Got an Anxious Teen or Tween?
What Kind of Anxiety Bothers You? Take the quiz below to find out.
1. You have plans to go out with a few friends on Friday night. One friend calls and tells you a group of kids you don’t know well will be coming along. You think:
a. Great! The more the merrier!
c. I think I might be busy that night; in fact, I feel ill already.
2. You have plans to go to a big party and are super excited. As the time of the party approaches, you find yourself:
a. More excited than ever to go.
b. Feeling pretty much the same as always.
c. Trying to figure out which excuse not to go sounds most believable.
3. You have a presentation to do in class; you have practiced and are prepared. It is on a subject you know well. You are thinking:
a. Sweet – now everyone will know I am a smarty pants
b. Another day, another assignment.
c. I wonder if my teacher would believe that I lost my voice and can’t speak for a month… there must be some way out of this.
4. Your new English teacher loves to call on each student at least once a day. When she looks your way, you think:
a. I am going to knock her socks off with my answer.
b. Oh good! Once I answer this question, I can go back to doodling.
c. Oh no oh no oh no! I might throw up.
5. Report cards are coming out at the end of the week. Your math teacher tells you your average was an 89, so he had to give you a B+ instead of the A- you were hoping for. You:
a. Decide he is being persnickety about grades, and will show him next term when you dazzle him with work worthy of an A.
b. Feel a little disappointed; you tried your hardest and got close to an A, but a B+ is darn good!
c. Try really hard not to cry or scream in the middle of the classroom. Once you leave class, the B+ is all you can think about. What could you have done differently? Why are you so lazy? You should have done better.
6. The results from the state science exam are back. Jenny, who is super-competitive, got one point higher than you. You think:
a. Well, I did better than she did on French! Next year, look out, Jenny; I’ll school you in science!
b. Cool: Jenny studies really hard and so do I. It’s kind of fun to have some friendly competition.
c. OMG, I can’t believe it – yet another person who is smarter than I am. Why do I bother? I’m obviously an idiot who completely stinks at science.
7. You are out with friends at a sub shop after school. You look at the menu and think:
a. It all looks great. Mmm.
b. It is close to dinner. Maybe Cindy will split a sub with me?
c. What should I get? If I get a sub, it might be awkward to eat and eating it in front of Joey makes me nervous. Maybe I should just get a salad or a bag of chips. They aren’t sloppy to eat…
8. It is the state finals in hockey. You are the goalie. You realize right before you step on the ice that you forgot your lucky mouth guard. You think:
a. I love that mouth guard!! No time to worry about it, though. I’ll have to use my practice one and get out there and win the game!
b. What a bummer. New mouth guards are annoying and cut my gums. Oh well, I suppose it’s better to have one than get hit in the mouth with a puck.
c. Oh no. We are going to lose and it’ll be all my fault. I’m such an idiot. I can’t even play without that mouth guard. How much time until we start? I wonder if I can get my brother to go get it and bring it here ASAP.
9. You are at an end-of-school year party and you notice that you have the same outfit on as one of the most popular girls in class. You think:
a. Great minds think alike! Clearly you know style when you see it!
b. This is a little awkward, but it’s neat that we have similar tastes! I wonder if she got it on sale too?
c. Think? You don’t think. You run. You hide. Obviously she’s going to look better in it than you, so you need to change or leave the party as soon as possible.
10. You don’t feel so hot after gym class. Your stomach is in turmoil.
You definitely need to go to the bathroom. You:
a. Find the closest bathroom available; sorry, everyone, but things might get a little stinky!
b. Hurry to the nurse and tell her you don’t feel well and need to use her bathroom. At least there is a little more privacy in there, and you won’t stink up the big bathroom for the rest of the day.
c. Run into the closest bathroom in a panic. A few girls from class are in there; what can you do? You can’t hold it but you don’t want them to hear you. Oh no. You turn and run to the next bathroom, hoping there is no one in there, but you see someone walk in. On the verge of tears and going to the bathroom in your pants, you run to the nurse, mortified to tell her you are a sick, but you have to go somewhere.
In terms of overall anxiety, if you answered mostly:
A’s: Good for you! You have some serious confidence. You might be a little competitive at times, but it seems to encourage you, not stress you out.
B’s: You are cool and calm as a cucumber. You try hard, appreciate others who try hard, and are pretty balanced about your decision making.
C’s: Whoa! Do you sleep? Looks like you have some anxiety that is making life not so much fun and causing you to beat up on your self-esteem. Let’s fix that and take some tips from the “a’s” and “b’s.”
If you have a mixture of answers see below for some of what those answers may mean:
-If you answered “c” to any or all questions 1, 2, 4, 7 or 9, it sounds like you have some social anxiety. Certain social situations may make you anxious, and make you change how you act.
-If you answered “c” to any or all of questions 3, 4, 5, 6, or 8, you might struggle with performance anxiety. School, sports, and/or extracurricular performance may make you stress out!
-If you answered “c” to any or all of questions 7, 9, or 10, your body seems to freak you out a bit. Self-conscious feelings seem to get in the way of how you make decisions.
What to do with the results: Don’t stress out! Seriously, this is actually for fun. Now you have a better idea of what makes you anxious and maybe you can even chuckle at it a little or see that being able to answer “a,” or “b” to some of these questions would really decrease your stress level.
Reprinted, with permission, from The Anxiety Workbook for Girls (Fairview Press, 2010), by Erin Munroe. For more information about the book, visit www.fairviewpress.org.