The New York Times had a story yesterday on their Freakonomics blog, in which people rated themselves in both looks and intelligence. Not surprisingly, most seemed to slightly overrate themselves. I wish they took a few more average people to get a broader perspective.
This reminds me of an experiment in which I asked a handful of people to rate themselves in four categories: Looks, Intelligence, Personality, and Career. No one judged themselves as less than a 7 in any single category. Most were 8s and 9s across the board.
No one judged themselves as less than a 7 in any single category. Most were 8s and 9s across the board.
That might mean that these were extraordinary people. More likely it means that we all have a slight disconnect between how we see ourselves and how others see us. The good news is that having a combination of self-esteem and self-delusion seems to be exactly what allows us to function. How would we feel if we didn’t believe we’re above average in every single way? I’m not sure I’d want to know.
Anyway, since we’re all anonymous, what do you say we try the experiment here? Answer these 3 questions in the comments below:
Where do you rank yourself in Looks, Intelligence, Personality, Career?
How would you rank the “typical” person you date? Do you rank them higher or lower than you?
How do you think others would rank you behind your back?
If I have to participate (and I probably do), I’d give myself straight 7s. Maybe an 8.5 on intelligence, if I were to be embarrassingly honest. Maybe a 6.5 on career if I were to be more embarrassingly honest. But then, I do strive to achieve much more in life.
My typical girlfriends would be ranked a bit higher. Similar in looks, but generally impressive careers and great personalities.
And I don’t even want to know what others would say about me behind my back. I take back the question! But it is something to think about.
Anyway, I’d be curious to hear your answers below, as well as your thoughts on why it’s so hard for us to be objective about ourselves.
(BTW, if you’re really upset about the idea of “ranking”, or the fact that things like “kindness” aren’t on the list, your comments are duly noted. This is a very unscientific experiment.)
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