If you became embroiled in an argument with your partner, felt rejected by a lover, or lost a loved one, would you bounce back fairly quickly? Or would you remain angry, mired in self-recrimination, stuck in despair? Take this quiz to see how resilient you are. (And you might also want to ask your partner to take this quiz.)
Answer each question True or False. If you are tempted to think long and hard about a question, or if you feel that there are too many nuances and exceptions, resist. The most accurate results come from making a snap judgment about whether a question is true or false about you.
- If I have a minor disagreement with a close friend or spouse—closer to “No, it’s your turn to do the dishes” than “You cheated on me!”—it typically leaves me out of sorts for hours or longer.
- If another driver uses the shoulder to zoom up to the front of a long line of traffic waiting to merge, I am likely to shake it off easily rather than fume about it for a long time.
- When I have experienced profound grief, such as the death of someone close to me, it has interfered with my ability to function for many months.
- If I make a mistake at work and get reprimanded for it, I can shrug it off and take it as a learning experience.
- If I try a new restaurant and find that the food is awful and the service snooty, it ruins my whole evening.
- If I’m stuck in traffic because of an accident up ahead, when I pass the bottleneck I typically floor it to vent my frustration but still see the inside.
- If my home water heater breaks, it does not affect my mood very much because I know I can just call a plumber and get it fixed.
- If I meet a wonderful man/woman and ask if he/she would like to get together again, being told no typically puts me in a bad mood for hours or even days.
- If I am being considered for an important professional award or promotion and it goes to someone I consider less qualified, I can usually move on quickly.
- At a party, if I’m having a conversation with an interesting stranger and get completely – when he/she asks me about myself, I tend to replay the conversation—this time including what I should have said—for hours or even days afterward.
Give yourself one point for each True answer to questions 1,3,5,6,8, and 10. Give yourself zero points for each False answer. Give yourself one point for each False answer to questions 2,4,7, and 9; score zero points for each True answer. Anything above seven suggests you are Slow to Recover. If you scored below three, you are Fast to Recover and thus quite Resilient.
This quiz is from a book by neuroscientist Richard Davidson that shows how differences in the way our brains are wired affect our resiliency. Do not despair, though, if your score shows you are not that resilient. According to Davidson, you can change your brain’s wiring to become more resilient if you change what you are saying to yourself or if you engage in the practice of meditation.
Davidson, Richard J. and Begley, Sharon (2012) The Emotional Life of Your Brain. New York: Hudson Street Press.