Ready, Set, Go: How Do Others See You?

The statements below describe common features of our personalities. First, make a few copies of the page. Then mark an A next to the traits that always describe you, an S next to those that sometimes describe you and an N by those that never apply. Hand the copies out to your friends, and ask them to mark their impressions of you. See how their view of you stacks up against your view of yourself. There are, of course, no right or wrong answers—only more or less descriptive ones.

____ Is critical, skeptical, not easily impressed

____ Is a genuinely dependable and responsible person

____ Behaves in a giving way to others

____ Is fastidious, fussy about minor things

____ Is uncomfortable with uncertainty and complexities

____ Is thin-skinned, sensitive to anything that can be construed as criticism or an interpersonal slight

____ Is skilled in social techniques of imaginative play, pretending and humor

____ Initiates humor

____ Has a rapid personal tempo; behaves and acts quickly

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____ Prides self on being "objective," rational

____ Is productive; gets things done

____ Shows condescending behavior in relations with others

____ Regards self as physically attractive

____ Seems to be aware of the impression he or she makes on others

____ Is calm, relaxed in manner

____ Is overreactive to minor frustrations, irritable

____ Has warmth; has the capacity for close relationships; is compassionate

____ Is guileful and deceitful, manipulative, opportunistic

____ Thinks and associates ideas in unusual ways; has unconventional thought processes

____ Is reluctant to commit self to any definite course of action; tends to delay or avoid action

____ Is facially and/or gesturally expressive

____ Has a readiness to feel guilt

____ Keeps people at a distance; avoids close interpersonal relationships

____ Is unpredictable in behavior and attitudes

____ Is protective of those close to him or her

____ Behaves in an assertive fashion; speaks up to get what he or she wants

____ Gives up and withdraws where possible in the face of frustration and adversity

____ Is self-defeating

____ Responds to humor

____ Has insight into own motives and behaviors

____ Tends to be rebellious and nonconforming

____ Judges self and others in conventional terms like "popularity," "the correct thing to do," social pressures, etc.

____ Is socially perceptive of a wide range of interpersonal cues

____ Characteristically pushes and tries to stretch limits; sees what he/she can get away with

____ Is sensitive to anything that can be construed as a demand

____ Tends to project own feelings and motivations onto others

____ Is basically anxious

____ Appears straightforward, forthright and candid in dealing with others

____ Is self-pitying; feels cheated and victimized by life

____ Tends to ruminate and have persistent, preoccupying thoughts

____ Compares self to others; is alert to real or fancied differences between self and other people

____ Is power-oriented; values power in self and others

____ Is self-dramatizing, histrionic

____ Does not vary roles; relates to everyone in the same way

Excerpted from the California Adult Q-Sort as described in "Predicting more of the people more of the time: Assessing the personality of situations," Bem, D.J. & Funder, D.C., Psychological Review 85 (1978).

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