To paraphrase a popular song, “Rebels just want to say no”. They resist both external and internal expectations. One stated their motto was “If I had to describe myself using only one word, it would be “doesn’t follow instructions”. They respond well to challenges and dares, but not to supervision or orders. They can be very productive, but only when it is something they want to do.

They put a high value on freedom, choice, identity, and self-expression. Sounds very American in a way, doesn’t it? Our historic identity as a country is built around the idea of independence, individualism, and not being told what to do or be. But if everyone is a rebel who makes the rules, who creates the order that enables society to function?

And rebels have trouble with meeting internal expectations – getting them to do things to benefit themselves, even though they know it is the right thing to do. So how do you deal with a rebel?

Gretchen Rubin laid out a plan that she said has worked according to the research she has done. She said the best way is to provide information, frankly present possible consequences and allow them to choose how to act. Sometimes the best way people learn, especially rebels, is by suffering the c consequences of a bad choice.

I think that I may have a rebel streak in me, but mostly I am a questioner at heart. I will push back against external expectations, and there are times when I will ignore them and do things my own way. But I don’t go out of my way to rebel or take pleasure in resisting just to resist. For more on the questioner tendency come back tomorrow.

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