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Domineering or Doormat?

by Katrina Cassel

Which word best decribes you? Take this quiz and find out!

 How do you approach problems? How do you handle conflicts or differences of opinion? Who makes your choices? Think about the questions below and honestly choose the answer that best describes you—not the one you think you should choose. Hopefully you’re not domineering or a doormat, but somewhere in the middle.

1. A friend asks to borrow your math book and promises to give it back at the end of study hall. When you go to do your homework that night, you discover she still has it. You . . .
a. call and demand she bring it over. She’s the one who kept it.
b. forget about it. One missed assignment won’t hurt. She didn’t keep it on purpose. You should have reminded her.
c. call and see if you can go to her house and do your homework together.
d. plan to do it in the morning before school. If you hurry, you can get it done.
2. You have to do a science project with two other students. You seem to be the only one doing your part. You . . . 
a. set a time and place. Then you tell the others that if they aren’t there, they can find another group to work with.
b. do the work yourself. It’s not fair, but at least it’ll get done.
c. suggest everyone come to your house for pizza one night and get most of the work out of the way.
d. divide the task into three equal parts and give everyone a deadline for their parts. Let the teacher know if anyone is not doing their part.
3. You go to a youth group potluck. After eating, everyone is anxious to play volleyball, but there’s a lot of clean up to do. You say . . .
a. “If you don’t want to help clean up, go home.”
b. “I’ll clean up,” since you’re not into team sports.
c. “Let’s turn the cleanup into a team relay race and see which team gets their share done first!”
d. “Let’s assign everyone one area to clean up,” and then you jump right in to set the example.
4. Committees are forming for the spring carnival. What do you do?
a. Take charge of the best committee—otherwise don’t bother.
b. Take whatever job no one else wants.
c. Encourage your friends to work together on a project.
d. Organize the committees so that each person serves where they’re most able.
5. You see a “help wanted” sign at a local restaurant. When you go in to apply, you find out they’re looking for a dishwasher. 
You . . .
a. say, “No way!” You wash enough dishes at home. You won’t work there unless you can be a greeter.
b. say, “Why not?” Someone’s got to wash the dishes.
c. say, “Sure.” You know that with your cheery disposition, you’ll soon be promoted to waiting on tables.
d. say, “Sure.” Then create a more efficient way of doing dishes so you can move up to a better job.
6. You and your friends are tossing a wadded up paper around the science room. One friend grabs for it but bumps into some beakers and breaks them. You say . . .
a. “You broke them, you pay for them.”
b. “I get a bigger allowance than the rest of you, so I’ll pay for them.”
c. “Let’s all hold a car wash this Sunday, and we can easily pay for the beakers.”
d. “Let’s call around and find out where we can get beakers the cheapest.”
7. Your class receives an extra-long homework assignment because some of the students were goofing off. You’d planned to go out that night, so you . . .
a. refuse to do the assignment, because you weren’t involved. You go out as planned.
b. give up on going out and do the assignment.
c. have everyone come over, make brownies, and do the assignment together.
d. work through it quickly but carefully during study hall so you can be free later.
8. Your friends all come over to watch movies at your house, but you all can’t agree on what movie to watch and what snacks to have. You . . . 
a. choose both the movie and the snacks, because it’s your house.
b. let the most popular person choose.
c. vote on the movie and have several snacks to choose from.
d. choose which movie to watch based on its rating and choose snacks by nutritional value.
9. If a friend had to list your faults, they would be that you are too . . . 
a. bossy/aggressive.
b. wimpy/indecisive.
c. agreeable/cheerful.
d. intense/logical.
How did you do?
Mostly a’s? Domineering. You know what you want, and you go for it. Sometimes this means that you ignore the needs or wants of others to get your way.
While determination is good, selfishness isn’t. Philippians 2:4 says: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (NIV). Read this whole passage to get the proper perspective on putting others first.
Mostly b’s? Doormat. The Bible tells us to be humble, but not to let others walk on us or to neglect our own needs. It may seem easier to give in or avoid a confrontation, but it isn’t right. God has a plan for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says: ‘‘‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV). 
Even though this was written to the Jews in exile, it’s still true today. Stop following everyone else’s leading and start following God’s leading, so you can discover His plan for you.
Mostly c’s? Delightful. Your good mood and cheerfulness help calm stormy situations. You defuse explosive situations before they arise. Good for you. Just make sure that your happiness isn’t just a mask covering up insecurity or suppressed anger.
Speak your mind when you need to—but make sure your words are “full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6, NIV).
Mostly d’s? Diligent. You calmly help solve problems using logic. Finding answers is easy for you, so you are seldom a doormat, but neither do you dominate others. You are self-sufficient. Just make sure that self-sufficiency doesn’t alienate you from friends or from trust in God.
When we try to be sufficient in ourselves, we may forget that everything we are comes from God. Read Philippians 3 to find out the problem with having too much confidence in ourselves. Paul said he considered knowing Jesus much more important than anything in this world.
*Texts credit to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Katrina Cassel, M.Ed., lives with her husband, five of their children, and an assortment of pets in the Florida panhandle.

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