Analyzing Character eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 522 pages of information about Analyzing Character.

The practical man demands facts.  Theories and abstractions worry him.  Even if you had his favorable attention and were to try to go too much into the reasons for things, you would probably lose it.  He is the kind of man who wants to be shown, who demands that you place the actual object before him, if possible, so that he can see it, taste it, smell it, feel of it.  His principal concern about any proposition is not, “Is it reasonable?” or “Is it in accordance with theories?” but rather “Will it work?” “Is it practical?” If you can show him the facts and can convince him by demonstration, if possible, that the thing will work, you will secure his very immediate attention.


Those who are hungry for fame, who are eager for the limelight, whose ears itch for the sound of applause, are, of course, quickly responsive to flattery.  If they are fine-textured and have delicate features, small hands and feet, flattery must be of a refined and delicate nature.  If, on the other hand, they are of coarse texture, large, coarse features and big hands and feet, they will, if their vanity be a ruling motive, eagerly swallow the most atrocious and fulsome praises.  Look for the extremely short upper lip, for an excess of jewelry, a tendency to over-dress and extreme foppish methods of arranging the hair.  Where you find one or more of these indications, you find the easiest road to favorable attention through the appetite of the individual for praise.  If he is of the intellectual type, praise him for his smartness.  If he is a fat man, praise him for his popularity, his political astuteness, his financial acumen, his artistic ordering of a dinner, for his impartiality.  If he is of the bony and muscular type, praise him for his mechanical ability, for his strength, skill and agility, for his love of freedom and independence.  If he is of the literary and artistic type, praise him for his art.  If he shows a fondness for dress, flatter him on his personal appearance.  Watch any man of this type carefully and you will soon discover his pet vanity, and when you have discovered it, you have found an easy road to the citadel of his desires.


If an individual has a long, straight upper lip, a keenly practical, matter-of-fact type of forehead, long, severe lines of countenance and a high crown, do not attempt flattery.  Such a person is instantly suspicious of anyone who flatters him.  He keeps his feelings well under control.  He has very decided opinions and convictions of his own and it is difficult to induce him to act except in accordance with them.  Such a person gives his favorable attention to fact and, usually, only to facts germane to the proposition in hand.  He does not care much for comments upon these facts and is quite likely to refuse to listen to all appeals to his emotions.  He has, however, as a general rule, considerable love of power.  He likes to dominate, to rule, not so much for material personal advantage as for the sake of imposing his opinions and convictions upon others and the satisfaction of feeling that the power is in his hands.  Show him facts that will convince him that your proposition will increase his power and you appeal to one of his strongest motives.

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Analyzing Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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