In the galaxy of Tendencies, Upholders would seem to be the bright steady objects – the stars that are the representation of bright burning suns – like our own. They are constant, dependable, regularly providing life-giving heat and light to the worlds that rotate around them. Upholders have no problems meeting both external and internal expectations. They are organized and disciplined, making and keeping to-do lists – the always on time and well-prepared folks. The world needs them to have structure and a well-run society.

However, there are some drawbacks to their personality. They not only meet external expectations, but they expect others to meet their expectations and can be frustrated with others because they don’t understand why they can’t. Those with other tendencies may become frustrated with Upholders because they seem rigid and uncaring. It is too easy to think that everyone is just like you so why do they find something difficult that you yourself find very easy?

With all tendencies, there are overlaps – leanings as Gretchen calls them. For the Upholders they can lean toward Questioning (both meet inner expectations) or Obliging (both meet outer expectations). In those cases, there may be flexibility on either internal or external expectations. And depending on the nature of the relationship there are specific conflict possibilities. An Upholder will have a tough time dealing with a Rebel because Rebels tend to reject both external and internal expectations.

Gretchen gives good examples of the interaction of Upholders with other tendencies in the areas of marriage, children, work, and career. She highlights the importance of clear communication with others about tendencies and needs. And she also relates how Upholders can go overboard -tightening, she calls it – and how that can be remedied.

I am not an Upholder, but I know many who are and have learned how to deal with them and remain who I am. In every case, it helps to remain calm, confident in who you are, and compassionate to smooth over the bumps in the relationship road. Next up: The Obligers.