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Sexy, successful…and single?

Taking the Self-Assessment Control Quiz

Answer each question in the quiz by circling the number that best represents your actions or feelings -- from 1, meaning never, to 5, meaning always. Since your first answers are usually the most accurate, answer as quickly as you can and avoid the temptation to look for the most socially desirable answers. No one else needs to know your scores, so there's no reason to fudge.

When you're finished, write these numbers in a notebook. Then look at the scoring instructions and calculate your totals for each skill as well as your total score. In a month or two, you'll probably want to re-take the quiz to see how far you've progressed.

Never Sometimes Always

1. I know right away when I'm angry.

1 2 3 4 5

2. If it's bad weather on my day off, I get over it quickly.

1 2 3 4 5

3. My stress level is low.

1 2 3 4 5

4. If stuck without a ride, I find a way of getting where I want to go.

1 2 3 4 5

5. When the waiter brings the wrong dish, I ask for a replacement.

1 2 3 4 5

6. I'm good at saying no.

1 2 3 4 5

7. I can tell people what I'm feeling.

1 2 3 4 5

8. In conversations, I listen about half the time.

1 2 3 4 5

9. On airplanes, parents of crying toddlers don't bother me.

1 2 3 4 5

10. I look for things to praise in others.

1 2 3 4 5

11. I know right away when I'm sad.

1 2 3 4 5

12. Traffic jams don't bother me for very long.

1 2 3 4 5

13. In a close game, I quickly get over an unfair call by the referee.

1 2 3 4 5

14. When I have a problem, I ask others for ideas.

1 2 3 4 5

15. I ask for a change when the car radio is tuned to a station I don't like.

1 2 3 4 5

16. I keep the number of tasks I take on to a manageable level.

1 2 3 4 5

17. In disagreements, I focus on specific situations, not general trends.

1 2 3 4 5

18. I avoid giving advice unless asked.

1 2 3 4 5

19. I'm okay with people with driving styles different from mine.

1 2 3 4 5

20. Most of my close relationships go well.

1 2 3 4 5

21. I'm aware of my feelings.

1 2 3 4 5

22. In bad situations, I can be counted on to be effective.

1 2 3 4 5

23. When returning home after a tough day, I put it aside.

1 2 3 4 5

24. I'm good at problem solving.

1 2 3 4 5

25. When interrupted, I manage to continue speaking.

1 2 3 4 5

26. My rewards at work are fair.

1 2 3 4 5

27. I hold up my side of a conversation.

1 2 3 4 5

28. In disagreements, I realize I could be wrong.

1 2 3 4 5

29. I can accept as okay people with politics different from mine.

1 2 3 4 5

30. When my significant other mispronounces a word, I say nothing.

1 2 3 4 5

Calculating Your Score

Now that you're taken the quiz, you can determine your profile on the 10 skills that determine your degree of control. Copy the numbers you circled for each question into your notebook, then refer to the notebook as you fill in the section below.


How aware are you of your feelings? (Skill 1)

1. _____
11. _____
21. _____
Total _____


How often do you think situations through before reacting? (Skill 2)

2. _____
12. _____
22. _____
Total _____


Can you get over negative thoughts and/or feelings you don't want to have? (Skill 3)

3. _____
13. _____
23 _____
Total _____

Solving problems

Are you good as solving problems? (Skill 4)

4. _____
14. _____
24. _____
Total _____

Standing up for yourself

Do you ask for what you need and want? (Skill 5)

5. _____
15. _____
25. _____
Total _____

Are you self-protective? (Skill 6)

6. _____
16. _____
26. _____
Total _____

Communicating effectively

Do you speak in ways that make others likely to listen? (Skill 7)

7. _____
17. _____
27. _____
Total _____

Do you listen effectively? (Skill 8)

8. _____
18. _____
28. _____
Total _____

Understanding others

Do you understand others? (Skill 9)

9. _____
19. _____
29. _____
Total _____

Embodying positive values

Is your emphasis positive? (Skill 10)

10. _____
20. _____
30. _____
Total _____

Total score: _____ (sum of all scores)

Interpreting Your Score

You now have some data that's very helpful in determining your profile. The totals for each of the 10 sections are your individual scores, and the final total is your overall score. (In general, the higher your total score, the lower you're likely to score on negative health-damaging factors such as depression, anxiety, hostility, and your perception of stress, and the higher you're likely to score on positive health-promoting factors such as social support.) Here's what your overall score means.

If your score was 30: At this point, you essentially are almost never in control. Things have to change for you, and fast, if you want to improve your relationships and reduce your health risks. Chances are, you are probably dissatisfied and looking for some major changes. Luckily, you have the program that can help you right in your hands.

If your score was 31-60: Unfortunately, you are rarely in control. You may have a handle on one or two skills, but they are being overshadowed by your behavior in other facets of your life. Your best strategy is to focus on those traits in which you scored the lowest; those are the areas in your life where you're likely to see the biggest changes.

If your score was 61-90: You are sometimes in control. Perhaps you're where you want to be in some areas but not others, or your scores may be rather evenly distributed. You need to decide if there are areas you would like to improve. Part 2 will give you insights and strategies on how to improve the specific skills you need to focus on.

If your score was 91-120: You are often in control. You're probably living a very good life right now, but you may have a few challenge areas that you'd like to address. The quiz can help show you those areas that may be keeping you from leading your life in the best way possible. With some gentle exploration, you may find that the quality of your relationships and your motivation to succeed and do good work will only improve after following the 8-week program.

If your score was 121-150: You are almost always in control. Congratulations! You're probably enjoying a very rich life, packed with fulfilling friendships and interesting, gratifying pursuits. You've learned to master your emotions, and you're able to manage your environment to create better outcomes for everyone in your life. To that end, perhaps you'd like to brush up on the skills that brought you to the place you are now so you can help a friend, child, or other loved one adopt the same habits.

Redford Williams, MD, is director of the Behavioral Medicine Research Center, professor of psychology, professor of psychiatry, and professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center. He has served as president of the American Psychosomatic Society, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, and he is president-elect of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Virginia Williams, PhD, is the president of William Lifeskills, Inc., in Durham, North Carolina, and has organized and led workshops teaching the In Control process to thousands of individuals, corporations, and government agencies around the world. The Williamses also coauthored Anger Kills, a bestseller, and Lifeskills. They live outside of Durham, North Carolina. For more informaiton, visit: or E-Mail

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