The Ping-Pong Ball Personality Test

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

“Attitudes are contagious.  Are yours worth catching?”  

~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

I  was volunteering at my 8-year-old daughter’s school carnival, manning the ping-pong ball toss.

Many, many years ago, in a not-so-faraway land, I was trained as a clinical psychologist. And vestiges of that training infiltrate all areas of my life, consciously and unconsciously.

I noticed that I wasn’t watching whether the balls landed in the cups; instead I was watching the children’s faces and energy as they tossed. I was noticing, with curiosity, their strategies. I believe that their strategies, their facial expressions and their energy said a lot about their personalities.  

One student gingerly picked up one ball at a time (they had 20 seconds in which to throw) and gently tossed it toward the big bucket. (There was one big bucket, a few smaller buckets and some smaller cups). She threw, in total, about seven balls, all super carefully. Her expression was a mix between fear and hesitancy.

Another student grabbed  into the bucket of balls with both hands, grabbing as many balls she could fit in each hand and threw””rather, whipped””them at all of the buckets and cups. Her expression was a mixture of joy and excitement. She chucked  all of those balls way before her 20 seconds was up.  

One student grabbed one handful of balls at a time and tossed them toward the buckets and cups with an expression that was a mixture between anger and frustration. That student then argued with me when I said time was up.

Another student also grabbed a bunch of balls  at a time and really hurled those balls with a lot of velocity toward the cups, with an expression of intensity and competition. At the end she argued with me about how many balls landed in the cups.  

How we walk through the world says a lot about our internal processes. Even how we play games at a carnival.  How are you walking through the world?

Have the best day ever!


Taylor plus 5

Taylor Wells, M.A., M.Ed., RYT, owns Prana Power Yoga, Inc., and Prana Super-mom Consulting. She is also a Boston Herald columnist and blogger, United Nations Yoga Peace Ambassador, activist, and happy Super-mom of 5 kids.