They can be controlling, they can be defensive, they sometimes don’t like it. If other people break the rules, they sometimes don’t like it. If other people don’t uphold their expectations, they can be a bit impatient. And so those are just, you know, a little glimmer of what it’s like to be an upholder. Again, when I recognize that in myself, I was like, yes. For the strengths. And, yes, where the weaknesses. Yeah, totally. They’re all there. And it just, it just allowed me to look at the perspective of okay, I love being an upholder, for many reasons. There’s lots of things I’d love to change.

But it helped me also recognize other people having to deal with me as an upholder. When I looked at those weaknesses, I was like, hmm, it may not always be so fun to have a mom who’s like, you know, rigid and defensive, or, you know, kind of controlling rule oriented, it’s gotta be hard. So I think it helps to know what you are. So that you can, you can start making adaptations, and you can start understanding that you’re not always like the funnest person to be with based on what your tendency is. So those are some of the exact same thoughts that I’ve had. myself as a mother and like, my poor kids. Yeah, had to deal with me being so rigid and so expectation focused and like, why can’t you get this done? And what is wrong with you? And like, how has that been for them? That’s probably not been the funnest for them to go back.

Tina Gosney

Exactly. I do think though, and I come from a background of teaching a music teacher for 30 years. And I see I taught group classes I saw there are upholders that fit very well into organizations like a classroom, like a religious community, often, probably in certain types of business, atmospheres to certain types of business. That that were more rule required and more rule oriented. And they just seem like, Oh, those are the kids that shine in those types of situations.

 

And they just get along really well. They fit they tend to be teachers. yours favorite students? Yes, they are doing what the teacher wants them to do. Right? Yeah. I think that I did notice as a teacher that it’s very easy to pinpoint those kids and think, oh, they are just doing so well, this is my favorite student. Yeah. But also to see the other kids that were not doing those things, and to really look at their strengths. And see, like, they might not shine in this area, but they shine in different areas. And just as a teacher, I tried to bring those out whatever that was in those kids. Right. But I don’t think that that is normally recognized. Not that that I was like some wonderful, insightful teacher, I just tried to be really cognitive of what are the strengths in this child? And how do I bring them out? And maybe that one looks different than this one. And this one isn’t necessarily better than that one. This one just fits into this type of structure a little bit better.

Leah Davidson 

Yeah, exactly. And I’ll share with you a couple of experiences after we’ve explained the four tendencies. Because I think that’s exactly what happens is certain people get sort of put in praised for being a certain way, but it’s only because of the environment that they’re in. But I also want to say back to your comment about you not being the finest mom, I always said to my kids, once we established this, I was like, that’s why it’s so important to be weighing people’s weaknesses and their strengths and loving it all. Because I was like, Well, why while you don’t appreciate that, I bet you don’t mind that, you know, I if you asked me to do something, I do it. I’m there. I’ll respond to you. I don’t forget certain things like you are enrolled in this lesson that, you know, there are so many benefits to and that’s the beauty you want to embrace, like the wholeness of each tendency, because the strength and the weaknesses are kind of what makes makes it beautiful that you have all those together. Yes.

Tina Gosney 

And we just we’re all human. So we have strengths or weaknesses in everything. Exactly. Anything that we’re going to find ourselves in.

Leah Davidson 

Yeah, yeah. So the next tendency, and that we’ll talk about as the questioner and questioners, they question all expectations, but they will meet the expectations their own expectations very much more easily. And they’ll meet other people’s expectations, if they believe it’s justified. So basically, they respond more to their inner expectations. They’ll question everything around them. And they’ll do it if it makes sense to them. So if they want to do it, they’re going to do it. So they put a high value on like reason and research and information. They will follow advice if if like, it works with what they believe. They will follow their own judgment, they asked a ton of questions, which sometimes makes them seem like they’re uncooperative or defiant. But they don’t like things that are arbitrary. Like they just don’t like random things. And sometimes they dislike being questioned themselves. You know, when you get back to your example of being a student, they’re they’re not usually loved. In some situations in a classroom, if they’re asking questions that the teacher deems are relevant, then that might be great for the other students. But they can sometimes look like they’re challenging authority, when they’re asking so well, why do we have to do that? What do we have to do? They’re very data driven. They’re, they’re willing to, like play devil’s advocate. And they’re strong willed, but the weaknesses are, they can end up suffering from like, analysis paralysis, they can be pretty impatient, if they see that things are being not logical, or the other people are being complacent. And sometimes they don’t want to accept closure. They want to keep questioning, questioning, questioning, and they’re very focused on on things about being fair, and whether it makes sense for them. So that is the questionnaire. Do you have any questionnaires in your life Tina?

Tina Gosney 

Yes! I can see that this might, like you said that analysis paralysis. Like that would be a real easy place to get caught. And to stay stuck in. And I think I’ve coached actually coached some people with that. But also the question that seems like they are like they take their own authority over other people’s authority. Yeah. And that they don’t want to be told what to do. Unless their own authority is saying yes, this is what you want to do.

Leah Davidson 

Yeah. And I don’t I don’t necessarily think that it’s it’s to be defiant or rebellious because if they understand it, and it jives then they will move forward with it. I have I have a son who’s a questioner and I asked him permission To share this story, but when he was on his mission as a questioner in an environment that’s very, very structured and and rule oriented and so forth, you can imagine it was sometimes difficult. And sometimes his Companions would say, like, you’re questioning authority or questioning things that mission presidents asking us to do. And, and so he, I remember, you know, on our calls, he would say, like, they think like, I’m disobedient, and I’m not following things and, and he’s like, No, I just like understanding things. I just like understanding the why. So he went to his mission president, and he explained the four tendencies to his mission president, and he just said, I’m, I’m just a questioner. And the mission president, a wonderful, wonderful man, had just said, oh, yeah, I get it. And from that point on, they were he, he just knew how to handle my son that, you know, elder, I needed to do this. And he gave a reason. And he luckily, with a humble enough, man, I don’t know, I have to think of what tendency was that he wasn’t. He wasn’t thinking like, I shouldn’t have to explain to this elder why this is this on the mission president. He just, he just said it. And at the end of my son’s mission, he sent me a beautiful note, the mission president, and you know, just talked about my son, and he said, he definitely is a questioner. And isn’t it a beautiful thing. And I just love that he had embraced it. And I love that he, he had learned to see the strengths and the weaknesses, because I think sometimes questionnaires can get a little bit of a bad rap of just being more difficult. But you know, in terms of I used to say to my son when he was on his mission, I mean, the whole church is founded on questions. I don’t know if Joseph Smith was a questioner, but he was asking a lot of questions. So I think it’s good to be looking for the strengths in each one.

Tina Gosney 

What a gift your son gave to that mission president because I’m sure that didn’t just carry to him. But maybe all of the mission machineries in them what they should all take one. Right, like, what, what tendency is this missionary? How do I need to write him to work with his strengths and his the way we have expectations for him? Exactly. I think they’ll just go to church. I think that’s a really good place to go. There are a lot of people that have questions right now. And if you’re not a questioner, maybe have never thought through the questions that people are bringing up and feel very threatening to you to have somebody questioning something and you thinking, why can’t you just accept that this is the way it is? Or why can I just accept the explanation that’s already been given? Why are you expecting more information here? And to be frustrated or to, to kind of dismiss those people is like, Oh, they’re just going to be someone that leaves?

Leah Davidson 

Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s important to recognize, because there’s another tendency that we’ll talk about in a bit, that is also very much a questioner in the sense that they push back on outer expectations, which is the next one we’ll talk to.

Tina Gosney 

I’m just dropping in here just for a minute to see. Have you found yourself in either the upholder or the questioner? Have you found what you think you match with yet? Or have you you’ve probably identified if you haven’t find yours. If you haven’t found yours yet, you’ve probably identified someone or several people in your life that fit either the upholder or the questioner, or maybe both. So you’re starting to see how valuable this can be to know your tendencies for meeting inner and outer expectations, and how valuable it can be to know your family’s members, your your spouse, your children, your even your friends, how do they meet expectations, inner and outer, can be really valuable information. There’s a link in the show notes where you can go and take this test, and find out what tendency you are. And it might not be a bad idea to have some of your family members do the same thing, just likely a dead. I’m gonna let you get back to this discussion with Leah. And we’ll find out what the last two tendencies are and how they fit in.

Leah Davidson 

And the next category is what we call the obliger. And the obliger. I think Gretchen Rubin says that that makes up the majority of people. There’s a large number, I can’t remember what the stats are. But there’s a large number of obligers. And obligers is sort of the group that readily responds to outer expectations, but they struggle to meet their inner expectations. So within the context of the church, if just by general population, there’s more obliger As you know, we can maybe leave it to think there’s probably more obligers within the church, which means there may be a lot more people who are more willing to accept things. And we’re not talking about blind acceptance, we’re talking about a tendency to just lean towards outer expectations. Other people are saying this, I will follow this, I don’t have to question this. Because obligers have a harder time they struggle to meet their inner expectations. So there’s, there’s dynamics like that, that I don’t think we ever consider within like the environment of the church. People aren’t necessarily just being difficult. There’s, they just have different ways that their brain functions, different tendencies, and different and it’s not disobedience necessarily. It’s not. It’s not bad to be questioning, this is the way that they learn. And this is the way that they grow.

Tina Gosney 

Yes, so good. I would say, I coach a lot of obligers. Because they want outside accountability for the goals that they’ve set. And then when they don’t meet them internally on their own, they’re just beating themselves up. Like there’s so much judgment inside of themselves for not living up to their own expectation, like, yeah, and that that is very crippling.

Leah Davidson 

Exactly. So obligers, they put like a very high value on commitments to others. So you’ll see that they’ll do anything for other people. So they’re probably great ministering people that they, you know, though, for their family members for their neighbors, but they do then require things like deadlines and monitoring and other forms of accountability. Sometimes they do have difficulty setting limits on other people’s demands. So they can often be seen as you know, people pleasing, which people pleasing is not I know, sometimes it gets a bad rap. But people pleasing is not necessarily a bad thing, if you’re choosing to want to please people versus it being sort of a nervous system response. But obligers Yeah, they they are reliable, and they’re responsible. And they’re great team players, and they go along with things that go the extra mile, they’re usually very easy to get along with. So they’re great partners for like questioners and upholders and even the rebels, which we’ll talk about in a second, they’re great partners to have, because they’re pretty easygoing, their weaknesses, so is they can end up being really resentful about what’s being asked of them. Of those, they may look at other people, why are they putting themselves first like, I’m not doing that? Why are they doing that? And so sometimes they can be very hard on themselves, like you said, like, they’ll beat themselves up. And they have trouble setting limits and saying no, which is often probably why we do end up coaching a lot of obligers, because they want help with boundary setting and limits and saying no, and then learning to have that self compassion. So they don’t beat themselves up afterwards. So obligers are, they’re a fun group as well.

Tina Gosney 

One thing I thought was really interesting about the obliger is because they have trouble setting their own, or just meeting their own inner expectations. They’re not really great at self directed careers or activities, like being self employed, or like just determining their own structure of a goal, or of a work project they need, they won’t really want to just take somebody else’s model and just tell me what to do. And I’ll be great at fulfilling it. Right? I just don’t want to come up with what I’m have to do. What I you know, the process of doing this thing? Yeah. And so that’s just something to know about jurors is that they’ll do it, they just don’t want to come up with the process for doing it. They want something to be given to them. And I think that I do this, I see myself as an obliger sometimes, in certain things that I don’t feel like I have a lot of knowledge on, like, when I want to implement an exercise program. I don’t want to go to the gym and just decide my own process for for doing that. I want to just buy a program, which I actually do, and I work out at home, but I have programmed and I just want to follow along and not think about what do I need to do. So I do it with that. I noticed like immediately when I saw they want something that somebody’s already created and they just follow it. Yeah, that’s exactly me and exercise. I just want to follow somebody else’s plan.

Leah Davidson 

Exactly. It can be so much easier to do that. Yeah. And I think that’s where if you said like, you find yourself an upholder and then you have you know, your cottage is probably obliger cottage whereas some people their you know their cottage is going to be questionnaire so you’ll have those differences and variation which sometimes it just shows the uniqueness of it all but yeah, that’s definitely it. And then the last one is the rub off and These are the people who resist all expectations outer inner, and people in this group, they want to be free to choose and express their own individuality. So they put a very high value on freedom, choice, self expression and authenticity. And if somebody asks them or tells them to do something they’re likely to resist. They may be sort of, you know, a little bit defiant, it seems like like, watch me, I’ll show you, I’ll do this, if I want to do this, you’re not the boss of me. They may have a difficulty meeting challenges, or they will challenge a lot of things. They don’t respond well necessarily to supervision or authority or advice or directions or routines or schedules. And this can be a bit of a challenge. I mean, they’re very independent minded. So they’re able to think outside the box. They’re not easily swayed by other people’s conventional opinions. But they’re resistant, and they struggle. And they sometimes can act like ordinary rules don’t apply to them, and they can be a bit restless. And I’ll be honest, when I read this when I was like, Oh, this is definitely the hardest personality, this is the hardest tendency, so to speak, and I have an obliger. And in my mind, I had always sort of labeled this child as my quote unquote, hard child because and when I read, okay, this child is a rebel. And I thought, okay, what are the strengths of a rebel because it seems as relieving you know, they’re more difficult. They’re more, but interestingly enough, these are the movers and shakers of the world.

Tina Gosney 

I was thinking that same thing. These are the people that go and create new things.

Leah Davidson 

Yes, yes. And once I saw that light, and I put that lens on it, like, Oh, my rebel, I can’t wait to see what he does on a daily basis. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do in the future. It puts such a different lens. It removed the whole my quote unquote, hard child and just replaced it. Okay, how do I learn to interact? How do I as an upholder, learn to interact with a rebel and how does he as a rebel, learn to interact with a mom as an upholder? And figuring out that dance?

Tina Gosney 

Seems like they would be opposite? Because the upholder meets inner and outer expectations? Rebel doesn’t meet inner or outer expectations? Exactly. Oh, two very different sides of the same coin.

Leah Davidson 

Mm hmm. Very, right there. Just understanding it helps, right? Yes, totally.

Tina Gosney 

We have a daughter, who she’s older now. So we can talk about these things. But it was so difficult to raise her. It never got easier. I kept thinking at certain we would reach a certain age and I would think, just outgrow this at some point. It’s gonna get easier. But it felt like every day was a power struggle. She never wanted to follow anything that I said. In fact, there was I tell this story about her. And she note we’ve, she knows, like, all this stuff. I’m not telling you anything that’s not totally aware of that. I remember so many nights, my husband and I would go to go to bed. And we it was just after a long, hard day of dealing with this child. And we would just look at each other and say, What can we do to make things better tomorrow? How can we change things to help her just get along in our family system better. And one of the things that we came up with and she was pretty young, I think she was maybe four or five at the time. One of the things that we came up with was she needs to pick out her clothes the night before she needs to make that decision. Because in the morning, it is too difficult for her to make that decision. And there’s always a big meltdown over it. Oh, I remember when Saturday night, you know, pick out we need to pick out your dress for church tomorrow. And so I held up two dresses. There’s a blue one in agreement. And I said, Okay, do you want to wear the blue one or the green one? And she said, she looked at me with just the sweetest look on her face and said, Well, which one do you like, Mom? I’m thinking, I think I’m being set up right now.

 So I said, Well, I like the green one. And of course you know what? She said? Well, I’ll take the blue and then right, right, yeah, right. The thing was, is that I really wanted her to wear the blue one. But I knew I was being set up. So I said I want the green one. And I because I wish that she would choose the blue. And I did this quite often to her. It was just a way of managing things and make it making it more easy as she was growing up. And then I told her and she’s in her late 20s now, and I told her this just a few years ago like Did you know what I used to do? She got mad at me for for doing that to her but as I was researching the rebel, that’s one of their characteristics still is that if they find out they were manipulated, Oh, yes. at an earlier time in their life, they become upset about it in the present, even though it’s way in the past. They are excited about it in the present, which makes so much sense.

Leah Davidson 

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Oh, that’s great. That was a good story. Well, So in sum, then, like upholders, they just want to know what should be done. And they’ll do it. And questioners, they just want the justifications. obligers need accountability. And rebels just want the freedom to do something their own way. Yeah, so those are sort of the four tendencies and, and I’ll just share with you one of the, the light bulbs that went off for me is when my kids were younger, I like I said, I have three stepkids and two sons. And so there are five of them all together. And it was really bothersome that on Saturday mornings when we were all together, because we had different schedules, but it was time to do chores. And I would just say, okay, you know, these chores needs to be done everybody go do their chores. Now. I have three kids who just like I had a little signup sheet, and they would sign up for their shores. And they would just do them, like, just no questions asked. They just did their chores. And I had one son, who was the questioner. Why? Why do we have to wash his bathroom? Again, we just washed it last week, we don’t really, you know, just the question after the question used to just make me want to like, blow my gasket, which I’m sure I did. And then I had a rebel child. So it was just I’m not doing anything. I didn’t realize at the time, though, that I had a question and a rebel. And three obligers I just thought I had five kids. What’s wrong with these two over here? Right, these two who happened to be like questioning and, and I have to, like get into arguments with them. And I had to and I was really frustrated. And as luck would have it. The two of them were my biological ones. So then the drama, like, oh, my gosh, it’s me. It’s me, what have I done like my beautiful stepkids.

Leah Davidson 

And when I read this, and when I figured out what each child, their tendency was, it just alleviated everything, and I just started dealing with them all differently. And you know, my obligers They’re, they each have like different slant. So ones like an obliger rebel, one’s more of an obliger upholder. And you can see that tendency come out too. But generally speaking, things like doing chores wasn’t a huge deal for them. Then I just knew that with my questioner, I would say, we need to clean the bathroom, because blah, blah, blah, and I just give the reason. And he seemed fine with that. And then my rabble, I just let it be, you know, if you as he got older, or if you want to go outside and play with your friends, or if you want to go out tonight, these tours need to be done. So it’s this or that. And I just wouldn’t engage in the nagging, I would engage don’t forget, don’t forget, because I was just like, This is it. And more often than not, he would do it in his own time zone, place his own way, because he wanted to have whatever it is he wanted later on. So once I had that, and I still do that with all my kids to this day, where I recognize that some of them I can just be asked to make a request. And then other ones I do, I don’t like to see it as a manipulation, I like to see it as this is just, I’m trying to understand you. And I’m trying to communicate with you in a way that resonates with you that that goes according to your tendency,

Tina Gosney 

Which I think that helps keep things peaceful, and more understandable. In the present day. Think about as parents long term, we’re trying to help our kids become functioning, productive members, you know, great members of society and their own lives, and to just to have a happy life. And I think that them understanding where their own weaknesses, their own strengths, right, you are also feeding. This is how I operate in the world. This is how I learned that my tendency, and what do I What strengths can I gain from it? What do I need to be aware of that might not be such a strength? And how do I what do I want to do with that? How does that reflect my relationships with others and myself?

Leah Davidson 

Exactly. Yeah, yeah. And then my understanding, like my son on his mission, you know, it was very valuable for him to understand that he was a questioner. So instead of feeling bad, when you know, having some challenges, maybe with some companions, who were probably more obligers, and probably wondering, why are you questioning all those things? He just was like, Well, I’m a questioner. And, you know, these are the pros and the cons of it. He was able to advocate for it. And it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to change Some things and work on the weaknesses of that area. But I think it does, it helps them understand that we’re all different. There’s not one that’s better or worse or, and I think it also helps like in a school environment in a work environment. I mean, Gretchen Rubin, she she talks about dealing with like students and colleagues and things like that. Because I think it does help in all these different environments. If you understand who you are, and take the time to understand who other people are, and how we can each interact with them differently. I think we can just have so much more peaceful relationships be so much more productive, because we’re not like fighting against each other. We’re working to each other’s strengths. And they and acknowledging we all have the weaknesses. So I think that it’s very powerful.

Tina Gosney 

Yeah, I love that. I think if there’s one thing I coach on the most, it’s expectations that people have the other people in their lives and how they’re just disappointed. So how do you see this? Helping like to understand your tendency, the other people’s tendency, I see this helping so much, in just that, oh, I have these expectations, because I’m an upholder. But this person over here is a questioner. And so, of course, they’re not doing things the way that I would expect them to do. So I can release some of that. disappointment, frustration, whatever it is that I’m feeling. Yeah. And just maybe focus on the, instead of the person being the problem. How do we get these things done with both of our tendencies and how they work together? I don’t know. What do you see her?

Leah Davidson 

That’s exactly I see the same thing, I see that it’s very beneficial to be able to recognize that sometimes your expectations of other people are driven by who you are. And I think it’s especially true for, you know, look at upholder, they have both of them. But look at obligers when they are sort of like, well, how come other people don’t meet the outer expectations? And then the frustrations that questioners might have? Well, why are all these people just, you know, blindly going along with everything? And then the Rebel? Really, it’s just how come there’s no independence of spirit, understand that that’s a lens that you’re putting on everything. So when other people around, you aren’t meeting your expectations, you do want to take a look at well, are they not meeting my expectations? Because they’re just different? And they’re not me? And what can I do to help support them? What can I do to modify myself as well, to help them along in in achieving whatever it is they’re trying to accomplish?

Tina Gosney 

Which just feeds right back into what we were talking about at the very beginning. And what we have control over is ourselves. But also, just to add something on to that, we also should be always looking at ourselves, and how am I contributing to the problem? Or is there something that I need to shift here? In order to understand this person in order to get a different result? Like what do I need to work on myself? Exactly. And not assume that we’re always just this is the way the world is because this is how I see it, and that everyone else needs to change. And there’s that I’m totally in the right here. I think that’s always going to be a problem position for us.

Leah Davidson 

Yeah. There’s this amazing TED Talk by Benjamin Zander called, oh, the power of classical music or something like that. And he talks about being a conductor. And the power about being a conductor as a conductor doesn’t really I say this in quote, but they don’t really do anything. Their job is to bring out the the music and instruments, and he shares is this great quote that he talks about? About and I think he took it from Maya Angelou, that when your children walk in the room and your children see you do their eyes light up? And he said, he likes to ask the question, if their eyes aren’t lighting up, who am I being that their eyes aren’t lining up? And I love that question. And I ask it so often to people in coaching, when they tell me about a situation that’s happening, and they tell it this is happening, and that’s happening, you know, like, what is your contribution? How, what is your role in this? What are you doing? Not that you have control of other people, but there is some influence who are you being that perhaps this is coming out, and that is what you can modify, and that is what you can change? And I think that understanding these expectations, who are you being with your expectations that somebody else is going to be experiencing these things as well?

Tina Gosney 

That’s beautiful. A beautiful place to end this discussion. Last, I’m gonna ask you just one more question. Is there anything we haven’t covered yet? You think you want to add to this discussion tonight?

Leah Davidson 

I think the only thing to add is I just want to emphasize, this is not meant to, you know, Peg people, or people are completely set in stone. This is just another way to learn how to understand each other and learn how to connect with each other. But we do we do do all of these things, all of us just because you are a you know, questioner doesn’t mean, at times, you’re not, you aren’t an obliger, it just means that there’s a greater tendency. So I like to emphasize that because I don’t think we can’t put people in boxes and just assume like, well, this is how they always are. This just helps us gain one more perspective and so many other perspectives that we can have.

Tina Gosney 

Thank you for saying that. Because I do think there’s so much danger in just pegging someone in a box and keeping him there. Even if it’s only in your own mind. There’s some danger there. We need to allow ourselves to be dynamic human beings and to grow.

Leah Davidson 

And yeah, exactly. I always say to people, when they say things, like, especially if they’re, you know, or in the Gospel, and they say something like, well, this is just who I am. And I’m like, the whole point of the Atonement is so that we won’t be saying that. Why did the Atonement is so that we can be this is just who I am. And I am going to become this with the help of my savior. And I think the same way with even though we have these tendencies, you know, this is just a part of who we are. But the whole blessing of having the atonement in our life is our ability to, to make those changes.

Tina Gosney 

Perfect. Love it. Love it, Leah, this has been so fun to talk to you about. And I think this is gonna be so helpful for people as they look at their own family members look at themselves, and figure out the whole expectation. A whole it’s just, it’s huge. Just feel full of expectations in our family. So, so helpful in dealing with those who want to find you later. How would they go about doing that?

Leah Davidson 

They can find me I’m on Instagram and Facebook at Lea Davidson life coaching. My website is Lea Davidson life coaching.com. And I have a podcast called building resilience. So they can find me and all those places.

Tina Gosney 

Good. And I’ll put a link in the show notes to your contact information too.

Leah Davidson 

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much for having me.

Tina Gosney 

Thank you so much for being here.

Have you figured out what you are which tendency you are yet, chances are, you probably have a pretty good idea, but you can go into the show notes, click on the link and take the test just to make sure. I have a couple other tests that I like to use with my clients.

One of them is the via strength test. This is my favorite because it ranks 24 different strengths. And it tells us what order we’re using these strengths in which one we lean more into, and which one we use less in our lives. And I liked that it focuses on strengths. And it’s not just strengths and weaknesses like we would usually think of them. We have all we each have all of these 24 strengths, but we use them in different ways depending on who we are. So it’s very, very useful to know what our greatest strengths are. So that we can lean more into those and create more goodness in our life and in our family’s lives with those strengths. Now, when we lean too far into our strengths, they can become our weaknesses, especially times that we’re really fearful or stressed or just overwhelmed in our lives, it’s very, very easy to lean a little too far into these strengths. And then they become weaknesses for us.

For example, if we have a strength of being a very hopeful person, someone that really leans into, to hope and holds on to that very tightly in their lives. If we learn lean a little too far into that it turns into Pollyanna ism. If you know who Pollyanna is, you know what that means. If you don’t, it just means some blind or excessive optimism, not really seeing or acknowledging maybe problems that need to be faced and addressed. So if we lean too far into hope, we can go that far into not seeing things that need to be addressed. Another example is love of learning is one of the strengths in this test. If we lean a little too far into our love of learning, and we want to find validation for ourselves through that learning that we are in just embracing in our life. It can turn into a know it all ism. Do you know someone who just loves to learn and loves to gather information and just be learning all the time? But then when you talk to them, they’re always sure that they know more than you and they want to correct you or contradict what you say That’s a way of them finding validation through their strength. That’s not always a good thing, it can really turn other people off. And if you’ve had that done to you, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s really good to be aware of our strengths. And it’s good to be aware of how we’re maybe overusing our strengths. And they’re turning into weaknesses for us.

Another test that is really useful is the Enneagram. This is probably the oldest personality tests that we know about. There are nine different personality types, each have a range of functioning from healthy to unhealthy. And they also have each number also has a wing that correlates to another number in the Enneagram. There are so many facets to the Enneagram. And so many different ways of understanding that if you’re interested, I’ll have you go and do some research on it on yourself. There are endless, there’s just endless learning here, so many great resources that you can look at with the Enneagram.

And it’s very, very deep and complex, I want you to realize that the test that you take will always be skewed towards your own ego, they will always be a reflection of the way that you already see yourself. Even if you’re surprised by the results that you get, it’s going to be a reflection of the way that you see yourself. Because you’re the one answering the questions in this is what I do. And this is what I think. Now I have a friend who took the Enneagram test recently and told me her number and I was completely shocked. Because I would never have picked her as that number, I wouldn’t I don’t think of her as that number, I don’t see her that way at all. Think about if another person took a test for you, they would be answering according to their experience of you the way that they see you, which is almost always different than you see yourself and the way you think other people are seeing you. And that’s because we are blind to ourselves.

Other people often will see us better than we see ourselves. We have so many blind spots when it comes to us. But no matter what tests you take, or whether you take all of them, I want you to really lean into what is this? Tell me about me? What strengths do you see in your results? How can you lean into those strengths and create more goodness in your life and in the lives of the people around you by making those strength even stronger for you?

There’s probably going to be something in these tests that you don’t like something in these results that you’re going to say I don’t like that about me or I don’t like that. It’s saying that about me. Really open yourself up to it. What is that thing? What do you want to do about it? Now many times we’re wanting to shut ourselves off to off to things that we don’t want to see about ourselves. But as Amy talked about last week, confronting those parts of us that we don’t want to see is a way that we get to know ourselves better. And a way that we can be more grounded in who we are. Just because that part of you is there doesn’t mean that you have to live into that weakness that you’re seeing, no matter what your reality is.

Now it doesn’t ever need to limit or determine your future, you are the one that gets to decide this. And there is a little bit of danger in letting a test tell you who you are, and letting that alone define you. Let these tests give you information about yourself, and help you to understand yourself better, but don’t let them be a determination of who you are at your core. Just like I said last week, we all came to Earth with certain strengths. We were also put into a family system where we had to adapt and survive. And we have all suppressed some of those strengths, and a part of who we are. Because we were told that that was not acceptable. It’s a survival response. That happened a long time ago. But now we just think it’s reality. If you take one of these tests, allow it to give you information about you but not define you open yourself up to the possibility that you have more than what this test is telling you.

You are a dynamic person who can and always is changing. And you don’t have to accept anything about yourself that you don’t like you came to this earth as a certain person and who you become as you’re here is up to you. It’s not up to a personality test. When you find out more about who you are, you’re going to bring more goodness into your own life. And when you do that, you also bring more goodness into your family’s lives into your into your community and into the world in general.

I hope you’re starting to see why it’s so important to know ourselves and have a really firm grasp on who we are as an individual are not as who we are in the human race, but who am I? Am I core? Who am I? As an individual person in personality? What are my tendencies? What are my strengths? What do I want for myself in my own life?

Don’t forget, I have a free gift for you in the show notes. It’s a one page PDF 30 journaling questions that will help you to start to know yourself better. It will help you to start figuring out some of the things that we’re talking about this month, and help you to start getting grounded in who you are, and who you want to look. forward to seeing you next week.

I have a really special episode we’re gonna get inside the mind of a certain family member. And you’re not gonna want to miss this. Tune in for next week’s episode.