This is an open-book self-assessment. More than one answer may be correct.

Do you find these common clichés to be true or false when someone says them to you? Choose the BEST answer.

  1. It’s going to be okay.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Not enough information
    4. A and B
  2. (S)he’s in a better place now.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Don’t know
    4. (S)he’s gone forever, and nothing about this is “better.”
  3. Time heals all wounds.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Depends on the wound.
    4. Depends on the day.
  4. You’ll miss these days.
    1. True
    2. False
    3. Don’t know
    4. Again, it depends on the day.
  5. You look young for your age!
    1. True
    2. False
    3. For the last time, it depends on the day.
    4. Who gives a shit?

Fill in the blank. Choose word(s) to complete these common clichés in the way that resonates BEST to you.

  1. There’s always someone who has it _______________.
    1. worse
    2. better
    3. about the same
    4. made
  2. You can always have another ______________.
    1. cookie
    2. child
    3. chance
    4. drink
  3.  ________ happens_______________.
    1. Everything…for a reason
    2. Nothing…for a reason
    3. Tragedy…to all of us
    4. Nothing of importance…most of the time
  4. ______ give you more than you can _______.
    1. God won’t…handle
    2. Your boss will…manage
    3. The teacher won’t…finish
    4. Life will…cope with, at least sometimes
  5. Grief comes in _____________that _____________ over time.
    1. waves…diminish
    2. episodes…grow in number
    3. cookie tins …rust shut
    4. A and B
  6. When life gives you _______________, make ___________________.
    1. lemons…lemonade
    2. debt…money
    3. a chance…the most of it
    4. lemons…margaritas
  7. Losing a parent _________________.
    1. is outside the realm of my imagination
    2. bends gravity
    3. beats the alternative
    4. all of the above
  8. That’s a good _________________ to have.
    1. choice
    2. cancer
    3. problem
    4. tool
  9. You have to ____________ before you _____________.
    1. try…buy
    2. grieve…heal
    3. walk…run
    4. finish your dinner…get dessert
  10. Life is _______________________.
    1. beautiful
    2. a bitch, and then you die
    3. short
    4. uncertain

Interpretation. Choose the answer that BEST represents what you mean when you say one of these clichés.

  1. You look great, really.
    1. You look terrific.
    2. Given what you have to work with, you look good.
    3. You look better than I expected, given circumstances.
    4. You’ve gained a lot of weight.
  2. Bless your heart.
    1. You’re a very sweet soul.
    2. You’re such a dipshit, but I guess you can’t help it.
    3. Thank you so much.
    4. Not enough information; the meaning depends on tone of voice.
  3. What comes around, goes around.
    1. People almost always get what they deserve.
    2. You’re fucked.
    3. Instant karma’s gonna get you.
    4. I would like to think cosmic retribution is a thing but don’t actually believe it.
  4. I don’t know what I’d do if I were you.
    1. I have no good advice.
    2.  You’re so fucked.
    3. I’m really glad I’m not in your position.
    4. All of the above.
  5. Medical research is advancing so quickly!
    1. Medical research is a great career choice.
    2. You’re beyond fucked.
    3. No curative treatment exists, but surely a new option will be available soon.
    4. B and C

Assessing your results

Don’t like your result? Take this quiz again in five years. It’ll change.

Mostly As: You are an Idealist! (You are impossibly naïve. There are people out there who actually buy this shit? What the hell is the matter with you? Grow up.)

Mostly Bs: You are a Pessimist! (Sincere condolences for whatever it is that’s going on with you right now, pal. Truly.)

Mostly Cs: You are an Optimist! (You appear to be in an absurdly happy place. Good luck sustaining it.)

Mostly Ds: You are a Realist! (Life has kicked you around a bit—and though you are clearly past your prime, you’re approaching wisdom. For the moment, anyway.)