Looking at Yourself: Part Two

How you and others see you.

Woman rests on mirrored surface gazing at her reflection.In the last blog, I asked you to evaluate yourself in five areas. The first area had to do with being able to communicate well with other people and being able to talk to other people. The second area had to do with being able to make and maintain friendships and relationships with others. The third had to do with being able to make changes in your life when you need to, e.g., being able to be flexible. The fourth area had to do with how you feel about yourself and your ability to feel positive about yourself and give yourself credit for the accomplishments in your life. The last area had to do with controlling your emotions, especially very strong ones, and emotions that other people might perceive as negative, e.g., anger.

In this blog, we are again going to present areas of skill or attitude and ask you to look at yourself and ask others how they see you. We’re going to pick up where we left off with the issue of being able to manage and control strong emotions. So, I would ask you to look at how good you are at controlling what you do and say when you’re upset. Now, this may relate to the previous area, being angry, but it also may relate to simply being hurt or feeling anxious or having other feelings that may be difficult to manage and contain. Dealing with strong feelings. Again, we would like for you to rate yourself on the five-point scale:

  1. Being bad at it.
  2. Not so good at it.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

The seventh area that we would ask you to look at is your ability to be a problem solver. How good you are at solving problems in your life. Again, think about this. Think about challenges and problems that you have dealt with recently and how well you feel you’ve managed them and been able to find solutions to them and how you’ve done this. So, look at yourself as a problem solver. Are you:

  1. Bad at that?
  2. Not so good at it?
  3. Okay?
  4. Good at it?
  5. Very good at it. (Meaning that you see yourself as being someone who is very good at managing and solving problems in your own life and perhaps in giving direction and advice to others.)

Number eight relates to an attitude that we discussed earlier in the previous blog, feeling good about yourself, but this has to do with being able to think positively about your future and being able to be optimistic rather than pessimistic. How do you see yourself? Are you an optimist or are you a pessimist? Again, ask for some feedback from others and then rate yourself on this scale from 1 to 5.

  1. Being bad at thinking positively about myself.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. I’m very good at it, meaning that you see yourself as being an optimistic person most of the time.

Again, no one falls into the category of pessimist or optimist all of the time.

Number nine has to do with what you tell others you are going to do and your ability to follow through with it. So, do you do what you say? Again, you may want to get some feedback from others about this and how they see you. Do they feel that you keep your commitments to yourself and to other people? Do you follow through? Again, rate yourself on this after you think about it some and after you get some feedback from others.

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

Number ten has to do with helping other people. How good are you at this? Do you feel like you’re a good resource to others? Do you reach out and try to help other people deal with the challenges that they are facing in their life? Is it something that is important to you? Again, get some feedback from others about this and think about it yourself. Think about the last time that you helped someone deal with a problem in their life, when you gave someone some advice or you gave someone some specific, concrete help in dealing with a situation. And again, rate yourself on this:

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

The next one has to do with your ability to take care of yourself in terms of a number of areas, such as being able to exercise, eat right, take care of your health, being able to take care of your finances and being able to take care of yourself emotionally. How good are you at this? You may want to think some about it and think about the different areas and what you’re better at and what you’re not so good at. Again, getting feedback from others would be helpful and, again, we would like you to rate yourself on this scale:

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

Again, you may be better at taking care of yourself in particular ways, perhaps in terms of managing your finances, but you may be neglecting your health.

The last one has to do with having a good sense of humor and being able to use it in situations to help you manage them. Do you have a good sense of humor? Do you use it appropriately? Hopefully, it is not used as a way of putting other people down. Can you tell a good joke? Do other people agree that you have a sense of humor? Rate yourself on this scale:

  1. Bad at it.
  2. Not so good.
  3. Okay.
  4. Good at it.
  5. Very good at it.

I would not say that the scale that we have been using or the questions that we have been using is a psychometric instrument. We certainly haven’t done enough research on this to say that it has either reliability or validity, but we do think it can be a tool to help you look at yourself and help you get better at dealing with situations that you confront in your life. Resilience is something that you need to manage adversity in your life.

Ron Breazeale, PhD