If you’re following my posts on The Four Tendencies, you’ve learned that understanding your own tendency is the first order of business.
Seek to understand yourself first. Then, from this knowledge base, you begin to understand others.
Understanding your nature, as well as the nature of the people around you, helps you to live and work with more understanding, acceptance, simplicity, and effectiveness.
Today, we’re going to explore the least common tendency – considered the most extreme personality type – the Rebel tendency.
The Rebel Resistance
Rebels resist all expectations. Rebels want to do what they want, when they want, and how they want.
When I first learned about the Rebel tendency I couldn’t help but chuckle because I’ve been saying – “I do what I want, when I want, and how I want” – as long as I can remember. Turns out, Rebel is my dominate tendency.
If someone asks a Rebel to do something, their natural tendency is to resist. They can do anything they want to do, they can do anything they choose to do, but if someone else asks or tells them to do something, they are very likely to resist.
And it’s not just other people. If a Rebel doesn’t want to do something, they can’t even make themselves do it. Thus, the Rebel slogan: “You can’t make me, and neither can I!”
Characteristics of a Rebel
- Rebels resist just about anything that they perceive as having an element of control, like committing to a schedule. They value spontaneity and the freedom to do things when they feel like doing them.
- Rebels are independent-minded and want their lives to be a true expression of their values which are often unconventional. They find conventional living tedious and boring and enjoy being a bit eccentric.
- Rebels often do better when there are no expectations at all. If someone asks or tells a Rebel to do something, they resist, even if it’s something they want to do. This instinct can create problems for Rebels as well as for others.
- Rebels like to establish their own way of doing things and often customize a well understood standard to reflect their own ideas, tastes and preferences.
- Although Rebels resist any and all expectations imposed upon them, they’re quite comfortable imposing their own expectations on others.
Let’s take a look at the strengths of a Rebel.
Strengths of a Rebel
- Because Rebels are independent-minded, they are not influenced by conventional wisdom and are able to think and act outside the box. This is extremely valuable for growth and innovation.
- Rebels tend to be very in touch with their authentic selves and act from a place of freedom, choice and identity.
- Rebels like be spontaneous, they don’t like being locked into a schedule or “to do” list. They can easily drop plans and do something else if the inspiration or opportunity presents itself.
- Rebels thrive with a challenge that they can solve in their own, unique way. If they can buck the system in the process, even better. Because Rebels like to resist, you can often find them in highly regulated work environments where they have structures and systems to push against.
Weaknesses of a Rebel
As with any tendency, a Rebels’ strengths are matched by its weaknesses.
- It can be challenging to work or live with someone that naturally resists when suggestions or requests are made by another person. This can make Rebels perceived as being uncooperative and difficult to collaborate with.
- Rebels can have difficulty completing tasks that are repetitive and have to be done consistently (i.e. doing the dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, or paying bills).
- Rebels resist feeling like they’re locked in and can feel restless and find it hard to settle down in a particular job, relationship, city, or any situation that can feel repetitious over time.
- Rebels can act as though the rules don’t apply to them. When you hear someone say “Rules are made for other people” or “Rules are made to be broken” you’re likely in the presence of a Rebel.
Strategies for Dealing with a Rebel
Appeal to their Identity
Identity has a very high value for Rebels. It’s important for a Rebel to put their authentic self out into the world. You can often get Rebels to do things they may otherwise resist if you can present a strong tie to their identity.
Apply Information, Choice, Consequence Sequence
One way to get a Rebel to act is to think about the sequence of information, choice, and consequence (in that order). You want to give Rebels the information they need so they can make an informed decision. It’s the consequences, good or bad, of the potential choices that will drive a Rebel to act.
It’s often better not to nudge, remind, encourage, or assist a Rebel to do something you want them to do. The more you interfere, the more you may ignite their spirit of resistance. It’s often better to do nothing, as hard as that may be.
All You Need is Love
Despite a Rebels instinct to resist, they may choose to do something simply out of love for another person.
It’s important to understand that your tendency is a hard-wired part of your nature; it’s not a stage or something that you outgrow. It’s best to understand and accept your tendency, as well as the tendency of others, and commit to learning all that you can so you can enjoy life to the fullest.
Take the Quiz
Discover your tendency by taking the short quiz here.
Other Articles About The Four Tendencies
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Sandra is a business and life coach who specializes in helping clients who are craving a change but feel stuck where they are. Sandra helps them discover a new vision of the future and follow through on their ideas with enthusiasm and confidence. With a diverse background that spans more than three decades, Sandra combines her educator’s perspective, business acumen, life coaching skills, and everything she’s learned along the way to help her clients make bold moves that advance them forward in their careers and in their lives. When she’s not working, Sandra loves practicing yoga, traveling, cultural experiences, and enjoying the desert southwest.