ASSESS YOUR COPING STYLE
How do you cope? Here’s a quick and unscientific test to take. Assign each statement a number from 1 to 4, with 1 meaning strongly disagree, 2 slightly disagree, 3 slightly agree, and 4 strongly agree.
(1)I’m OK about my insecurities.
(2)I trust people most of the time.
(3)The world is frustrating and unpredictable to me.
(4)I am tolerant of the views of others even when they differ from mine.
(5)I do not confide in people.
(6)I have a reliable, supportive, and trustworthy social support system.
(7)Very few things in my life bring me pleasure.
(8)I tend to dwell a lot on painful events in my life.
(9)I follow through with promises I make to others.
(10)I try not to blame others when things go wrong.
(11)I don’t handle criticism from others very well.
(12)I am self-conscious and lack confidence.
(13)I tend to feel guilty about certain impulses, thoughts, and actions.
(14)I feel comfortable accepting help from others.
(15)I take unnecessary risks that most people won’t take.
(16)I have no problem confronting people who mistreat me.
Score A: Add your scores for items 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10, 14, and 16
Score B: Add your scores for items 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, and 15
Subtract Score B from Score A. Evaluate your final score using the scale below.
Minus 24 Minus 8 Plus 8 Plus 24
Extremely poor Moderately poor Moderately good Extremely high
coping skills coping skills coping skills coping skills
We should note that scores at or very near either extreme of minus or plus 24 probably represent an unrealistic self-assessment. At the plus end you may have a strong need to present yourself in a socially-desirable way, or you may be a narcissist. An extremely high negative score could indicate difficulties with helplessness or depression, or reflect a strong cynicism about life.
Some people find it useful to take the test twice, first answering the questions as your “real self,” who you are, and then answering the questions as your “ideal self,” who you would like to be. Some moderate discrepancy (such as +10 for real and +17 for ideal) between the two scores would be expected, and would give you an indication of coping areas you might want to improve. If, however, the discrepancy is large (such as -12 for real and +15 for ideal), well, you have some serious coping work to do! If the discrepancy is minuscule at the high end (such as +22 for real and +24 for ideal), you might be unrealistic and pretty full of yourself!
If you’re particularly adventurous, you might want to have a friend, family member, or whomever, fill out the form giving their assessment of you. Then you can compare their evaluation of you with your self-evaluation. The danger here, of course, is that you could damage the good relationship you have with the other person!