Probably you’ve seen them, maybe you’ve even tried them. They are found all over the internet, especially on social media networks like facebook. They are the short fun quizzes that promise to provide life’s answers in only ten multiple choice questions. I’ve taken a few, they are quick and fun, but in the end, I was more entertained than enlightened.
A recent test asked me “What season are you?” After being redirected to their website, I was shown groups of pictures and asked to make choices. The first asked me which jewelry I would like. It was all women’s jewelry, so I picked a grouping that I thought my girlfriend would like. Next I was shown four different entrees. They all had meat and I’m a vegetarian, so I picked the one with side dishes that appealed to me. It was an automatic choice, since this actually happens to vegetarians in real life and we trade the meat dish for extra bread and vegetables with our table partners. Sometimes we get a dessert in trade. Score!
Since some of my clients have occasionally commented on similar fun tests they have taken, I have one I share with them from time to time. Supposedly an ancient Sufi game, “getting cubed” is supposed to provide insight into your relationships. I heard about it from the movie “Serendipity” starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale. In the movie, Kate’s character asks John’s if he has ever been cubed. John responds by asking if it hurts.
In the Sufi game, you are to draw a cube, a ladder, a horse, a storm and some flowers. All of these things go in an empty desert. They can be any size or color and positioned anywhere in the desert. (Spoiler alert – stop reading now and draw yours!) When I last administered the “cubing”, my client explained his drawing to me. He was the horse and the ladder was leaning against a very large cube in front of him. The cube was like a wall he would need to climb over with the ladder. When he got to the other side, he had to rescue his loved ones, represented by the flowers, from the raging storms of life.
He asked me if he was right and what was the test supposed to mean. I responded that that was two different things and that the test is supposedly about……(Done already? Okay, you’re on the honor system.) ……. yourself – you are the box, your spouse is the horse, your friends are the ladder, the storm is the rough times in life, and the flowers are your children. My client asked if he had gotten it wrong, and I said: “No, your drawing provides true insight into how you feel about your life, and that is what makes it right. The symbolism is supposed to be yours and not someone else’s”
Oh yeah, what season am I? The test continued and towards the end, I found myself choosing from clothes, shoes and celebrities I could not recognize. Finally the results - drum roll……….. I am Autumn. Looking back over the choices I made, I had chosen orange and red colored foods and the clothing I picked included sweaters. Not very scientific, but fun just the same. True psychological tests can be taken by anyone (even men and vegetarians!) there are no wrong answers, since they are projective and whatever answers you give will provide insight into your feelings, personality and outlook on life. The answer to John Cusack’s question – “Does it hurt?” Only if you take it too seriously!
- Louis Hommel.