The Adjective Experiment

In the Adjective Experiment, you ask ten people who know you well to each choose one adjective to describe you. It’s supposed to be useful for personal and professional development, so I gave it a shot last week.

I asked ten friends to email me their adjective (they did not get to see each other’s submissions). Nine of them replied, but one of them gave me two adjectives (my friends are rebels!), so I wound up with 10 anyway. Here they are (words that showed up more than once are indicated with a number):

adventurous (2)

independent (2)





thoughtful (2)

First of all, awwwww! This made me feel wonderful. We too rarely take the time to seek out positive feedback from people we love.

I was interested by the adjectives that came out on top, with two occurrences each. With the huge number of descriptors people could have chosen (even assuming they were going to go for a positive one), the odds are against any two people choosing the same word by coincidence.

“Thoughtful” and “independent” I can definitely see. But “adventurous” took me by surprise. I don’t think of myself that way–I spend so much time cooking dinner, watching Netflix, working, and reading.

But as my friends pointed out, over the last year I’ve traveled to an unfamiliar city to go on a date with a stranger. I’ve re-learned to drive after more than a decade of pedestrianism. I went ziplining on my recent vacation.

So, OK, I’ll buy it. I’ll buy all those beautiful words.

I highly recommend trying this activity if it intrigues you! One way to make it even cooler would be to create your own list of 10 adjectives for yourself first, and then see if there’s overlap with what your friends and family come up with.