ONE WAY TO TEST YOUR HAPPINESS
Most of us know when we’re unhappy, and we’re often aware of fleeting joyous moments. But the question “How happy are you?” can be difficult to answer. Based on traits found to be common among happy, well-adjusted people, this quiz by Robert Harrington can help you assess your happiness.
Choose the response to each question closest to your own feeling or situation. (And don’t attempt to pick those that seem “happiest”-they aren’t necessarily what they appear.) If none of the listed choices is quite right, you may check two, but no more.
1. Given your pick of the following jobs, which would you choose?
a. A difficult challenging assignment if you can bring this off, you’ll be promoted to an executive job. b. A job you can excel in because it’s ideally suited to your energies and talents. c. A fairly modest job that involves working closely with a very powerful, important person.
2. Do you enjoy doing favors?
a. Yes, I seldom refuse when asked. b. Yes, when it’s convenient and will really healp someone. c. Not really. But I oblige when I feel I owe it to the person or if there’s some compelling reason.
3. Which description best fits your usual sleeping pattern?
a. Sound sleeper, little trouble falling asleep. b. Light sleeper, easily awakened. c. Sound sleeper, difficult falling asleep.
4, Are there occasions when you need to be alone?
a. Absolutely. My most peaceful, creative moments are when I am by myself. b. No. I love having people around. c. No. I don’t mind being alone, but wouldn’t say I have a need for it.
5. How important do you feel it is to keep your surroundings neat and orderly?
a. Very important. I can put up with sloppiness in others, but never in myself. b. Important. In fact, I wish I were more orderly. c. Fairly important. I’m rather neat and don’t care much for mess or squalor. d. Unimportant. I’d rather be in a messy house where people are relaxed than in a tidy one where everybody’s fussy and uptight.
6. Which of the following would you be least likely to want for a frient? The person who is…
a. Snobbish and pretentious. b. A bully, cruel to those who can not fight back. c. Crude, pushy, ill-mannered.
7. In the past six months, how many times did illness keep you home?
a. None b. One. c. Two or more.
8. Something distressing has happened to a loved one-the death of someone close, perhaps. Your reaction?
a. I’d try to console him and cheer him up. b. I’d be upset as he was-when he hurts, I hurt too. c. I’d let him know I am sorry but would continue to treat him the way I normally do.
9. How punctual are you?
a. Extremely punctual. I have an exact time sense. b. Quite unpunctual. Even with an early start, I never get anywhere on time. c. It varies. I’m punctual for some things, late for others. d. Quite punctual. I usually arrive when I’m supposed to.
10. How do you remain angry with someone who has been unfair to you?
a. For a long time. I don’t easily forgive bad treatment. b. I wouldn’t get angry. Anger is the product of a troubled mind. c. Not long. I get angry, but seldom hold a grudge. d. I don’t stay angry but will usually avoid the person from then on.
11. You inherit several million dollars. How would you react?
a. I’d be delighted! b. I’d anticipate problems but accept the money anyway. c. I’d be very worried about handling such a huge sum-it would mean starting a whole new life.
12. What would you find most appealing in a marriage partner?
a. Good-looking. b. Rich. c. Intelligent. d. Compatible. e. A terrific lover. f. Understanding.
13. Which statement best describes your social style?
a. I tend to keep to a small circle of close friends. b. I’m active socially and know hundreds of people. c. I have a lot of friends but don’t stay in touch with them. I usually associate with whoever comes to see me.
14. With which of the following would you agree>
a. Time flies, almost in a blur. b. Time moves slowly. c. Days are long, but weeks and months speed by. d. Days seem fast, weeks and months slow.
15. How do you feel about your present situation-personal qualities, friends, family, career, prospects for the future?
a. Wonderful! b. Pretty good. My situation may not be marvelous, but it’s okay, and improving steadily. c. Fair. But I’m striving for a much better future. d. My feelings vary. Sometimes I feel good about myself, sometimes not.
Check your answers against the list below. Give yourself one point for each of your answers that matches these.
1. b 2. b 3. a 4. c 5. c 6. b 7. a or b 8. c 9. d 10. c 11. a 12. d 13. c 14. d 15. d
According to this quiz, if you got two points or fewer, there is not much joy in your life. A score of four to six suggests that you experience many happy moments. Seven points or more indicates a happy person, at least by this criteria.
Following is a brief explanation of Robert Harrington’s reasoning in rating answers for happiness. The numbers refer to the questions involved.
A happy person likes to do useful, productive work, to use his or her abilities fully(1) and enjoys helping people, but is not self-sacrificing (2). At night, sleep researchers have found, a happy individual has little trouble falling asleep (3). He or she tends to be self-sufficient and can enjoy both solitude and company but is dependent on neither (4, 13). Generally, happy people are orderly and punctual (5, 9).
Though tolerant of people’s minor flaws, the happy person dislikes cruelty and destructiveness (6). He or she is healthy (7), has no hang ups about prosperity (11), and refuses toparticipate in other people’s negative meotions (8)-or cling to his or her own (10). When choosing a mate, a happy person will pick a congenial, compatible figure rather than someone romantic and glamourous (12). Being busy and absorbed, a happy person tends to feel days pass quickly, though in larger units-weeks, months, years-time may seem to move slowly (14). Finally the happy person has a sense of progress, improvement, of getting somewhere (15).