The Questioner

I’ve been podcasting a lot the past few months. One of my all-time favourite podcasts is Note to Self, from WYNC.


I can’t say I’ve listened to a bad episode. The newest episode, The Four Tendencies: How to Feed Habits, was pretty interesting, especially if you are either interested in goal-setting or making New Year’s resolutions. This episode is an interview with a writer, Gretchen Rubin, who has a theory that there are four personality types when it comes to how we perceive internal and external expectations.

I took the online quiz and discovered that I was a Questioner, which I would say, is pretty accurate:


Typically, this is the way I like to think:

Questioner: “I do what I think is best, according to my judgment. If it doesn’t make sense, I won’t do it.”

Of course, according to Rubin, a Questioner can still have aspects of a Rebel or an Upholder. Obviously, I tend to lean towards the latter. As a public school teacher, I feel very strongly that I need to be a positive role-model.

But on a personal level, how is this information useful to me if I want to set new habits?

  • My drive is based on my inner expectations, so when I build a habit, I must make it specifically towards my needs.
  • I like justification. I need to know why and how I should take on a habit, so I will do research on the benefits and efficacy of the aforementioned habit.
  • I only take suggestions from people I respect, so I will look for sources of information that are reliable (i.e. published books, scientific evidence).
  • I will sometimes spend too much time on research, creating “analysis paralysis”. This has happened when I was deciding on a fitness goal. I would overthink, rather than simply taking action.

In teaching, we called this self-analysis metacognition. This could potentially be a fun exercise to do with my older, mature students. I’ll save this resource as a future project at work!

Do you know which of the four personalities you are? What goals are you setting for yourself for the new year?



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