"Know myself? If I knew myself, I'd run away."
That's how one wit has summed up the situation. On the presumption, however, that forewarned is forearmed, here's a three-section questionnaire to help you find out what makes you tick.
Are You a Good Judge of Human Nature? Information is one thing, wisdom is another. Many people who do poorly on information tests are particularly adept when it comes to understanding human nature -- and many so-called "geniuses" are inept in matters of practical philosophy.
What follows are 25 statements that will test your ability to judge human nature. Answer each question either True or False. (Assume that the phrase "For the most part" precedes each maxim.)
1. It is unreasonable to expect human beings to be reasonable.
2. The best way to succeed in business is to mix with influential people.
3. The person who demands a great deal from other people usually gets a lot more than the person who is more polite.
4. People of great ability are invariably vain and egotistic.
5. Conversation is a device often used to conceal thought.
6. If you do something well, people will surely and invariably recognize it and reward you.
7. As people grow older, they learn more and become wiser
8. Things may be said with a smile that would cause violent quarrels if said without a smile.
9. "What you can get by with" is a pretty good moral standard.
10. You can provide a welcome service to friends by telling them their shortcomings.
11. A debtor naturally and invariably has a kindly feeling toward the person who has lent him or her money.
12. Nobody can absolutely understand another person.
13. When you give people more responsible jobs, they tend to develop more respect for authority.
14. People rejoice to hear their acquaintances praised.
15. Children who have loving parents separate from them more easily than children who were rejected by their parents.
16. A strong person makes more enemies than a weak person.
17. Highly intelligent men tend to marry brainless women.
18. A romantic person sees the real soul of the person he loves.
19. Given enough leisure and money, people would invariably read more, cultivate themselves more and do more worthwhile things.
20. Most people are unable to reason logically.
21. Just because you sometimes feel hatred toward someone, it does not mean you do not really love that person.
22. Most people fear everything that is new.
23. One can buy anything with money.
24. Business is corrupt and dishonest.
25. Women are more conservative than men.
Do You Stand on Your Own Two Feet? Self-reliance means much more than the ability to fend for yourself in the woods with no more equipment than a hunting knife, or to sail a boat around the world alone. It means independence, originality and at least partial self-sufficiency in the undramatic but vital crises of everyday living.
These questions are designed to help you find out how much you are blessed with self-reliance. Indicate an honest Yes or No to each question in the following three groups. GROUP A
1. Are you bored if you have to stay home more than two or three nights a week?
2. Do you insist upon having your own way?
3. Do you believe that a person is "as young as he feels"?
4. Is it hard for you to remember wedding and birthday anniversaries and other special dates?
5. Do you advertise your good points to anybody who will listen?
6. Do you avoid making promises because you dislike being under obligations?
7. Do you mind your own business, and expect other people to mind theirs? GROUP B
1. Have you ever taken courses in personality and self-improvement?
2. Do you keep a diary?
3. Do you wait to be asked before offering advice?
4. Do you keep a personal budget?
5. Do you dislike slapstick comedy?
6. Do you try to obtain all the facts before reaching a decision?
7. Do you believe that divorce is always wrong? GROUP C
1. Is it hard for you to save money?
2. Do you follow the fashions closely?
3. During the past year, have you regarded more than two people as "favorite friends?"
4. Do you have more than three borrowed articles in your possession right now?
5. Do you like stories of love and romance?
6. When you are in trouble, do you try to conceal it from others and figure out your own solution?
7. Do you collect autographs or photographs of celebrities?
How Well Do You Live With Yourself? Most of us like to be around people, to share our joys and sorrows with them. But that is not always possible. Often one must fall back on his or her inner resources. Here are some questions about your own independence. Answer either Yes or No to the following questions:
1. Does the thought of spending an evening or afternoon alone throw you into a panic?
2. When you are alone, do you find yourself constantly craving something to eat or drink?
3. Do you have one or more hobbies that you can do alone?
4. When you are bored or faced with unpleasantness, do you tend to go to sleep?
5. Do you sometimes deliberately plan a time when you can be by yourself?
6. Do you often find yourself telephoning people for no reason?
7. Have you ever written a story or poem that you liked, even if you never showed it to anyone?
8. Do you usually like your job, home, school, or work?
9. When you take a trip or go shopping, are you unhappy unless someone is with you?
10. Do you keep the volume of your radio or television turned up loud?
Answers: Are You a Good Judge of Human Nature? An argument can be made against almost any one of these answers, but let us assume that the answer indicates the statement is generally true or false. 1. True 2. False 3. False 4. False 5. True 6. False 7. False 8. True 9. False 10. False 11. False 12. True 13. True 14. False 15. True 16. False 17. False 18. False 19. False 20. True 21. True 22. True 23. False 24. False 25. False
Count the number of correct answers and multiply by four. The result is your "Wisdom Percentage."
A percentage over 80 indicates you are a regular Solomon. A score from 60 to 70 is about average. A percentage less than 40 suggests that you should pay more attention to your own and other people's behavior.
Do You Stand on Your Own Two Feet? Here are the character analyses based upon your answers. If you have four or more Yes answers in any of the groups of questions labeled A, B, and C, use that letter or letters as the key to your analysis. For example: five Yes answers under A, four Yes answers under B, and two under C, would give you key AB. If you do not have four Yes answers in any group, your key is XX.
If you do not agree with the results, do not be too upset. Remember even the experts can be wrong, and it is all in fun, anyhow.
A -- You face life courageously, and with enough imagination to make it more pleasant to take. More or less extroverted, you like to excel in everything you do. You are independent in your thinking, planning and acting, and you do not look too kindly on efforts to thwart you. One word of advice: Do not disregard entirely the opinions of others. Sometimes, they can be a big help.
B -- You expect too much from other people, because you do not rely enough on your own efforts. Reasonably self-confident, you usually do commendable work. But try letting up a bit in judging other people's behavior. An old-fashioned mind in a modern world makes you more uncomfortable than you deserve. You are too serious about how to live your life and how your friends should live theirs. There is lots of fun in life -- if you relax a bit.
C -- Even if you are not particularly self-reliant, you help build up other people's sense of importance. You admire people who accomplish what they are after. Some people might call you a "stooge," but most people love you for your ways. The easiest way to overcome a sense of inferiority is to stop being the dream hero or heroine of stories, movies or your own reveries. Try to materialize those ideas and dreams of yours. If you succeed just once, the personal satisfaction will be so great that you will begin standing firmly on your own feet.
ABC -- You seem to be an autumn-leaf in the wind. Your biggest problem is to concentrate on any one job long enough to earn the commendation of others. Sometimes you pull your own weight one day, and completely relax and do nothing at all the next. A sincere effort to stick to ideas and ideals, instead of flitting from one to another, will really make you a self-reliant individual with an original personality, distinctively yours. Give it a try.
AC -- You are self-reliant to a point, but you allow other people to kick your emotions and feelings around like a football. Perfect self-reliance would keep anybody from disturbing you deeply. You have a natural inclination for luxury, ease and the expensive items of good living. But the pace of modern times keeps you too busy satisfying your ambitions to indulge in laziness. Most of your self-reliance comes from the fact that other people cannot do as much for you as you like them to, so you have to dig in and make your own way. You have plenty of poise and charm, a good sense of humor and little inclination toward self-examination.
BC -- You are endowed with the ability to become vital, magnetic, and charming but you are too sensitive to make the most of your potential. Turn on the smiles: Don't let your feelings depress you. Keep looking ahead instead of worrying about the past; and live a brighter, happier existence. You should not depend on others. If you do, their human failings become magnified and your mental hurts multiply. Self-reliance demands some desensitizing of our feelings. It is no more difficult than learning how to control your temper.
AB -- No one who ever met you would very likely forget you. You go after what you want and never stop till you get it, if it is humanly possible. You are efficient, original, self-reliant, and as honest with yourself as you are with others. That is a big mouthful of compliments -- but in your case it is perfectly safe to hand it out. You will take it in stride, and probably say, "All right -- and now, what was I doing before this test caught my eye?" You are doing well enough, so we will keep any advice we may have strictly to ourselves.
XX -- You are honest with yourself and often too honest with other people. Sometimes your frankness gets you into hot water. But when you are so inclined, you can be the essence of diplomacy. You believe that an individual's actions should be governed by the situation and not limited by standard conventions. You have a flair for originality and are seldom stumped, because you either solve your problems or simply disregard them. No tears of regret for you; if self-reliance means the ability to disassociate yourself from anything disagreeable -- you are it.
How Well Do You Live With Yourself? Give yourself one point for each correct answer. 1. No 2. No 3. Yes 4. No 5. Yes 6. No 7. Yes 8. Yes 9. No 10. No
If you score over eight points, you are self-reliant and live with yourself well. If you have missed question 8, however, you may be withdrawing too much from those around you.
If you score from five to seven points, you are, generally speaking, content with your own company. It may be force of habit that makes you feel lonely when no one is around. If you have not answered question 3 correctly, that may be the answer to your problem.
If you score from two to four points, you are restless and get most of you inner strength from others. While you would probably do well in any work that brings you in contact with many people it would also be wise if you learn more about the joys of solitude.
If you score less than two points, you like to get lost in the noise and excitement of anything, any place -- as long as you are not alone. Try spending a few minutes each day by yourself, lost in a book, a letter, a hobby. Increase the time in a week and soon you will find how nice it is to live with yourself.